• Cognizant 20-20 InsightsNomadic Computing with Mobile DevicesWith the explosion of smartphones and tablet computers, sof...
was not transparent to users, and it certainly was   paradigm that gives us nomadicity at the network               not co...
and convenience of mobility (as discussed later in      to any application without user intervention.this paper).         ...
moves the user further away from the underly-          namically available user location information                  ing ...
devices as conveniently portable, cute, miniatur-      Google applications won’t necessarily use Yelp’sized versions of th...
A Day in the Park           An example of nomadic computing in action could be found at a theme park. Park visitors       ...
liked that ride you might like this one, too.” Child   theless, the overarching point is that this kind ofsafety alerts co...
own particular strategy, business rules, products       the need to adapt to the changing technologicaland use cases. In f...
in order to realize the potential benefits. The        Why will the application attract users? Whatprognosis for success i...
potentially lead to huge revenue streams for          •	 Presentation                                                     ...
New technology continues to arrive at an over-            mobile solutions to leverage the power of thewhelming pace. The ...
About the AuthorVartan Piroumian is an Enterprise Architect with Cognizant’s Information, Media and EntertainmentConsultin...
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Nomadic Computing with Mobile Devices


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With the explosion of mobile devices, software developers must exploit opportunities at the application layer and apply location-and presence-aware data to deliver services relevant to enterprises and consumers.

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Nomadic Computing with Mobile Devices

  1. 1. • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsNomadic Computing with Mobile DevicesWith the explosion of smartphones and tablet computers, softwaredevelopers must exploit opportunities at the application layer, applyinglocation- and presence-aware data to deliver services that are relevantto both enterprises and consumers. Executive Summary mining and internal and external cross-selling services that generate revenue for the business. Dramatic advancements in mobile technology, We also demonstrate the tremendous potential combined with the wide availability of sophisti- of this new paradigm for both enterprises and cated mobile devices, have enabled us to conduct consumers, alike. our daily personal computing and communica- tions activities on the go. As a result, we are fast From the Beginning becoming a society of nomadic computer users or, simply, nomads.1 Anyone who accesses his or her computing envi- ronment from different locations is a computing The vast majority of users today are able to nomad, or simply a nomad. Leonard Kleinrock, perform the same tasks on their mobile devices recognized as one of the founders of the Internet, as they traditionally performed on their laptops first coined the term in the late 1980s, when he or desktops. And although most users perceive — and his colleagues discovered the limitations of and use — their smartphones simply as portable the Internet infrastructure in supporting nomads laptops or desktops that offer the convenience of as they moved from office desk to conference mobile operation, these devices can be, in fact, room, living room, bedroom, den, hotel, airplane, much more than that. automobile and school. Still missing, however, is full support of nomadic The Internet protocol suite, specifically TCP/ computing at the applications layer. This white IP, assumed that users and their devices and IP paper describes a new paradigm that extends addresses would always be found in the same nomadic computing to the applications layer. location and would be tightly coupled. The problem Adoption of this paradigm will enable a new level was that users moving from one location to the of powerful applications to attract value-driven next needed to reconfigure their IP addresses, set users, creating tremendous business development Domain Name Services (DNS) gateway addresses opportunities for enterprises to offer electronic and so forth — and needed significant technical customer relationship marketing (e-CRM), data knowledge to do so. In short, nomadic computing cognizant 20-20 insights | november 2012
  2. 2. was not transparent to users, and it certainly was paradigm that gives us nomadicity at the network not convenient.2 layer up to the applications layer? If so, what would a nomadic computing infrastructure look Kleinrock and others attempted to eliminate these like at the applications layer? And what are the shortcomings and create a nomadic computing benefits? infrastructure that would support “nomadicity,” which Kleinrock defines as follows: We contend that the paradigm represented by nomadicity can be extrapolated to the applica- “… the system support needed to provide tions layer — for both fixed and mobile users. computing and communications capabilities For the purposes of this paper, we will focus on and services to nomads as they move from mobility because the business development place to place in a way that is transparent, opportunities are far more dramatic in the mobile integrated, convenient and adaptive.”3 domain than for fixed or stationary networks. When this vision is realized, the user experience Users should not have to deal with what Kleinrock on mobile devices will be greatly enhanced, and a called “discontinuities” between different devices more powerful platform will be created that will and locations, such as network connections, benefit users and create new opportunities for connection mechanisms, intermittent connec- the enterprise. tions, access to files, file system synchroniza- tion, printer configuration, bandwidth and load Nomadicity for Mobile Networks problems, etc. The ultimate goal was to make and Devices these configuration and access issues transpar- ent to the user. Why is nomadicity on mobile devices so important? How is the mobile platform different The Internet infrastructure and the hardware from the laptop or desktop platform? Why do and software products we enjoy today represent mobile devices promise to be the cornerstone of the success of nomadic computing researchers. a powerful new paradigm for applications when Today, connecting to the Internet from home is as outfitted with an applications-layer nomadic simple as connecting a modern router, plugging in computing capability? To answer these questions, a computer and running an we need to take a closer look at the technical dif- Can we extend the install script. Connecting ferences between mobile networks and stationary paradigm that gives to a wireless router is networks (the so-called fixed Internet). us nomadicity at the even selecting and network only simpler the involves Dynamic, Continuous Network Connectivity network layer up to to which to connect. The At the risk of stating the obvious, mobility isthe applications layer? complexities of setting really the inherent characteristic of mobile networks. And the one characteristic that most If so, what would a DNS configuringaddresses and server security differentiates mobile networks from so-called nomadic computing protocols are hidden from fixed networks is that mobile networks support infrastructure the user. That is, achieving dynamic mobility and dynamic network connec- tivity. Whether a user is stationary, walking or look like at the connectivityis and service availability transparent, riding on a high-speed train or roaming from one applications layer? convenient and adaptable. network provider’s cell tower to another’s, he or she can use the phone’s voice and data services Today’s mobile networks extend the nomadic without interruption. The network transparently computing paradigm and engineering achieve- handles such functions as cell site hand-offs, ments of the Internet pioneers. Anyone’s grand- network address updates, security, authentica- mother can use voice and data services to make tion and roaming. phone calls, send multimedia messages and send e-mail, anywhere, whether stationary or mobile, This dynamic connectedness is the manifesta- local or roaming. Here again, connectivity and tion of nomadicity at the network layer. Users service availability are transparent, convenient, connect to and use the network transparently, integrated and adaptive at the network layer and conveniently and adaptively. In contrast, the fixed below. Internet isn’t quite so flexible. Arguably, it is this flexibility that has contributed to the impressive But what about the applications layer that sits adoption rate of mobile devices. Adoption rates atop the network layer? Can we extend the are also a result of user perception of the novelty cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  3. 3. and convenience of mobility (as discussed later in to any application without user intervention.this paper). Combined with underlying mobile network support for continuously connected mobility,Dynamically Updated Physical Location applications can provide useful information toInformation the nomad, and the nomad can enjoy a rich userMobile devices have one other important dis- experience.tinguishing characteristic: Dynamically updatedphysical location information, provided by their Mobile applications havebuilt-in global position system (GPS) receivers. already started to take Each applicationThis difference — in conjunction with the dynamic, advantage of the power must be built with its of the mobile device’scontinuous connectivity of mobile networks — dynamic location informa- own infrastructure torenders the mobile device a profoundly powerfulplatform on which to build a new computing tion capability. For example, provide the full scopeparadigm at the applications layer. search results in the Google of services needed, Maps mobile application areMobile vs. Portable ordered by first displaying from UI to database.The dynamic nature of mobile devices makes them matches that are closest tomore than just conveniently portable consumer the user’s current geographic location. However,electronics that mimic our desktops and laptops. at this stage in the development of such solutions,To see why, let’s contrast the paradigm that each effort is largely isolated. Each applica-dominates our computer use today with the new tion must be built with its own infrastructure toone enabled by the mobile infrastructure. provide the full scope of services needed, from UI to database.Many Internet sites, such as Yahoo, Google andYelp, were originally built to address fixed-loca- One piece is still missing from the technologi-tion users. These mainstream sites encourage cal landscape needed to support a generation ofdesktop and laptop users to enter personal profile these applications: the applications layer infra-information that the site can use to provide useful structure across the enterprise that will enableinformation and services. For example, based on the presentation of useful applications to theyour ZIP code, the site can present ads for local nomad.businesses, offer a starting point for drivingdirections, provide pertinent local weather infor- Nomadicity at the Applications Layer:mation and so forth. A Closer Look It’s clear that mobile devices support trueThe limitation of this paradigm is that user infor- nomadicity at the network layer and below, butmation is static, which doesn’t accommodate full benefits require nomadicity at the applica-nomads. Yelp does fine when you search for a tions layer. Applications-layer support enableslocal restaurant near your home — when you’re applications to behave in a way that is trans-actually at home. But what if you’re out of town parent, integrated, convenient and adaptive. Ofor even across town and you’re trying to find a course, a nomadic application — like any othernearby restaurant? Instead of search results software application — utilizes the platform’sshowing restaurants in proximity of your actual support beneath it; nomadic applications utilizelocation, you still see listings within proximity the nomadicity support at the network layer andof your “home” location. Of course you could below.change your profile ZIP code, refresh the portalpage and begin a new search, or you could enter Still, what really is a nomadic application? Athe current location address for each action. This nomadic application is one that behaves in a wayneed for manual intervention is not convenient, that is transparent, integrated, convenient andtransparent or adaptive; that is, it does not reflect adaptive from the perspective of the user. Let’sthe qualities of nomadicity and, therefore, does look at what this means in the context of mobilenot serve the nomad. devices.Mobile devices, on the other hand, have a built-in • Transparent: Computer science defines trans-GPS receiver that provides dynamic and accurate parency as “functioning without the user be-physical location information that is available ing aware of its presence.”4 Transparency cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  4. 4. moves the user further away from the underly- namically available user location information ing technology and from knowledge of design, enables search results to be ranked according structure or implementation details. For exam- to proximity to the user’s current location. So ple, users do not need to be aware of how or a search for a location will first display those from where data is retrieved, such as whether matches that are closest to the user’s current a browser was used to retrieve data or from location. This adaptive behavior is certainly which Web site the data came. convenient for the user, who doesn’t have to explicitly provide his or her physical location Consider a scenario involving the mainstream as is necessary if using a laptop or desktop. browser-based version of the Google Maps application. The user provides search text, and The nomadicity qualities of transparency, inte- the application displays a map with a red pin gration, convenience and adaptive behavior denoting the geographic are all closely related. And generally, the more The realization location of each match. integrated and transparent applications are, the As a result of the user of nomadicity in selecting a pin, the applica- more convenient and adaptive they become.enterprise architecture tion launches the device’s The goal of achieving these qualities is particular- will be the lynchpin of Web browser to display a ly important in the mobile arena, because the vast Web page with informa- majority of users are not technical professionals. enterprise solutions tion about that location. Moreover, the small screens and challenging user that are capable of The experience is not interfaces make it more difficult for the average driving user adoption transparent because the consumer to feel comfortable with relatively non- user clearly recognizes the intuitive swipes and taps. The simpler and more and creating business browser, its address bar, intuitive the user experience, the greater the opportunity. the URL displayed and the adoption rate for nomadic devices and the more familiar browser display potential for business. window — the same view the user would see if he or she launched the Web browser directly. Nomadicity Throughout the Enterprise Most of today’s applications are similarly not So far, we’ve focused on the user interface in elu- transparent in this manner. cidating nomadicity on mobile devices. Although • Integrated: An integrated version might em- the user interface represents the application to bed the browser function in the application. the typical user, in reality, it is just a façade or pre- Now the user sees the same content, albeit sentation component of the application. in a view that has the same “skin” as the con- The majority of today’s networked, distributed taining application instead of the stand-alone applications reside throughout many tiers of browser application’s view, which results in a the enterprise. Therefore, a complete treatment consistent look-and-feel across all application of nomadicity must include a description of it in views. every tier of an application’s enterprise architec- The integration that results in embedding the ture. Specifically, nomadic applications require browser and “hiding” its use also achieves support for nomadicity across all tiers of the transparency. The user does not need to be enterprise architecture. aware of how the application presents the content. The realization of nomadicity in enterprise archi- tecture will be the lynchpin of enterprise solutions • Convenient: Integration also engenders con- that are capable of driving user adoption and venience. The application takes the user to creating business opportunity. The reason for the screen that performs the appropriate this, stated throughout this paper, is the growing task, precluding the need for manually launch- acceptance of mobile devices resulting from ing multiple independent applications. In the the novelty and convenience of mobility. As Google Maps application, the user does not more nomadic applications become available, have to launch a browser manually to look up consumers will change the way and extent to the restaurant information on the Yelp Web which they use their mobile devices. site. • Adaptive: The most obvious example of adap- Today, however, there is only a fledgling presence tive behavior is the device’s GPS receiver. Con- of support for nomadicity across the entire tinuing with the Google Maps example, the dy- enterprise. As a result, users still see their mobile cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  5. 5. devices as conveniently portable, cute, miniatur- Google applications won’t necessarily use Yelp’sized versions of their laptops and desktops and, database of information, and Yelp users won’tconsequently, use them as such. They fire up one benefit from having detailed Yelp account profilesapplication for one task, another for another task when using the Google Maps application. As aand so on. The reason for this interaction model is result, there will still be competing silos of appli-that applications are largely silos that exist inde- cations.pendently from one another. Although applica-tions such as Google Maps or Yelp exhibit some Competition is an obstacle to sharing servicesaspects of nomadicity in their UIs, there is no and information, so it’s not likely that Google,integration of services and data. Yelp, MapQuest or other companies will be motivated Each user account isNomadicity across the enterprise addresses the to provide services or datatransparency, integration, convenience and adap- that benefit their competi- maintained separately,tive behavior of services and data. Each applica- tors’ applications. But even and users duplicatetion focuses on providing a specific function to the if competition were not a profile informationuser, and the back-end enterprise infrastructure factor, it’s a difficult task tobehind each UI is a “silo.” That is, the Google Maps provide services and data many times over. Theyapplication uses Google’s map database and enter- that serve the needs of all. also have to rememberprise services, and Yelp uses its own database of Thus we have the silos of where they have suchinformation. Even the Google Now application uses service we see today.Google’s databases of information. accounts, along with Nevertheless, there is still the account names,Applications that exhibit many nomadic charac- tremendous opportunity forteristics today, such as Google Now and Google companies to produce very passwords and otherAnywhere, are still the exception. And despite the specific company- or brand- details.noteworthy achievements of these applications, centric nomadic applica-even applications within the same company are tions in which all elements are controlled by thenot integrated. For example, Google Mail, Calendar creator. A given company could build dedicatedand Voice are not integrated, and access to them applications using its own services and data thatis certainly neither transparent nor convenient can more easily be made to support nomadicity.for the user — even on the desktop. In fact, even And these services and data could deliver a levelGoogle Voice itself is not well integrated as a of detail not possible when one data providerunified communications platform. tries to service many partners. The key factor for success, however, is that the provider mustAnother factor amplifying the problem of silos have access to all the data necessary to make theof services and data is user account and profile application useful to the end user.management. Yelp users each have a dedicatedaccount, with personal preferences for food, An Example: The Theme Parklocation and so forth. Yelp’s mobile applica- To help elucidate these ideas, let’s examine ation uses its own back-end services. A Yelp user sample application. How could an amusementmight have a Google Maps account with another park enhance the experience of its patrons if itpersonal profile that stores preferences such as were to create a mobile application that tookstarting locations for driving directions, favorite advantage of nomadicity? One idea is an applica-places, etc. tion that people can use while visiting the park. In fact, major theme parks have already begunEach user account is maintained separately, and building this type of application.users duplicate profile information many timesover. They also have to remember where they Let’s say you are planning to take your family tohave such accounts, along with the account one of the company’s theme parks. Prior to yournames, passwords and other details. Even if there visit, you download the park’s mobile application.is a mobile application that provides an alternative Before you arrive, the application aggregatesto using a browser, the user must use each such all of your profile information from the themeapplication independently. The overall user expe- park company’s Web portal, where you have anrience of accessing services and data is neither account. As the one company that is the soleintegrated nor convenient nor transparent. creator of its enterprise systems, the theme park cognizant 20-20 insights 5
  6. 6. A Day in the Park An example of nomadic computing in action could be found at a theme park. Park visitors would download a location-specific app onto their mobile devices that aggregates profile information from the company’s Web portal. Sensing where the visitors are in their journey throughout the park, the app would make recommendations relevant to individual needs and interests. “Child safety alert. Jake has wandered 75 feet away.” “The gift shop ahead sells antacids.” “The best Jambalaya you’ve ever tasted is Cajun Cabin 20 feet ahead.” “If you liked the spinning swing ride, you might also enjoy the spinning “Stop in and see octopus ride.” Emma’s favorite, “Wait time: Princess Flora.” 7 minutes.” “Tell us how you liked this ride.” Figure 1 has a unified customer database through which The more information the application has about all of its enterprise systems across all operating the customer, the more it can cater to the units have a single view of each consumer, patron customer’s interests. If the visitor entered infor- or online account owner. The system knows each mation about food preferences, an alert can be and every customer, as well as their interests, sent when a suitable restaurant, snack kiosk food preferences, ride preferences, age and as or store that sells that food is nearby; or it can much information as the guide visitors to restaurants corresponding to The more information customer cares to provide. their stated interests upon entering the park and provide turn-by-turn directions to walk there. the application has This application is alsoabout the customer, the location-aware, presence- Suppose another visitor finished eating the spicy aware and nomadic. As a jambalaya at one of the park’s themed restau-more it can cater to the family walks down one of rants. Thirty minutes later, an alert could send customer’s interests. the main promenades in him to a park store that sells antacid or send an the park, the application alert when he passes such a store. It could even points out details of the décor, design and history send the alert to his dad but not his sibling based of the attractions. It might reveal that a particular on the visitor’s age stored in his profile (assuming area was a movie set or that the area is themed for kids don’t get heartburn!). particular characters of the company’s cartoons, movies or other brands. A pop-up lets the visitor As he approaches a ride, an alert could foretell indicate whether she is interested in more of these the wait time to board. It could reveal whether the informational tidbits. If she previously indicated ride supports advance reservations and display interest in certain characters, for example, the reservation time slots, allowing him to reserve app could inform her exactly where the related and send a reservation number. Upon exiting the themed areas were and how to walk there. ride, a different kind of alert could say, “If you cognizant 20-20 insights 6
  7. 7. liked that ride you might like this one, too.” Child theless, the overarching point is that this kind ofsafety alerts could warn mom and dad anytime application, achievable today, can easily generatejunior strolls more than 75 feet away from them. very accurate consumer profile and demographic information, which would enable more effective,Perhaps at home, junior plays one of the games targeted marketing, as well as upselling, cross-online developed by the theme park on its Web selling and sharing, ultimately generating moreportal. Upon entering the park, an alert can revenue.5suggest a shop where his mom and dad mightwant to take him to buy the game’s branded para- For example, a theme This kind of applicationphernalia. These examples depict how enterprise park could integrate just- can easily generatedata integration across all of a theme park in-time inventory control very accurate consumercompany’s services can support cross-selling that uses dynamicallyacross all of its business units. collected data to re-order profile and demographic inventory, ranging from information, which wouldThe park operator can use the data accumulat- food to T-shirts, with finer enable more effective,ed by the application to provide e-CRM services granularity to streamlineto customers. For example, the app could ask a its operations and targeted marketing,customer if he or she liked the music played on operate more efficiently. upselling, cross-sellinga particular ride or in a certain restaurant or The data is also useful in and sharing, ultimatelythroughout one of the park’s themed areas and, planning new rides, res-based on the answer, suggest music that fits taurants, products, ideas generating morehis or her preferences. As well as serving the for new movie themes, revenue.patron, this capability enables cross-selling of the etc., based on analysis ofcompany’s brands and business units. data that indicates how many people congregate around which attractions and at what time of day.For companies with parks in multiple countries, The potential for demographic data is effectivelythe app could be internationalized and localized limitless. Data could be made anonymous andto cater to patrons around the globe, automati- sold to partners or even competitors.cally using location-aware offerings and localizeduser experience elements. The Value for UsersThe Business Proposition Ultimately, the best way to generate revenue is to provide features and services that users perceiveThe theme park example highlights the value for as valuable. If users accept and use the applica-both the user and the enterprise. The popularity tion, the business will naturally benefit.of mobile devices, coupled with the transparency,convenience, dynamic nature and adaptability Consumers have grown weary of the incessantof the application, make it easy, convenient and assault from company solicitations from mail,enjoyable for users. And the ability to gather e-mail and applications with built-in advertisingdynamic, detailed, relevant information about messages. They will probably not easily acceptusers is valuable to the enterprise. applications that simply appear to be aimed at getting them to buy more. Instead, applica-For a business to sell to a consumer, it must know tions should suggest products or services thatsomething about that consumer. And to retain the consumers might find valuable. This determina-customer, it must demonstrate value. The enter- tion should ideally be based on information aboutprise needs the ability to collect information about their past buying preferences. That is, purchasethe consumer and offer something perceived as suggestions should now represent products andvaluable. The business then generates revenue services that are legitimately of potential interestthrough the following functions: to consumers instead of a sales tactic that• E-CRM. attempts to entice them to just buy more.• Data mining. Challenges and Potential for a Variety• Internal and external cross-selling and of Applications and Enterprises upselling. Any corporation could conceivably create a• Just-in-time inventory control. customized application along the lines of theA comprehensive treatment of each of these theme park example to serve its business andareas is beyond the scope of this paper. Never- customers in a way that reflects the enterprise’s cognizant 20-20 insights 7
  8. 8. own particular strategy, business rules, products the need to adapt to the changing technologicaland use cases. In fact, many large companies — landscape and is actively working on expanding itsparticularly those flush with capital — have already map databases and creating more detailed maps,begun creating such applications to leverage the street views, etc. The company is also formingdynamic, location-aware mobile platforms that business agreements that enable it to createaddress their particular business domains and detailed views and maps for private entities suchmarkets. as museums.As mentioned previously, the most viable But even Google is subject to constraints andapproach today would be for each enterprise obstacles. Other companies such as Yelp wantto build its own custom application, use its own to advertise their brand and are creating theirdatabases and brand its own self-contained appli- own mobile applications. In general, corporationscation with a unique look that extends its store- are reluctant to share data with each other forfront brands, trademarks, products, etc. A single competitive reasons. And even if they do, thecompany can probably move more adaptively generalized data that must serve all consumersthan multiple organizations attempting to share of this data can never serve a specific group ofdata and process siloes with each other, as the consumers as well as a focused application. Incapabilities for inter-enterprise data exchange, short, although there is limitless potential, theremeta-information tagging, Web services and are also tangible obstaclesother technologies are still in the primordialstages of development. Regardless of which strategic approach is taken — the enterprise-specific model or the servicesNevertheless, not every company is going to model delivered to multiple clients — each mobilehave the resources to build a map database that application should strive to manifest the qualitiesrivals Google’s. In fact, Google itself recognizes of nomadicity, and should target the nomad Quick TakePrivacy and SecurityDespite the vast potential for dynamic location- cation should control the complete system andand presence-aware mobile technology, there is utilize its database of user information. Usersalso the potential for abuse. Today’s smartphones could be given the ability to specify the level ofand tablets are vulnerable to malicious external personal information they want to be used orapplications or software agents, which can com- shared, and the company need never share datamunicate with open mobile devices even without with any external system or organization. In short,the user’s knowledge. Already, we’re seeing the company would control the whole enterprise,examples of applications deployed by stores in from infrastructure to software to data.shopping malls that send unsolicited messages to In fact, it is more feasible to build this kind of anunprotected mobile devices as the device owners application when one company controls all aspectswalk within proximity of the store. of the system. The problem of sharing meaningfulToday’s mobile devices have features such as auto- information between companies disappears. Formatic sharing of location information and auto- instance, the company gathers the data it knowsdiscovery and connection to wireless networks. its application needs to create a meaningful userWhile aiding the transparent and convenient use experience. Gone is the problem of seeking thatof services, these features also expose the device information from a third-party company or think-— and the user — to vulnerability and disclosure of ing about how that data provider would be ableprivate information. to represent the data and how the systems would interact to exchange the information.It is imperative that any company building thetype of hypothetical application presented in this The result: Users would benefit from a rich appli-paper take precautions to ensure the privacy and cation experience while enjoying the security andsecurity of the consumer. Technically, it is not dif- privacy of their personal information.ficult to do so. The company building the appli- cognizant 20-20 insights 8
  9. 9. in order to realize the potential benefits. The Why will the application attract users? Whatprognosis for success is very good because of benefits will users derive from its use? How willthe unique combination of features of an applica- the nomadic qualities of the application catertions-layer nomadic computing infrastructure on to the nomadic user? How will it support themobile devices, including: company’s basic business? What is the real benefit to the company?• Popularity and enthusiastic adoption of mobile devices. What is the revenue model The collection and• Continuous mobile device connectivity. for the application? Does processing of global the company charge for• Continuous and dynamic physical location the application or give it personal location data information. away for free? If the latter, is the cornerstone of a• Applications-layer support of nomadicity. can the company make whole new category of money selling anonymousNearly any enterprise could benefit from this data collected about users, BI that promises huge demographic data, trend revenue streams forkind of application, including grocery stores,book stores, department stores, airlines, real data, statistics, business companies.estate companies and medical device monitoring analytics and so forth? Orin hospitals or at home.6 What we see today is can it use data collected from the application tojust the beginning of an evolution of technology support another aspect of its business?and applications that take advantage of nomadicprinciples. An important success factor for nomadic applica- tions is the strategy behind the application thatBuilding Nomadic Applications marries the company’s business needs with thoseCompanies are building these types of applica- of the consumer.tions today, but they represent just a fraction ofwhat is possible and just a few examples of the Creating a Suitable Enterprise Architecturekinds of enterprises such applications could serve. In addition to an effective business model, the enterprise architecture needs to ensure that theLearning how to build such systems now is critical. realization of the system supports the businessWe’re already seeing pieces of the technology vision. The enterprise architecture assesses anand technological infrastructure being created application from multiple perspectives, such asthat will soon comprise the applications-layer business, technology and infrastructure, andmiddleware needed to build nomadic systems. It it describes the manifestation of the applica-won’t be long before the pieces are integrated tion that will support the business needs of theinto useful products at the enterprise level. Orga- enterprise.nizations that acquire experience early on will beahead of the competitive field. Defining the right enterprise architecture is an important step in ensuring the success of theDevelopers must consider the following factors nomadic application. Nomadic computing bringswhen conceiving, architecting, designing and new challenges to the technical arena of thecreating a nomadic application: enterprise architecture, such as the need for many• Congruence with company business model: of the technologies in vogue today, namely “big What are the business needs, purpose and val- data” analytics, enterprise search, data mining ue of the application? and potentially unstructured data. These types of applications will challenge the enterprise archi-• Enterprise architecture: What is the mani- tecture even more than the traditional enterprise festation of a system that supports the busi- applications that use these technologies. ness needs? What are the critical obstacles to success? Once again, we see that it is the near real-time — or dynamic — nature of nomadicity that addsConceiving a Viable Business Model complexity to the mix. Presumably, the nomadicAs with any application, it is vitally important for application will be collecting user location data onan enterprise-scale nomadic application to show an ongoing basis. The collection and processingbusiness value and encompass a clear vision of its of global personal location data is the corner-purpose. The application must be attractive and stone of a whole new category of BI processingnovel to users, yet it must also show some benefit that promises to generate information that couldto the company. cognizant 20-20 insights 9
  10. 10. potentially lead to huge revenue streams for • Presentation of meaningful information that companies. (For more on this subject, read our can be managed by users. paper, “BI Goes Mobile: The Future of Information is Here.”) • Adaptability to changing usage profiles. • Effective leverage of consumer trends, media And, generally, these and information.From innovative mobile applications will need to user interfaces to perform dynamic analytical • Adaptability to changing platform technology, such as mobile platforms. traditional data center processing, which becomes much more complex than • Integration of technology components or technologies, nomadic simply updating the user’s products that serve BI, data mining, analytics,applications will inspire location on a map as he or social media. the coalescence of she moves around. Once • Performance. again considering the thememany technologies and park example, imagine the • Scalability. the creation of new amount of processing, per- Although a discussion of each of these topics is capabilities. formance and scalability in itself an involved undertaking, the overarch- required to play a song that ing concern is the specific requirements of the the user likes as he or she walks past a store that nomadic application. sells that music or past a ride whose theme song is one that the user previously indicated he or she The Future of Convergence liked in an online profile. Contrast this scenario Like any other domain or application, enterprise- with the analytical processing that a credit card scale nomadic computing applications will have company might perform when offering coupons their own challenges — some strategic and some for products related to previous purchases. technical — and each specific application will have That kind of processing is done in “batch” mode its own set of critical-path issues to resolve. But against relational databases, perhaps days after there is a genuine characteristic that distinguish- the purchase. In fact, it can be done any time, es this class of enterprise-scale nomadic applica- periodically throughout the month, quarter or tions: the nomadic user. year. There is no need for dynamic processing. Nomads, along with their nomadic devices, might The technology architecture is an important part very well be the combination that catalyzes the of the full scope of the enterprise architecture convergence of a very broad range of technolo- that ensures an application supports the vision gies into a single application. From innovative for its use. The kinds of nomadic applications mobile user interfaces to traditional data center described in this white paper require well-thought- technologies, nomadic applications will inspire out technology and technical architectures. the coalescence of many technologies and the creation of new capabilities. While challeng- Bringing such applications to fruition requires ing, it is not only feasible but imminent. As a nontrivial amount of resources. There is engineers and architects discover how to make tremendous cost associated with the research, these offerings viable, we’ll undoubtedly see an planning, inception and realization of technology explosion of applications that bridge the gap infrastructures capable of supporting enterprise- between BI, analytical processing, data mining, scale nomadic applications that might serve tens reporting, social media and mobility. of thousands of users or even millions of users. Besides addressing the technical challenges, an The creation and availability of advanced mobile enterprise architecture can help in performing a technology has transformed us into a world of cost-benefit analysis with respect to the business nomads. Coming full cycle, society’s embrace and financial considerations. of that technology will continue to drive further advances, which, in turn, will result in continuing Technology choices naturally follow the needs enthusiastic adoption. Already, in five markets, of the business and the application itself. Some there are more mobile users with data services important factors to consider are: than home networking.7 Tremendous potential • Safeguarding of sensitive personal information awaits those organizations that can create a sim- and general security. pler, more powerful user experience for nomads. cognizant 20-20 insights 10
  11. 11. New technology continues to arrive at an over- mobile solutions to leverage the power of thewhelming pace. The availability of new technology mobile infrastructure, concomitantly achievingwill be the catalyst that joins business ideas and the goal of insulating users from encumber-technical solutions to precipitate the creation ing complexity. Realizing an infrastructure thatof new products. But as technology becomes exhibits these characteristics in the mobilemore complex, so does the need to insulate the domain is particularly attractive because of theuser from that complexity while still enabling a continuing pervasiveness, popularity and allure ofmore powerful, meaningful and convenient user mobile devices.experience. That is the goal of nomadic computingin the mobile device arena. Many intelligent individuals are working toward building on advanced technologies to createBringing full nomadicity to the applications layer stunning examples of nomadic mobile applica-and leveraging the power and potential of mobile tions. There is plenty of opportunity in this area,computing is a sound strategy. Transparency, con- and now is the time to start your journey.venience, integration and adaptability will enableFootnotes1 Leonard Kleinrock, “Nomadic Computing (Keynote Address),” Telecommunications Systems, Vol. 7, 1997, pp. 5-15.2 Leonard Kleinrock, “Nomadic Computing,” Information Network and Data Communication, IFIP/ICCC International Conference on Information Network and Data Communication, Trondheim, Norway, June 1996, pp. 223-233.3 Leonard Kleinrock, “Breaking Loose,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 44, No. 9, September 2001.4 New Oxford American Dictionary, 2010.5 Elisabeth Horwitt, “Busting Down the Silos,” ComputerWorld, June 7, 2012.6 “Multi-Use, Multi-Revenue Networks for the Hospitality Industry,” Nomadix, Inc., June 2005.7 John SanGiovanni, “The Phone is Poised to Usurp the PC’s Throne,” Gigaom.com, April 29, 2012.References• Ken Arnold, Ann Wollrath, Bryan O’Sullivan, Robert Scheifler and Jim Waldo, The Jini Specification, Addison-Wesley, 1999.• Cisco Unified Presence Server Documentation.• “The Digital Object Identifier System,” The International DOI Foundation, April 2012.• Sam X. Sun, S. Reilly, L. Lannom, Handle System Namespace and Service Definition. Internet Engi- neering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC), RFC 3651, November 2003.• Sam X. Sun, S. Reilly, L. Lannom and J. Petrone, “Handle System Protocol (ver 2.1) Specification,” Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comments, RFC 3652, November 2003.• Sam X. Sun, L. Lannom and B. Boesch, “Handle System Overview,” Internet Engineering Task Force Request for Comments, RFC 3651, November 2003.• Susan Veness, The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World, Adams Media, 2009. cognizant 20-20 insights 11
  12. 12. About the AuthorVartan Piroumian is an Enterprise Architect with Cognizant’s Information, Media and EntertainmentConsulting Practice. He is the author of two books on Java technology, Java GUI Development, J2MEWireless Platform Programming and several journal articles. Prior to joining Cognizant, Vartan was asoftware systems architect with Sun Microsystems’ Java professional services group, where he workedwith a variety of technologies and, in particular, with some of the world’s largest mobile carriers in theU.S., Europe and the Far East. He can be reached at Vartan.Piroumian@cognizant.com.About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 150,400 employees as of September 30, 2012, Cognizant is a member ofthe NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performingand fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at  www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiry@cognizant.com Email: infouk@cognizant.com Email: inquiryindia@cognizant.com©­­ Copyright 2012, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.