How Mobile Applications Force Cloud Computing Decisions

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

10 Cutting-edge Mobile Application Trends for 2012

Mobile applications will increasingly define the user experience on high-end devices.

In terms of application development, mobile computing has been a boon to IT. Most IT organizations either have rolled out or are planning to roll out multiple mobile computing applications on multiple devices.

As "green field" applications, the inevitable question that comes up is where to host these applications and, increasingly, the answer is on public cloud infrastructure. That may, of course, not be a permanent state of affairs. But because no one is actually sure how well or how popular a new mobile application is going to be, a lot of IT organizations see public clouds as the perfect place to deploy these applications.

The real issues concerning where to host these applications arise once they achieve any level of popularity. As David Linthicum, CTO for Blue Mountain Labs, an IT consulting firm, notes, a lot of IT organizations are going to be surprised when they discover that a set of mobile computing applications suddenly cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to run on a public cloud. Linthicum says this is why IT organizations need to keep their options open when deploying applications in the cloud, especially when you consider that a cloud computing provider could be here one day and gone the next.

From an IT perspective, the assumption would be that it is better to build mobile applications using a Web browser that can run on multiple platforms. But Linthicum says most IT organizations are losing that argument in the face of end users who are not willing to sacrifice any functionality made possible by running applications native for their favorite device. That may not be the case forever, but right now it adds another level of complexity to application deployment in the cloud.

The good news is that when combined, mobile and cloud computing create more demand for IT services. The bad news involves the need to navigate every personal preference while trying to keep the overall IT budget under control.

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