Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Gregor Petri, Georgiana Comsa, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Mobile IoT: Article

Mobile Expert Opinion: Mobile Platform as a Service

MBaaS falls somewhere in between SaaS and PaaS

My colleague at Cognizant and mobile expert, Peter Rogers, shares more of his thoughts and opinions on how enterprise mobility is and will evolve in 2014.

***

I think most businesses have realized the most effective mobile solutions are holistically designed from the outset. That means not just building the most beautiful front end, but also making sure that the supporting enterprise services are provided in a timely and secure manner. This has led to mobile and cloud being tightly integrated for many years, it was just hidden behind a black box inside of a MADP (Mobile Application Development Platform). Now it seems the black box has opened up and we are seeing open, standards based, cost effective and flexible Mobile First services being delivered through the cloud. It kind of begun with Parse who offered remote data manipulation and now we are seeing full life cycle management including real-time analytic visualisations.

Mobile Back End as a Service (MBaaS) falls somewhere in between Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), with the key differentiator being a Mobile First intent. The original offerings like Parse were non-enterprise offerings and largely focussed on remote data manipulation, location services and authentication. Later offering have looked to differentiate their offerings by adding dedicated enterprise connectors and these are classed as Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service.

In the non-enterprise MBaaS space then we are already seeing lots of acquisitions and new people moving into this space like Famo.us and AppMobi. The closest thing to a traditional Mobile Application Development Platform is an Enterprise MBaaS, but you will not find a portable native (cross platform) solution on the client side. Instead, a lot of the MBaaS vendors offer partnerships with Mobile Consumer Application Platform (MCAP) vendors - which was the original name for portable native or cross-platform solutions. As such technologies like Titanium, Xamarin, PhoneGap and XDK offer the missing client side part.

The next stage of this technology adventure is the business vertical alignments of Enterprise MBaaS. We will start to see specific services being offered for verticals like Life Sciences, for example a Health Cloud. Indeed Life Sciences is probably the least Mobile First vertical and one of the largest areas of R&D budget so we should see some massive changes sweeping in over the next 18 months. It is worth dissecting an Enterprise MBaaS at this stage before we go any further.

Generally speaking if we performed an autopsy on an Enterprise MBaaS we would find the following: a Service Tier for hosting custom servers (such as Node.js); a number of enterprise connectors (such as SAP); some pre-built server-side services (such as social media integration and push notifications); and a security framework that holds it all together.

Throughout 2014 then we will see the following evolutionary steps:

  • business vertical alignment for the sets of enterprise connectors
  • generation server-side services like Cloud CMS and Mobile Data Management
  • more MCAP integrations with greater client-side libraries
  • new and evolving field of life cycle management services.

Within the B2E space then not everybody has accepted the argument of portable native. However, if we look at real-time analytics it offers us the ability to effectively control the B2E ecosystem by monitoring which apps are in use. This in turn enables us to end-of-life applications that are not being used in order to reduce maintenance cost. It also enables us to spot problems with applications being used through crash reporting. We can even start to look at the successful applications and build more of those in order to start looking at application portfolio management; rather than just building apps for the sake of it.

Real-time analytics was born in the cloud and so this is a prime example of a Cloud SaaS that can be used to enrich mobile application management. We can have dashboards that show in real-time when the application is launched, where it is, and even have dedicated crash reporting that shows if an application goes down. In the B2C space we seem to wait until our App Store ratings drop before taking action but this enables us to see what is happening in the field and to release an update before getting a mass of bad reviews.

I see two types of Cloud SaaS that will become more popular:

  • Developer services - I would class the following as developer services: performance management; crash reporting; remote SDK; HTML5-to-Native conversion; JavaScript cross-compilation on the Cloud.
  • Life cycle management services - I would class the following as life cycle management tools: real-time analytics; dashboards; automated testing on the Cloud; server-side unit tests; template solutions; and easy personalisation.

The ability to plug existing native applications into a life cycle management framework has to be one of the most exciting concepts for 2014. Sure, there is always integration work, but maybe we will start to see the emergence of tools that can automatically add in integration points into the code for common areas of analytics such as when the application starts, stops and crashes.

I would, therefore, see the emergence of a new form of Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service that has embraced both developer services and life cycle management services. It also offers some second generation frameworks to support server side development: like offering hosted Express along with Node.js; or having a Cloud CMS; or even a full mobile data management solution. These kind of platforms need a new name to differentiate them.  How about we all use Mobile Platform as a Service.

A Mobile Platform as a Service is the natural evolution of Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service, and it features:

  • dedicated verticalized enterprise connectors
  • a service tier that comes with supporting frameworks and second generation services like Cloud CMS
  • developer services and life cycle management support for both hybrid apps and native apps with minimal integration required.

These are Peter Roger's opinions.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree? Comments?

*************************************************************

Kevin Benedict Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant View my profile on LinkedIn Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict Browse the Mobile Solution Directory Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
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.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.