Jamf Blog
An Apple device showing the App store icon.
October 9, 2023 by Sean Smith

What is an enterprise app catalog and why do you need one?

Learn how a customized app catalog benefits your organization, and how Jamf Self Service, Jamf App Catalog and App Installers can make life easier for both IT and end users.

Software applications offer tools that not only help employees do their jobs better but also keep them more engaged and productive.

As an employer, it’s crucial to help your employees make the most of their time, but you also need to effectively manage your resources and be mindful of security.

So how can you strike a balance between providing the apps your employees want with the oversight your company needs?

Get the best of both worlds with an enterprise app catalog.

What is an enterprise app catalog?

An enterprise app catalog is a private, online store for authorized users to access internal resources such as web- or native-based applications. Like public app stores such as the Apple App Store or Google Play, an enterprise app catalog provides a private one-stop shop for your employees to be able to discover, request and install the applications they need for their job.

While an enterprise app store typically offers in-house, third-party or Apple App Store apps, it can also provide access to other internal resources such as e-books, guides, videos, printers and drivers— and other configurations.

How does an app catalog work and why use one?

An enterprise app catalog serves as a curated marketplace to connect users with the apps they want while giving organizations the control they need over enterprise app management.

Benefits to implementing an app catalog include:

  • Security: control over the apps that employees can access and use, as well as oversight on app installations and updates.
  • Customization: ability to offer custom-built apps tailored to the organization's needs.
  • Ease of distribution: simplified process of distributing apps to employees, regardless of location.
  • Centralized management: a centralized platform for managing all enterprise apps.
  • Cost savings: reduction in costs associated with app distribution and management. IT productivity is increased when access to resources doesn’t require IT tickets.

When your organization uses Jamf as your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, it’s easy to set up your own enterprise app catalog with Jamf Self Service for Mac and mobile devices.

Jamf Self Service: resources on demand

Jamf Self Service is a curated app catalog that gives users on-demand access to organizationally approved apps, settings and other resources without having to submit an IT help desk ticket.

Resources commonly offered through Self Service include:

  • Access to Apple App Store apps, in-house apps, third-party apps
  • E-books, guides and videos
  • Printer mapping and drivers, email, VPN and more configurations

The Jamf Self Service catalog allows IT admins to personalize content by:

  • Department, language, user role or location
  • Changing the look of Self Service by changing the name, icon and image to match your brand

Employees can use Self Service to:

  • Resolve common IT issues like software updates
  • Receive real-time notifications for security enhancements and app updates
  • Bookmark HR tools or internal resources for easy access

There are versions of Jamf Self Service available for both macOS and mobile devices.

Give your employees the apps they need with Self Service

If your organization uses Mac computers, Self Service is a crucial tool for IT to distribute apps to end users. Many common apps used on the job or in schools are not available from the Apple App Store.

The Jamf App Catalog —not to be confused with Self Service, which is an enterprise app catalog— offers many popular third-party macOS software titles. IT admins can also use a patch management workflow or App Installers to manage third-party macOS software updates.

App Installers is a curated collection of Jamf-managed and Jamf-provided installer packages that automate and streamline updating and deploying third-party apps.

With App Installers, an admin can deploy those third-party non-Mac App-Store apps directly to Self Service: available for end users to install when they are ready.

After installation, apps automatically update when a new version is available in the Jamf App Catalog without users having to lift a finger.

App Installers saves admins time, ensures end users have the most up-to-date version of apps, and increases security by keeping apps updated. It’s important to understand that out-of-date software is less secure software. Being able to provide app updates automatically helps keep the ecosystem of devices and users secure.

Why is app management important?

App management is an essential business process, and it’s vital for an organization to have healthy app management.

Application management covers the entire lifecycle of apps used in an enterprise or educational setting from purchase to deployment, updates and patch management to sunsetting, if necessary.

When you choose Jamf for your MDM solution, you can simplify your application management to make your IT admin’s life easier, your end users happier, and your organization secure.

Learn how an app catalog can help your employees and organization be more productive today.

Sean Smith
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