The Mobile Landscape: Still Chaotic, Still Fun

Carl Weinschenk
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Redefining Enterprise BYOD: Meeting Tomorrow's Demands

Mobility, as we all know, is where it’s at in telecommunications and IT. Three commentaries on various topics related to the mobile landscape were posted during the past week. A basic theme runs through the trio: The mobile world, especially the creation of apps, is changing drastically and almost in real time. Smart organizations need to pay attention and react.

At InformationWeek, MobileIron Vice President of Strategy Ojas Rege discusses the need for new mobile mindsets to meet the changing times. The first significant difference he points to is mobile operating system architectures that shift from open to closed. This means that there is isolation between storage and memory for each app. The second is changes in “trust.” Gone are the days when Active Directory had a lock on all security and access issues.

The third change highlighted by Rege is what he calls “the ascension of user experience,” which basically means that users are so accustomed to apps that perfectly meet their needs and tastes that anything short of that will not be used. The last change simply is that development is being driven from the user to IT, not from the needs of the organization out to users.

Those changes put pressure on IT to react quickly and flexibly. It’s quite common for any IT function that is performed in the cloud to be referred to as “x-as-a-service.” Here’s another: mobile backend-as-a-service. Startup moBack, which claims all the typical advantages of work done in this way – lower cost, more flexibility and less expense – released a survey based on 200 decision makers’ concerns. Of course, the results are aimed at validating the company’s rationale for existence.

That said, the survey has some interesting results. It found that more than half cite cost as the biggest challenge. More than 70 percent cited scalability, security and ease of use as keys. The release cited other results. The bottom line is that organizations seem to be struggling with the right recipe for efficiently creating mobile apps.

All of these changes would be difficult to accommodate if only one OS was in use. Of course, the advent of bring your own device (BYOD) and the general broadening of mobility means that an average organization will use multiple OSes. Writing for all of these natively is essentially impossible.


There have long been efforts to create platforms for writing apps that are useable on all platforms. Ricardo Alcocer at Infoworld offered the highlights of his book, “Build Native Cross-Platform Apps with Appcelerator: A Beginner's Guide for Web Developers.” Many of the tips he offers are technical. The bottom line is that it is possible to write for one OS and successfully import the code into another. It isn’t easy, however.
Mobility continues to be the most exciting frontier in IT and telecom. That doesn’t mean that succeeding will be easy, however. The biggest asset clearly is the willingness to be flexible.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.

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