Mobile Strategy – Challenges for IT

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There is a fast pace that is evolving the devices, platforms, operating system features and above all the mobile user demands. This brings the IT of the enterprise to a never-ending research mode with challenging situation for deliveries.

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Mobile Strategy – Challenges for IT

  1. 1. Mobile Strategy - Challenges for IT Solutions
  2. 2. Introduction The innovation rate in mobile devices, social software and cloud computing is accelerating faster than the enterprise adaptation rate. IT organizations that fail to adapt to this new reality will lose their relevance in the era of pervasive mobility. Reference: Gartner PublicationThere is a fast pace that is evolving the devices, platforms, operating system features and above all the mobile userdemands.This brings the IT of the enterprise to a never-ending research mode with challenging situation for deliveries.Trends-to-CheckKeeping pace with the changing times is not only the main focus but a mandatory activity now. How do you then planfor the future? The trends in the mobile market make an enterprise plan effectively and in a dynamic mode. Thelongest terms plan that you can afford to have is probably 6 months!From a technology perspective, some of these factors largely affect the mobile strategy of your enterprise: Availability of development and productivity tools While the increasing number of development tools and the solutions for mobile productivity increases, it is going to become more and more difficult to differentiate between the solution provider and the garbage thrower. Uncertainty of mobile device features It is a trend to release a new OS version every 6-9 months. And every new version brings in new features that are really productive in nature. To cope with the upcoming features, one needs to plan well in advance to leverage the best out of them. Reduction in cost of mobile devices This may not seem to be an issue with larger enterprises. However, the lowering in cost of mobile devices is hurting the SME sector at large. Employees tend to bring their own mobile devices and that will want the enterprise to plan to make maximum use of the situation. For that, having the right tools and solutions on the devices will become the key.
  3. 3. Convergence of services Mobility has its own advantages for any business. The current trend shows that more and more functions of your enterprise are now dependent on each other. The visibility of information on mobile devices makes collaboration easier. However, there is a need to converge the information for all these functions in an aligned manner. Evaluation of typical factors like cost, security, compliance and reach For the IT function, these factors are always needed before any implementation, adoption, migration, development or trend gets adopted. Therefore, evaluating the factors like costs involved in development – software and hardware, security concerns due to OTA (over-the-air), compliance (information security) and the proper distribution of the solution is a very important consideration. A product manufacturer devised a product with a mobile device as one of the components. The device interface planning had to be prioritized because integrating devices with Apple iOS more challenging as compared to the Android OS. Understand the platform restrictions and limitations right at strategy level.What will you do to overcome all these challenges? There is no silver bullet to this and lot will depend on the size andculture of your organization. Therefore, what approach to take for the mobility of your organization, is not a straight-forward job. This paper intends to bring light to such techniques and information that will enable your IT to sailthrough the challenges.Technology ConsiderationsAccording to Gartner, in their Feb 12, 2011 paper for Top 10 Mobile Technologies, following are the recommendations: Identify the mobile technologies that will be highly influential to the organization in the next two years, and plan for their deployment and exploitation. Identify ways to exploit the potential of these mobile technologies in employee and customer facing applications.These recommendations offer a great deal of width in terms of the actual development and deployment needs for anenterprise. What best fits is always dynamic in nature and to that when you add the technology challenges, theequation becomes more complex.
  4. 4. The same paper addressed the following factors considered in the analysis of the technologies: Improved infrastructure Innovative applications or experiences More effective mobile application delivery Better management and control New business opportunities An enterprise wanted a tablet app for its Sales force. The CRM integration was most important factor. With necessary trials between direct connectivity to SalesForce and CSV file of CRM data the optimal solution was derived for the final version. Evaluate your data before you consume it in the enterprise apps.Keeping Pace with TechnologyTechnology, ever since its evolvement, has been known for its pace of development. All the Moores Laws and theprinciples are actually getting faster with the changing times. There is no remedy and no control over the way changesaffect this industry.While there were limited terminology and acronyms available in earlier days, the current times are seeing a huge heapof such terms. With all the hype of terms, the need for evaluating hypes has also gripped the markets! Tools like thehype cycle have enabled folks to review and analyze the new trends in the market.Therefore, as an enterprise, it is extremely important to pace the mobility drive of your org with the pace of the markettrends. Is this really important? If yes, how important is it for your organization?Gartner in the mobile technologies paper suggests some very interesting ones. Make sure that you evaluate theenterprise priorities for the following technologies before you get into the mobile strategy in 2013. Before youprioritize this, it is also necessary to gauge the hype for that technology from the Gartners report on mobiletechnologies too.
  5. 5. Source: Gartner Inc.s 2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging TechnologiesFollowing are the top 10 technologies as per the Gartner report. While it is important to understand these technologiesand try to leverage on them, it is also necessary that you dont get intimidated by any of these. Plan your strategyaround these with the organizational culture and overall vision in mind. Technology Description HTML5 Just a newer version of HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). However, this version has become powerful and hence it has more demand, especially on the mobile devices. Ask the oldies if they ever paid attention to the version number of earlier HTML version Read More at Wikipedia NFC Near Field Communication, as the name suggests, is meant for communication in the near vicinity. It is a standard RFID-based technology and is considered powerful/secure because there is a very short distance that allows information exchange between the reader and the chip. Read More at Wikipedia
  6. 6. Platform-Independent Mobile devices and the device operating systems are aplenty and so are theApplication Development programming techniques on each of the OSs. While each one tries to perform(AD) Tools best in the native form (programming supported by the OS), there are ways in which you could code once and port the app to multiple platforms. Although, HTML5 provides such a capability too (for most features) to develop web apps, but is not as effective as native apps. Read more at WikipediaLocation and Context Devices with location information (GPS) on them have made innovators take advantage of the location and feed or extract contextual information from the users or to the users. Location-based services attract more and more app developers and equally the app users. Read more at WikipediaBluetooth 4 Bluetooth is something that got popular with the mobile devices – especially for the voice connectivity for individual to use such wireless device to communicate. The latest version, number 4, provides a much more practical approach to the technology. Unlike its predecessors, the Ver. 4 consumes lower energy and hence devices based on this are referred popularly as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy). Read more at Wikipedia802.11ac Everything is about the speed and accuracy and the 802.11 standard in its native form is very well known to each one of us as Wi-Fi. The newer standards bring in better frequency utilization and better application. The 802.11ac and 802.11ad bring in higher speeds. The term WiGig (Wireless Gigabit Alliance) is a consortium developing devices and the needed technology for this high- speed wireless network. Read more at WikipediaMachine to machine (M2M) The communication of people-2-machine is getting more powerful and hence aand Smart Products need to introduce machine-2-machine enhancements. Using the standard protocols for communication (wireless or wired), equipment that has sensors and the proper platform for application, the M2M has gained popularity in manufacturing and field services. Read more on M2M and Read more on Smart Products at WikipediaAugmented Reality (AR) Unlike the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) got more popularity due to the existence of cameras in the mobile devices. Apps with implementation of AR became popular on devices and commercial application as initiated. Although, the implementations are in nascent stages and there is a lot that can be done in this area. Read more at Wikipedia
  7. 7. Multiplatform MDM MDM or Mobile Device Management is an important menace after the advent of mobile device growth in the industry. Most IT professionals are now busy finding the right platform for their MDM needs. Add to this the apathy created by the BYOD (Bring Your Own device) policies and you land-up into a need of Multiplatform MDM solution. Read more at Wikipedia LTE This concept is again got to do with speed and accuracy. Just that this is related to the mobile devices because of the wireless communication protocol that it uses. The 4G network in most cases leverages the LTE and offers excellent quality for mobile devices for communication. Read more at WikipediaAdditional suggested reading is suggested from Wikipedia for above terms. For all of the above, reading of Wikipedialinks is used as reference. A manufacturer of bearings is willing to automate their warehouse using an existing SAP database and a mobile app. A thorough analysis of 2D barcodes, QR Codes and NFC was made and then the solution planned with the views of stake holders – users and management both. Encourage all stake holders and try practically before executing.ConclusionThis paper is intended to get you much focused view of what problems lie in the enterprise mobility arena and howyou can address them when you are looking for a mobile strategy for your organization.A very detailed view can be found in papers available from research bodies like Gartner. One such reference isavailable as CIOs Next-Generation Mobile Strategy Checklist.After considering various technology challenges and trends, the biggest challenge for any enterprise is to decidewhether to opt for hiring or outsourcing depending on their requirements.Read more about this in our next Whitepaper – Mobile Strategy: Hiring versus Outsourcing.About Softweb SolutionsSoftweb Solutions is a leading Mobile Application Development company. Our team of adroit developers strives todeliver the most innovative mobile solutions to match business requirements. For more information, contact us atinfo@softwebsolutions.com or visit us at www.softwebsolutions.com

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