Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Wireless, iPhone

SOA & WOA: 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...