3 Challenges Associated With Enterprise Mobility This Year
Mobile applications are evolving. An increasing number of organizations are keen on building employee apps, integrating them with their existing back-end systems and enabling their staff access and manage corporate information. When CIOs are considering designing mobile applications for an enterprise, securely integrating them with the back-end systems already in place - that were not developed with mobile devices in mind - can be a real challenge.
Notwithstanding this issue, the pressure for the enterprises to remain competitive is always there, meaning they have to be innovative and keep developing additional mobile apps for their customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders.
Supporting technological innovation
Due to high demand, designers are increasingly focusing on agile development techniques like maintaining the current legacy systems and controlling IT activities pertaining infrastructure. Security and policy remains very important.
In order to manage the rising demand for mobile applications while simultaneously maintaining the usefulness of currently existing systems, industry analysts believe that enterprise IT should adopt a bi-modal approach that will in addition to maintaining stability in core ICT also support agile development.
Gartner also supports the idea of adopting this two-track approach so that businesses are able to unite ICT teams while simultaneously combining agility with system stability so as to take advantage of the many digital opportunities in the industry.
While mobile application platforms have the potential to enhance customer experience and greatly increase the levels of productivity in employees by playing the role of a conduit, capable of directly connecting massive datasets in the enterprise to their users, most back-end systems were not developed to integrate with mobile devices this way.
Some enterprises have tried addressing this bottleneck by using MBaaS (or mobile backend-as-a-service) platforms, a service which enables them to mobilize in a much more lightweight, component-based, agile way. MBaaS makes it possible to have a development approach that focuses on the creation of micro-services, i.e. loosely-coupled parts of systems that are defined by the APIs that connect them. In addition to rapid development of mobile apps, this approach allows major re-use of code as well as extensibility across different applications, projects and teams.
As a rising number of organizations continue looking for secure and effective integration between mobile users and their enterprise back-end systems, MarketsandMarkets is forecasting that the BaaS market across the globe is going to increase from the $216.5 million seen in 2012 to $7.7 billion in the year 2017.
According to Gigaom, five key factors are expected to have a major impact on the enterprise MBaaS market over the coming 2 years. They include mobile-first development; the enterprise necessity to unlock back-end data repositories; devops & agile development methodologies; the converging of features provided for by PaaS or platform-as-a-service providers & MBaaS vendors; and finally the pressure on ICT teams to have control over access to sensitive data assets in enterprises.
Gigaom also notes that the providers of the MBaaS service will have to offer support for enterprise mobile-first techniques, by incorporating plug-ins and add-ons to enable mobile apps and legacy corporate apps to connect to each other. In order to meet the various needs of individual enterprises, the company also advises that they deliver back-end services via a range of private, public and hybrid cloud package options.
Collaborations that can speed app delivery
In the process of adopting a mobile-first strategy, a significant number of enterprises have been forced to shift from the old-siloed technique of building a particular mobile app targeted at a particular project to the alternative approach they use today where the development and management of apps is a continuous process.
This leads to a scenario where multiple apps, at various stages of development, end up being under the management of different teams cutting across the entire organization. While CIOs look to enhance their level of agility and responsiveness as they deal with many mobility projects, they are simultaneously trying to maintain a centralized policy management over a large number of distributed teams that are working together on mobile app development.
451 Research’s principal analyst, Chris Marsh, observes that since about 40% of big enterprises have plans of outsourcing their app development projects even more in the coming days, there is going to be an increased level of collaboration across enterprise ICT, lines of business as well as any other external partners involved.
Business processes are being transformed by both mobility and the advent of the cloud. We have entered an era of crucial innovation that is underpinned by an agile mode of app development that is made possible by collaboration.
It is therefore the responsibility of CIOs to develop ways of identifying where mobile, cloud and collaborative technologies are applicable to be able to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of individual business processes in an enterprise.
The inherent problem of how to integrate mobile applications with traditional core ICT technologies effectively offers a good chance for future-looking ICT leaders, and managers to develop an enabling interface between mobile apps and their equally important back-end data repositories in an enterprise.
If they achieve this, it means that they will be on the right course to maximizing the benefits of combining speed and agility that embracing mobile app development promises to bring to their organizations, and this way, they will be able to deliver on the business performance of posterity.