SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Mobile IoT, Wearables

Microservices Expo: Article

Mobile Enablement Presents Challenges and Opportunities

The best way to facilitate mobile enablement projects is with focused, goal oriented, up-front planning.

Mobile adoption rates are on the rise and if market reports are any indication, growth rates aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Consumers and employees alike are the driving forces behind mobile adoption spurred by the evolution in mobile device capabilities along with the speed of mobile networks.

A recent Morgan Stanley research study predicts that sales of smartphones will overtake PC sales (including both desktops and notebooks) in the next two years, supporting the demands of our always-connected society. [Disclosure: Kapow Software is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The ubiquity of smartphones and more than 300,000 mobile apps available on Apple’s App Store, coupled with the ease and convenience of mobile computing is putting pressure on IT to mobile enable B2C and B2E applications to facilitate organizational efficiency and keep up with consumer and employee demand for mobile access to applications and content.

When it comes to enabling mobile access to mission-critical enterprise apps, companies have made far less progress.



It’s no surprise that millions of employees around the world are bringing their smartphones and mobile devices to work, resetting workplace expectations to have always-on access to the instantly available business apps that they’ve grown accustomed to from their personal lives.

According to a survey conducted by the Yankee Group, 90 percent of organizations surveyed have already enabled smartphone access to corporate email and PIM. Yet when it comes to enabling mobile access to mission-critical enterprise apps, companies have made far less progress, with only 30 percent of those surveyed providing smartphone access to customer relationship management (CRM), 20 percent to enterprise resource planning (ERP), and 18 percent to sales force automation (SFA).

CIOs scrambling

IT leaders and industry analysts are noticing CIOs scrambling to mobile-enable legacy applications to make them available on smartphones, tablets, and even GPS/navigation devices. And, IT departments are feeling the growing pressure to get this done in a matter of months -- to not only stay ahead of the competition, but in many cases, just to keep up.

One of the main challenges companies need to overcome when enabling mobile device access to existing data or legacy applications is the lack of “mobile ready” web service application programming interfaces (APIs) for existing applications.

Adding a service-level interface to a legacy application is a complex development project that typically involves a full or extensive rewrite of the existing legacy application. A common problem is that throughout the years an application has been written and modified by multiple developers, which are likely to have left the company, along with their institutional knowledge about the application. This situation had led many companies to basically re-write the application, which can take several years of coding and insurmountable resources and budget.

This situation had led many companies to basically re-write the application, which can take several years of coding and insurmountable resources and budget



It’s essential that organizations evaluate these important factors when embarking on a mobile enablement project:

  • Do the applications you want to mobile-enable have documented APIs?
  • What components and features of your business application do you want to mobile enable?
  • How are you taking into account form factor?
  • How will you deal with business logic and processes too complicated to be executed on a mobile device with a limited keyboard, where air time needs to be controlled, and server round trips need to be minimized?
  • How will you deal with service interruptions requiring the ability to queue processes for later execution on the back end?
  • Will you be combining data from multiple apps into one mobile application?
  • What mobile platforms do you need to support?
  • To what extent will you want to modify or extend your mobile application in the near future?

The best way to facilitate mobile enablement projects is with focused, goal oriented, up-front planning that doesn’t underestimate the complexity of the process, especially when dealing with traditional data integration techniques.

What many companies aren’t aware of is that there is an alternative approach to developing custom-built, native apps that doesn’t require dependency on pre-existing APIs.

Known as “browser-based data integration,” this emerging approach makes existing business applications and data “mobile ready” by allowing organizations to wrap their existing web application without changing the systems that are already there.

By creating a new web service interface “wrapper” without re-writing any of the existing code, mobile access to enterprise B2C and B2E applications can be possible in days or weeks, not months or years.

It’s no surprise that mobile initiatives are now a top priority for every enterprise. The challenge is to approach these projects as swiftly and efficiently as possible to stay relevant and productive. By combining the proper up-front planning process with browser-based mobile enablement technologies, companies can quickly provide their mobile users with the data and apps they so desperately want and need.

You may also be interested in:

 

More Stories By Stefan Andreasen

Stefan Andreasen has more than 20 years experience in software design and development. He spent five years in Boston with Advanced Visual Systems working on cutting-edge Java and visual programming projects. In 1998 he started Kapow as a marketplace for cars, real estate and boats for sale. The items for sale were collected from dealer websites and published on www.kapow.net. The collection software was based on visual programming, which made it possible to collect information from thousands of web sites with very limited resources. In 2001, Stefan sold the marketplace to the largest bank in Denmark and changed Kapow into a pure software company - Kapow Technologies. The software was productized and expanded to a general web-based integration platform for mashups, data collection, portal clipping and web service enabling of web functionality. In his current role as Founder and CTO, Stefan focused on all technical and strategic aspects of the Kapow Mashup Server. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of mashups and web-based integration.

Latest Stories
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.
Contino is a global technical consultancy that helps highly-regulated enterprises transform faster, modernizing their way of working through DevOps and cloud computing. They focus on building capability and assisting our clients to in-source strategic technology capability so they get to market quickly and build their own innovation engine.
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...