Cloud service provider LogMeIn, Inc. has just released AppGuru, a new app management solution designed to help
IT pros regain much-needed control in today's world of 'bring your own apps' (BYOA). AppGuru promises to give IT staff and managed service providers (MSPs) the tools they need to centrally manage employees using a variety of apps.
LogMeIn explains that the BYOA trend brings its own set of challenges for enterprise IT. Employees often now make their own decisions about which devices and applications to use, making it more difficult than ever for tech staff to secure enterprise data and ensure seamless access.
As workers choose their own technology, often without input from the IT department, IT staffers are left to deal with the complications that emerge in world of 'Shadow IT' -- where IT follows the users' lead, instead of users following IT's direction.
Signifcant IT Challenge
A recent survey conducted by Edge Strategies on behalf of LogMeIn found that, on average, small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) have approximately 21 BYO apps in use -- highlighting the complexity that IT managers are facing with today's 'consumerization of IT'.
Indeed, 'Shadow IT' and the bring-your-own trend are forcing businesses of all sizes to rethink the ways they approach IT management of devices, applications, and data.
"When you consider the fact that the majority of cloud apps are being used without the knowledge of IT, we see this trend as one of the most significant challenges facing IT today," explained LogMeIn CEO Michael Simon.
Simon goes on to explain that one of the main goals with AppGuru is to give IT managers "complete visibility into and control over their environment in ways that embrace the inherent realities of employee-introduced technology."
Detecting and Monitoring
The unique, real-time monitoring capabilities of AppGuru reveal which apps are being used on a company's network, by whom, and on which devices. Armed with this info, IT pros can then decide how best to manage such usage to protect against data leakage and security risks. AppGuru takes management to the next level by giving IT the ability to implement policy control over who can use different apps and how.
The company-wide dashboard gives a concise, comprehensive view into all the cloud and SaaS apps being used on company's network, giving IT unprecedented visibility to oversee potentially hundreds of different apps. Some of the more popular apps supported include storage and productivity tools such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Apps, Basecamp, join.me, Office 365, and SugarSync.
AppGuru can also help service providers and IT decision-makers see which cloud apps are being used the most. This can be helpful for deciding company policy regarding standardization and perhaps identifying cost-saving opportunities by eliminating licenses of unpopular company-purchased applications.
On the compliance and security side, AppGuru can be used to restrict the usage of specific features within cloud apps to reduce security risks, comply with regulatory requirements, and prevent potential data leakage. It also provides features for license management, giving a consolidated view of available software and SaaS licenses.
Other key features enable IT managers to provision and de-provision users easily -- granting access to cloud and SaaS applications, and perhaps more importantly, revoking access when an employee leaves the company or changes roles.
IT service providers and IT staff supporting multiple entities should also appreciate the multi-account management features that make it easy to jump between different client portfolios.
Managed Service Providers
Boston-based LogMeIn says it developed AppGuru in response to the growing 'bring-your-own' challenges faced by its SMB customers, which number over 100,000, including thousands of managed service providers (MSPs).
One company that has participated in the AppGuru beta test is Untangled Solutions, LLC, an IT service provider specializing in IT solutions for medical offices. Untangled's medical IT consultant Chris Johnson explains how the "unknowns of 'bring-your-own' have fundamentally changed" the nature of traditional data protection methods.
Johnson says that, "LogMeIn's approach with AppGuru is unique in both its breadth and application, and it provides the type of comprehensive approach necessary to shed light on the extent of risk exposure."
LogMeIn says AppGuru is now available, with prices starting at $29 per managed user per year.