When it comes to enterprise mobility, many businesses are still struggling to be successful. According to recent Gartner research, enterprises are currently deploying on average less than 10 apps but will need more than a thousand apps to meet future business demands. It’s clear there is a “mobile gap” between where companies are today and where they need to be. The question is: Why are so many companies still lagging behind?
The main culprit is that enterprise IT infrastructure is designed for web-based business activities, not for the needs and demands of a mobile environment. Without the right infrastructure, the essential business of app development ends up taking more time, money, and resources, leaving businesses behind the eight ball.
So, how can businesses close the enterprise mobility gap? To get started, consider these five tips provided by Sravish Sridhar, founder and CEO of Kinvey.
What’s Missing from Your Mobile Architecture?
Click through for five tips that can help organizations bridge the enterprise mobility gap, as identified by Sravish Sridhar, founder and CEO of Kinvey.
Mobile Is User-Centric
Each wave of technology brings with it new usage patterns, technology requirements, and app paradigms. Mobile is no exception. Web applications delivered new levels of user access by unlocking enterprise systems via APIs and service oriented architecture (SOA), but they were database and backend-centric. Mobile is the opposite – it’s user-centric. Mobile-first apps focus on delivering a flawless user experience, bringing information to users in an uncluttered, purposeful way.
Five-Star Apps Are Contextually Aware
Mobile apps can provide rich contextual experiences by leveraging new technology such as location services, beacons, push notifications, and cameras and other sensors (e.g., GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope). Unlike web apps, mobile apps can work offline and use new app logic to tie all of these things together to create a personalized and intuitive user experience. Mobile apps can also leverage who, what, where, and when to engage users in new ways that web apps could never deliver.
You Can’t Leave Your Enterprise Systems Behind
Enterprise systems contain important and useful business information located behind firewalls and at third-party service providers. To gain the benefits of reinventing business processes and increasing employee productivity, organizations need to unlock this information and deliver it in new mobile-friendly, bite-sized ways while still maintaining IT security and governance standards.
Map out your current IT infrastructure, systems, and business processes against new mobile requirements. You will likely discover that existing on-premise software architectures were designed for web apps and lack the feature set needed to sustain mobile-first initiatives.
Mobile Architectural Tiers
Enterprises are missing three critical mobile architecture tiers.
- Mobile Client Tier. Recognize that mobile is different than the web and it requires an additional layer to maximize performance and engage users. Look for a platform that includes mobile client features that support five-star experiences like offline caching, data sync, data encryption, and network management, along with pre-built libraries so your developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel for common features over and over again for every app and every device.
- Mobile Context Tier. Mobile apps take advantage of new capabilities that your enterprise can’t support today, including location services, beacons, push notifications, cameras, other sensors, and new data types. Instead of building and maintaining these features for each app, look for a standardized and consistent platform to meet all of your development needs today and in the future.
- Mobile Aggregation Tier. Transformative apps combine data from multiple sources with new mobile capabilities to provide mash-ups with mobile-friendly views. But don’t forget that you have to provide consistent and secure access to protect enterprise assets. You need a mobile platform that will allow the organization to deliver flexibility for business lines to use whatever data they need while still maintaining consistency, security, and compliance for IT.
Freedom of Choice
We are just hitting the tip of the iceberg of what mobile can do to transform business processes, engage customers, and increase employee productivity. New use cases are being dreamt up every day. The pace of mobile innovation is outstripping all other technology advancements. Apps for smartphones, tablets, wearables, and IoT are being created every day. Developers need the flexibility to choose the right development tools for each job.
Plan, Plan, Plan and Evaluate
Use the previous tips to create a plan and build an architecture that addresses your unique mobile needs and includes your current infrastructure.
Conduct six-month “check-ins” to ensure all business processes/infrastructure continue to meet your evolving mobile needs. Stay ahead of mobile or risk being left behind by competitors and new market entrants.
Organizations are in a digital-transformation tug of war. Business and competitive pressures are driving lines of business to deliver more, faster – yet IT is on the hook to maintain enterprise-class SLAs with the current app and infrastructure load.
While this to-do list might seem overwhelming, an organization that recognizes that its legacy IT infrastructure is built for the web, rather than the mobile future, has already taken a significant first step toward closing the mobile gap.