SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Courtney Abud

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
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Using serverless computing has a number of obvious benefits over traditional application infrastructure - you pay only for what you use, scale up or down immediately to match supply with demand, and avoid operating any server infrastructure at all. However, implementing maintainable and scalable applications using serverless computing services like AWS Lambda poses a number of challenges. The absence of long-lived, user-managed servers means that states cannot be maintained by the service. Lo...
With the new Kubernetes offering, ClearDATA solves one of the largest challenges in healthcare IT around time-to-deployment. Using ClearDATA's Automated Safeguards for Kubernetes, healthcare organizations have access to the container orchestration to dynamically deploy new containers on demand, monitor the health of each container for threats and seamlessly roll back faulty application updates to a previous version, avoid system-wide downtime and ensure secure continuous access to patient data.
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...
With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lo...
Platform9, the open-source-as-a-service company making cloud infrastructure easy, today announced the general availability of its Managed Kubernetes service, the industry's first infrastructure-agnostic, SaaS-managed offering. Unlike legacy software distribution models, Managed Kubernetes is deployed and managed entirely as a SaaS solution, across on-premises and public cloud infrastructure. The company also introduced Fission, a new, open source, serverless framework built on Kubernetes. These ...
Emil Sayegh is an early pioneer of cloud computing and is recognized as one of the industry's true veterans. A cloud visionary, he is credited with launching and leading the cloud computing and hosting businesses for HP, Rackspace, and Codero. Emil built the Rackspace cloud business while serving as the company's GM of the Cloud Computing Division. Earlier at Rackspace he served as VP of the Product Group and launched the company's private cloud and hosted exchange services. He later moved o...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, will discuss how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galer...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
Technology has changed tremendously in the last 20 years. From onion architectures to APIs to microservices to cloud and containers, the technology artifacts shipped by teams has changed. And that's not all - roles have changed too. Functional silos have been replaced by cross-functional teams, the skill sets people need to have has been redefined and the tools and approaches for how software is developed and delivered has transformed. When we move from highly defined rigid roles and systems to ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It's clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Th...
xMatters helps enterprises prevent, manage and resolve IT incidents. xMatters industry-leading Service Availability platform prevents IT issues from becoming big business problems. Large enterprises, small workgroups, and innovative DevOps teams rely on its proactive issue resolution service to maintain operational visibility and control in today's highly-fragmented IT environment. xMatters provides toolchain integrations to hundreds of IT management, security and DevOps tools. xMatters is the ...