DemocratizingEnterprise MobilityT e l l a g o S t u d i o s , I n c .2 2 5 5 G l a d e s R o a d , S u i t e 3 2B o c a R a t o n , F L 3 3 4 3 1P h o n e : 8 7 7 . 5 1 3 . 3 1 1 36 / 2 0 / 2 0 1 2Jesus RodriguezIntroducing the Enterprise Mobile platform as a service.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 1Democratizing Enterprise MobilityFor the last two years, enterprise mobility has had a high place on the technology agenda of mostcompanies. However, the mobile enterprise remains a highly complex and expensive endeavorthat can only be afforded by a small group of organizations. Even more importantly, theenterprise mobility stacks are technologically archaic compared to the equivalent consumermarket technology which is causing companies to start embracing open, consumer-basedtechnologies as part of the enterprise mobile applications.If you agree that connected devices are becoming a predominant force in the enterprise, then youcan also agree that the industry is in desperate need for technologies that provide simple, openand yet robust mechanisms to develop enterprise applications that can run on these devices.Mobile Enterprise Is About the Back End not the Front EndLooking at the current enterprise mobility technology ecosystem, we can quickly notice a heavyemphasis on development tools and technologies that allow developers to build applications thatcan run on a diverse number of devices. While that type of technologies is certainly welcome,this is far from being a problem in the enterprise. The market is full of mobile frontendtechnologies that support multi-device applications which are very viable solutions in anenterprise environment. PhoneGap, AppAccelerators Titanium, Xamarins Monotouch andMono for Android, Sencha Touch are just some of the examples of technologies that enable across-device experience and, what is more important, provide a far superior experience than theequivalent SAP, IBM or Antenna software technologies.Based on the rapid evolution of the mobile technology landscape, enterprise developers have avery broad spectrum of technology options when it comes to implementing mobile clientfrontend interfaces. The challenge, however, remains in the backend infrastructure. Aspects suchas security, identity management, storage, messaging, media exchange, and content managementare among many some of the most important backend capabilities that are required by most
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 2enterprise mobile applications. Enabling these and many other backend features represent, byand large, the most important challenge in the current spectrum of enterprise mobile applications.When designing an enterprise mobility strategy, the emphasis should not be on the clientdevelopment technologies and tools and, instead, it should be focused on the backend servicesand management experience to enable enterprise-ready mobile applications.Anatomy of an Enterprise Mobile Platform in 2012Looking at the current enterprise mobility market, we can find a group of "platforms" that can serveas the foundation of an enterprise mobile infrastructure. Sadly, all these technologies look incrediblysimilar and mysteriously resemble the models pioneered by Research in Motion a few years ago.Without exception, the current generation of enterprise mobility platforms provides a series ofcomponents that compose the complete mobile application lifecycle from development tooperational management. The following figure depicts the fundamental elements of a mobileenterprise platform in the current market.As illustrated in the above figure, the DNA of a traditional enterprise mobile platform is basedon the following components. Cross Platform Mobile Application Development Tool: This component of anenterprise mobility platform enables a developer to implement mobile applications thatcan be deployed to multiple devices. Mobile Application Server: Traditional enterprise mobility platforms include a serverside infrastructure that serves as the fundamental gateway to abstract the interactionbetween mobile applications and the datacenter infrastructure. Mobile Line of Business Adapters: Some enterprise mobility platforms include out ofthe box connectors to traditional line of business systems such as ERP or CRMapplications. These components intend to streamline the integration of these platformsinto enterprise mobile applications
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 3 Mobile Application Manager: Every enterprise mobility platform provides a componentto manage and monitor the different applications running in the mobile applicationserver. Mobile Device Manager: Device management has been a traditional component oftraditional enterprise mobility platforms since the early years. This component istypically responsible for managing the mobile devices running specific enterpriseapplications.The components listed above represent the foundation of the current ecosystem of enterprisemobility platforms. Some of the characteristics of these components combined with theconstraints of an on-premise delivery model introduce a series of challenges for organizationswhen embracing these platforms as the core of an enterprise mobility infrastructure.The ChallengeThe technical complexity and expensive delivery model of traditional enterprise mobile platformscombined with the novel and rapid evolving nature of mobile technologies makes enterprisemobility a really challenging experience for most organizations. Without getting into the specifics ofany particular technology, we can refer to a number of challenges that are common across mostenterprise mobile platforms. High learning curve: By not relying on popular and open technologies, traditionalenterprise mobility platforms require that most companies train their developers and ITprofessionals in the usage of the proprietary development tools and frameworksrequired by the platform. On-premise infrastructure: Most enterprise mobility platforms require expensive on-premise infrastructures in order to host and manage the applications developed on theplatform. Lack of developer community: The closed nature of traditional enterprise mobileplatforms has impeded the growth of developer communities around thesetechnologies. This fact has reflected in a lack of tools, frameworks and even accessibletalent around those platforms which directly translates into high implementation andmaintenance costs for most companies. Technology debt: The rapid evolution of mobile development technologies has made itimpossible for most enterprise mobile platforms to keep up with the latest mobiletrends. To cite an example, it took nearly a year after HTML5 became one of the mostpopular mechanisms for the implementation of mobile application before any of themajor enterprise mobility platforms announced the native support for HTML5applications. Professional services: The complexity and lack of developer communities for mostenterprise mobility frequently platforms requires the use of professional services whenimplementing solutions on these platforms.The aforementioned challenges are just some the roadblocks encountered by organizations whenimplementing enterprise mobility solutions based on traditional platforms. Given the growingimportance of connected devices, the industry is in a desperate need of simpler, open, rapidlygrowing platforms that can help to democratize the enterprise mobility ecosystem.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 4The Time for an Enterprise Mobile Platform as a ServiceAs mentioned in the previous section, the current technology models for enterprise mobility hasproven to be highly inefficient to address the challenges in this rapidly growing space. As analternative, we need new enterprise mobile technologies that embrace modern computing paradigmsand a simple delivery model that enables organizations to easily embrace enterprise mobilityinitiatives. In a nutshell, here are some of the primary elements we believe a modern enterprisemobility platform should provide: Freedom of tools and frameworks: A modern enterprise mobility platform shouldenable developers to use their favorite development tools and frameworks when itcomes to implementing mobile applications. Open and simple to use backend capabilities: Forget the frontend capabilities, amodern enterprise mobile platform should enable open, service-enabled and simple touse backend features that allow developers to build enterprise-ready mobileapplications. Cloud based delivery model: The on-premise model in enterprise mobile platforms haveproven to be highly inefficient and cost prohibitive for most organizations. As analternative, a modern enterprise mobility platform should leverage cloud computing asthe fundamental mechanism to enable the backend and management capabilities of theplatform. Managed mobile web hosting and provisioning capabilities: As HTML5 and mobileweb techniques become increasingly important in enterprise mobile applications, theability of hosting, provisioning and managing mobile web applications should be a keycomponent of the next generation enterprise mobile platforms. Elastic and scalable computing model: While is true that user behavior is morepredictable in enterprise mobile applications compared to consumer applications, thesole nature of mobile applications demands an elastically scalable hosting model inwhich infrastructure can be dynamically allocated based on user demands. Open, Open, Open: Finally, a modern enterprise mobility platform must be open enoughto nurture a developer community around it and to keep up with the rapid evolution ofmobile technologies.An almost axiomatic truth in software development is the fact that most software platforms arejust a realignment of well-established computing paradigms. In that sense, we should look forwell-established software models that can enable the next generation of enterprise mobileplatforms. We can quickly find the answer in one of the fastest growing technology movementsof the last few years: Platform as a Service (PaaS)A Platform as a Service for Enterprise Mobile ApplicationsAt a high level, an enterprise mobile platform as a service is a cloud platform that provides elementsof the enterprise mobile application development lifecycle as multi-tenant services. Specifically, anenterprise mobile application provides enterprise-ready backend capabilities as cloud services and itfacilitates the hosting, provisioning and management of mobile applications that use those services.As other technology movements, an enterprise mobile platform as a service can be seen as acombination of existing technology movements such as mobile Backend as a Service (BaaS), mobileenterprise application stores, and a few other emerging areas in mobile technologies.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 5Expanding beyond the conceptual level, we think of the first generation of enterprise mobilePaaS as three fundamental components: a series of enterprise cloud APIs, a mobile enterpriseapplication store and an environment to deploy, provision and manage enterprise mobileapplications. The following figure illustrates this concept.One of the most important aspects of an enterprise mobile platform is its application centricnature. Different from traditional platform as a service model, the application is the center of theenterprise mobile PaaS model and resources and services are provisioned and managed withinthe context of an application. The following figure illustrates that concept:In addition to its numerous advantages from the technology standpoint, an enterprise mobilePaaS embraces the commercial SaaS model in which customers pay a subscription fee based onthe usage of the platform. These models allow organizations to start relatively small and scaleorganically their enterprise mobility initiatives. Also, the cloud delivery model of the enterprisemobile cloud APIs allows organizations to immediately take advantage of new services as soonas they become available in the platform.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 6Even though it is not a key characteristic of the model, it is very important to highlight the toolagnostic nature of Enterprise Mobile Platform as a Service. Different from traditional enterprisemobile platforms in which development tools are at the center of the stack, an Enterprise MobilePaaS focuses on the backend, hosting, provisioning and management aspects of enterprisemobile applications and delivers those in a model that can be used from any development tool orframework. To make the experience even simpler, Enterprise Mobile PaaS typically includeSDKs for some of the major mobile platforms.The Inevitability of the Enterprise Mobile PaaSBased on some of the arguments expressed in the previous section, we can easily conclude thatEnterprise Mobile PaaS are an inevitable evolution of the existing unsustainable enterprise mobilitymodels. At a high level, Enterprise Mobile PaaS offers significant advantages over traditionalmodels: Tool agnostic: Different from traditional enterprise mobile platforms, Enterprise MobilePaaS allow organizations to build enterprise mobile applications using their favoritetools and frameworks. No on-premise setup: Enterprise Mobile PaaS are delivered as a cloud based solutionthat requires no on-premise infrastructure. No learning curve: The open nature of Enterprise Mobile PaaS makes it accessible toany developer with basic knowledge of mobile platforms. Continuous upgrades: Like any good cloud citizen, Enterprise Mobile PaaS make thecontinuous release of new and upgraded features a key element of the platform. Elastically scalable: An Enterprise Mobile PaaS allows organizations to scaleorganically based on the user demand of their enterprise mobile applications. Cost: The pay as you go model of Enterprise Mobile PaaS allows organizations toquickly ramp up and organically scale enterprise mobility initiatives without incurringmajor costs.Finally and more importantly, the Enterprise Mobile PaaS represents the only model in whichorganizations can practically keep up with the fast evolving pace of the mobile technology worldwithout sacrificing the policies of enterprise applications.ConclusionEnterprise Mobile Platform as a Service represents the natural evolution of enterprise mobilityplatforms. Traditional enterprise mobility platforms have proven to be highly inefficient, hard toscale, slow to evolve models that impose a high technologically and financial cost to mostorganizations. An Enterprise Mobile PaaS combines emerging technology models such as mobileBackend as a Service with creative application delivery models like application stores to simplify anddemocratize enterprise mobility.First published by Sys-Con Media http://www.sys-con.com/ 21 June, 2012.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 7About the AuthorJesus Rodriguez is a co-founder and CEO of both Tellago Studios andTellago, two fast growing start-ups with a unique vision around softwaretechnology. Jesus spends his days working on the technology and strategicvision of both companies. Under his leadership, Tellago and TellagoStudios have been recognized as an innovator in the areas of enterprisesoftware and solutions achieving important awards like the Stevie Awards’American and International Business Awards.A software scientist by background, Jesus is an internationally recognized speaker and authorwith contributions that include hundreds of articles and sessions at industry conferences. Jesusserves as an advisor to several software companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, and is the onlyperson who currently holds both the Microsoft MVP and Oracle ACE technology awards. Jesusis a prolific blogger on all subjects related to software technology and entrepreneurship. You cangain valuable insight on business and software technology through his blogs athttp://jrodthoughts.com and http://weblogs.asp.net/gsusx .