Prisoners of Mobility

Michael Vizard

Your organization likely will find itself in the near future supporting custom applications for various smartphone platforms. Whether it's the Apple iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry or Google Android, vendors are rolling out some cool feature that, not surprisingly, only works on their platform.

Danny Peltz, executive vice president and head of the Treasury Management Group at Wells Fargo, advises IT organizations to resist those temptations in favor of browser-agnostic approaches to building mobile computing applications. Wells Fargo, which is completing the integration after its acquisition of Wachovia last year, says companies will differentiate themselves with mobile computing applications such as its Commercial Electronic Office portal.

But unless IT organizations exercise some care, they can easily find themselves prisoners of both the mobile computing devices and the carriers that provide access to their applications. And in an age where consumers increasingly prefer mobile access, the business can't afford to be held hostage by one platform, said Peltz.

There are multiple choices when it comes to platforms for building mobile applications. In fact, if your application-development tools come from the same company that builds the mobile device, chances are there are all kinds of proprietary lock-ins in those tools. So do yourself and your company a favor: Don't just pick up the first set of tools you see because somewhere down the road, you'll likely regret it.

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