Using the Cloud to EnableNext-Generation EnterpriseMobility SolutionsT 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 31 1 / 3 0 / 2 0 1 2Jesus RodriguezLeveraging the economics of the cloud.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 1Using the Cloud to Enable Next-Generation Enterprise Mobility SolutionsMobile computing has drastically impacted the social, commercial and even philosophical aspects ofour society. Seeing the explosion of mobile applications in the consumer world, companies cantavoid dreaming about revolutionizing their businesses with the presence of mobile applications. Theability of extending business capabilities to mobile devices leads the priority list of most CIOs.However, the path to enterprise mobility goes beyond building sporadic applications for specific lineof business systems. Companies embarking on the enterprise mobility journey need cohesivestrategies for important mobile infrastructure aspects such as device management, identity, security,and monitoring, that are required to provide a true enterprise mobility experience.The good news is that, as an industry, we have been addressing those challenges for a few yearsthrough platforms such as Research in Motion (RIM) enterprise server. The bad news is that theRIM model has severe limitations when adapted to modern mobile technologies. The good news isthat we have various modern solutions to address those challenges. The bad news is that thesolutions might seem a bit radical at first. The good news is that todays solution to enterprisemobility has been proven for years in the consumer world.The good news is that you are reading this article.Traditional Enterprise MobilityAs mentioned in the previous section, mobility is not a strange element to modern enterprise. Forthe last decade, companies have embraced different models to expose certain business capabilitiesthrough mobile devices. As effective as some of those models have been, theyve all failed to quicklykeep up with the wave of changes caused by the release of the first iPhone and the IOs stack.Fundamentally, IOs changed the game by mainstreaming the concept of application developmentand providing developers with the tools and infrastructure necessary to develop, market andcommercialize new applications. This model was quickly followed by other mobile platforms rapidlymaking the predominant model to deliver a mobile experience in modern devices.Witnessing the explosion of mobile applications in the consumer world, various enterprises decidedto start building specific mobile applications to provide different business capabilities. However,they quickly realized that there is a fundamental difference between building mobile applications forthe consumer and enterprise markets. While in the consumer model, each application operates in awell-defined level of isolation from other applications; in the enterprise space, applications need toshare a common infrastructure in areas such as security, data sharing, monitoring, and provisioning.Orchestrating that foundation for enterprise mobile applications represents the biggest challenge ofthe current generation of enterprise mobility solutions.Why is this?The current solutions in the enterprise mobility space dangerously resemble the RIM enterpriseserver model. Even though this model has proven successful in previous years, it presents someserious limitations when applied to modern mobile applications. Figure 1 resembles the traditionalmodel of enterprise mobility.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 2Figure 1: Traditional Enterprise Mobility ModelWithout going into too many details of each one of the technical components illustrated in theprevious figure, we can quickly identity some major challenges with the previous model: Complex: With current technologies, implementing this model requires assembling a fairlycomplex infrastructure in your corporate network in order to enable the capabilities listedbelow. Hard to Scale Globally: Given its dependencies on on-premise infrastructure, thetraditional enterprise mobility model is designed to work within the same network, or tightlyconnected networks, but its almost impossible to enable it across disparate geographiclocations. Proprietary Frameworks: Most of the existing enterprise mobility platforms require the useof proprietary, and not highly popular, IDEs and frameworks in order to leverage thecapabilities of the platform. Unfriendly to HTML5: HTML5 is completely changing the way we think of and developmobile applications. At the same time, most enterprise mobile frameworks are almostexclusively based on supporting native applications and provide very limited functionalitiesto embrace HTML5. Complex to Update: Given the nature of enterprise mobile applications, performingupdates to the underlying platform will result in major challenges for the users andapplications relying on it. Closed to Third-Party Applications: With the proliferation of mobile developmentcommunities, its very common for companies to want to adopt applications developed forthird parties as part of their portfolio. However, this is completely impossible given theclosed nature of traditional enterprise mobility platforms.In order to address some of the aforementioned challenges, we need a simpler, more open modelthat removes the constraints of proprietary frameworks and infrastructures. The rapidly emerging setof cloud computing services and infrastructures offer a unique set of capabilities to address thesechallenges and enable the next generation of enterprise mobility solutions.A Better Model: Taking Enterprise Mobility to the CloudDuring the last few years, cloud infrastructures have pushed the frontiers of software developmentto areas never imagined before. In the context of enterprise mobility, the cloud computing model
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 3and services present a unique model to simplify the challenges of the traditional enterprise mobilitymodel and to open new possibilities in the space.Conceptually, an enterprise cloud mobility platform removes the complexities of the mobileenterprise server from your corporate network by placing it in a cloud infrastructure where it canleverage various cloud services to enable its native capabilities. Figure 2 illustrates this concept.Figure 2: Enterprise Cloud Mobility PlatformEven though the previous model might seem a bit futuristic, we can quickly identity some majoradvantages compared to traditional enterprise mobility solutions.SimpleA cloud enterprise mobility infrastructure represents a higher simpler model from the infrastructurestandpoint than its on-premise counterpart. Think about it, with this new approach, the componentsof the mobile enterprise server will reside in a cloud platform that wont require any infrastructurebehind the firewall. More specifically, in this model organizations will only be responsible fordeploying the portion of the applications that interact with the on-premise data such as web servicesand message queues.Globally AvailableUsing a cloud-based infrastructure will guarantee the global availability of our enterprise mobileserver. This capability will allow organizations to expand their mobile capabilities across differentdivisions potentially located in different geographic regions.Elastically ScalableScalability is one of the biggest limitations of traditional enterprise mobility platforms. Leveraging acloud infrastructure will inherently make our enterprise mobile server elastically scalable. This meansthat we will be able to add computing, storage and other functional instances as needed in ourenterprise mobile solution.HTML5 FriendlyHTML5 is highly supported by the majority of, if not all, Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. Thiscapability enables our cloud enterprise mobility platform to take full advantage of HTML5 websitesas a complement to native applications.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 4Transparently UpdatableA cloud-based enterprise mobility platform will inherit all benefits of the Software as a Service(SaaS) model. Among those benefits is the ability to perform continuous updates without the needto install any on-premise software, which will make a significant difference in a rapidly changingcontext such as mobile computing.OpenAs any other cloud infrastructure, a cloud enterprise mobility model should be automatically openand interoperable with heterogeneous applications. The reason openness is a relevant concept whenit comes to enterprise mobility is simply because it facilitates incorporating third-party applicationsas part of the enterprise mobile platform.Economically AffordableGiven the economic characteristics of cloud platforms, an enterprise cloud mobility platform can beoffered at a really affordable price to small business or big enterprises. This highly contrasts with thealmost prohibitive cost of most traditional enterprise mobile platforms, which frequently limit itsadoption to very big enterprises.Enterprise Mobility in the Cloud: Dream or Reality?As explained in the previous section, leveraging a cloud infrastructure to enable enterprise mobilitycapabilities presents significant advantages over traditional models. However, as with any softwareparadigm we have to challenge the feasibility of the solution. Is a cloud-based enterprise mobilitymodel really achievable? Could we truly enable an enterprise mobility foundation using cloudservices?The answer is absolutely yes. If we think about it, the key to a solid enterprise mobility platform,whether on-premise or on the cloud, is centered around a series of foundational capabilities in areassuch as identity, security, messaging, analytics and other aspects that power the rest of the platform.In todays cloud technology ecosystem, we can find incredibly robust service platforms that enablethose different capabilities. Figure 3 illustrates this concept.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 5Figure 3: A Robust Service Platform Enables the Needed Capabilities of a Mobile Enterprise PlatformThe keys to enabling this platform are: Identity Services: In an enterprise mobility platform, its important to authenticate usersfrom their mobile devices against directory services in your corporate network. Federatinguser identities between cloud and on-premise environment is a common practice in todayscloud solutions. Technology platforms such as Okta, OneLogin or the Windows AzureAppFabric Access Control Service offer a seamless and highly interoperable model to achievethis functionality. Data Storage Services: Data storage is a fundamental element of an enterprise mobilityplatform. In the cloud technology ecosystem, Platform as a Service(PaaS) platforms such asWindows Azure, Heroku or even Amazon AWS offer both relational and non-relationalstorage models. Messaging Services: Message and data exchange are an essential aspect of any enterprisemobile application. The ability to exchange messages or consume data from on-premise orcloud environments in a mobile device is, arguably, the most relevant element of anenterprise mobility platform. Today, technologies such as PubNub, Pusher or the WindowsAzure AppFabric Service Bus offer simple cloud-based messaging platforms to broker thecommunication between different endpoints that its one of the most important. Business Intelligence Services: Reporting and analytics are fundamental to a greatenterprise mobility experience. Technologies such as GoodData, Chart.io or even SQL AzureReporting deliver great BI experiences leveraging cloud infrastructures.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 6Leveraging the Economics of the CloudThe benefits of a cloud-based enterprise mobility model extend way beyond the technology aspectswith an economic model that is impossible to emulate with an on-premise alternative. Essentially, acloud model will natively inherit the scalability benefits of dozens of cloud services that improvealmost on a daily basis. The economies of scale of that model simply outperform any on-premisealternative in which a single vendor is providing the complete infrastructure for your solutions. Insimple terms, your enterprise mobility infrastructure will naturally evolve with the cloud services itsusing.SummaryNowadays we are experiencing a deep contradiction between the importance of enterprise mobilityand the severe limitations of the most products or technology stacks in the space. The traditionalmodel to enterprise mobility is, conceptually, based on the RIM model, which simply fails to deliverthe required agility in a world in which building mobile applications is becoming mainstream. Cloudcomputing infrastructures offer a unique opportunity to enable a simpler, better and more agileapproach to enterprise mobility. In addition to its numerous technical benefits, a cloud-based modelto enterprise mobility can leverage the economics of scale that, at the end, have made cloudcomputing the most important technology movement of a generation.First published by Cloud Computing Journal http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/208052130 November, 2011.
Tellago Studios, Inc. Page 7About the AuthorJesus Rodriguez is a co-founder and CEO of both Tellago Studios and Tellago,two fast growing start-ups with a unique vision around software technology.Jesus spends his days working on the technology and strategic vision of bothcompanies. Under his leadership, Tellago and Tellago Studios have beenrecognized as an innovator in the areas of enterprise software and solutionsachieving important awards like the Stevie Awards’ American and InternationalBusiness Awards.A software scientist by background, Jesus is an internationally recognizedspeaker and author with contributions that include hundreds of articles andsessions at industry conferences. Jesus serves as an advisor to several software companies such asMicrosoft and Oracle, and is the only person who currently holds both the Microsoft MVP andOracle ACE technology awards. Jesus is a prolific blogger on all subjects related to softwaretechnology and entrepreneurship. You can gain valuable insight on business and softwaretechnology through his blogs at http://jrodthoughts.com and http://weblogs.asp.net/gsusx .