Click here to close now.


Agile Computing Authors: Deep Bhattacharjee, David Dodd, Greg O'Connor, Dana Gardner, Ken Simpson

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 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical to maintaining positive ROI. Raxak Protect is an automated security compliance SaaS platform and ma...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound cha...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.