App blacklisting becoming more common in enterprise mobility – Citrix report

20 Mar 2013

Francis O'Haire, director of technology and strategy at Data Solutions

Citrix’s latest Enterprise Mobility Cloud Report from Q4 2012 shows how organisations are dealing with an increasingly mobile workforce, and which apps organisations don’t want their employees to have access to.

Based on aggregate data from customers who have deployed enterprise mobility in the cloud, the Citrix report notes a sharp increase in adoption of Google’s Android platform in the EMEA region, up 11pc to a 36pc share, while the share for Apple’s iOS dropped 13pc to 43pc.

However, iOS remains the leader for enterprise mobility worldwide at 58pc, while Windows Mobile remains steady at 7pc.

Keeping apps under control

Citrix also noted how organisations had become more aggressive on app blacklisting in Q4 2012. According to the latest report, 18pc have an app blacklisting policy in place, up from just 7pc in the previous quarter.

App blacklisting is most common for those considered to be a risk to security, such as apps that synchronise or share files, or those that cause a decline in productivity, such as games or social media.

For Citrix customers, the most commonly blacklisted apps were Angry Birds, Facebook, Dropbox, and YouTube. Communications app Skype appeared on both the blacklist and the whitelist for companies – the only app to do so. Other commonly whitelisted apps were Evernote, NitroDesk TouchDown, Google Chrome and Adobe Reader.

“This study underlines a continued concern over ‘loss of control’ amongst businesses and, moreover, shows how the rise of consumerisation and the bring your own (BYO) phenomenon are, and will continue to be, forcing IT departments to ignore devices and instead focus on the challenge of apps and data governance,” said Francis O’Haire, director of technology and strategy at Data Solutions.

“With a huge number of different form factors, proprietary platforms and devices coming into the workplace – resulting in a surge of staff downloading personal applications for business purposes – it will no longer be possible for IT to find one solution or set of solutions to tackle this complexity,” he added.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.