What is Changing in the Enterprise World?

What is Changing in the Enterprise World?

I have argued in my last blog that if there is a single enterprise area that is fast being changed due to consumerization of IT and BYOD — it is the mobile enterprise.

 

Users want access to applications of their choice on any device. not just email. They also want the application to be customized, configured for their own individual and personalized mobile experiences quite different from the “one size fits all” model that enterprise IT has applied all these years.

 

Users want data and workflow of any enterprise app to be made available on any device and the ability to customize and personalize the workflow with other ready to use services and consume them on any device for a satisfying user experience. They also want this to happen with little time or cost. At the same time they want these applications to be of the same levels of security authentication, authorization and privacy fitting with Enterprise IT guidelines. In other words they want flexibility, with control. Enterprise IT clearly has a role to play here. To know how they can play we need to understand how one builds enterprise mobile apps in the new world.

 

How does IT build Enterprise mobile Apps today

 

Let’s examine the traditional approach to enterprise mobile apps: you build a web app and then retool and redesign and build native mobile app for a platform. There are the drawbacks to this approach:

 

  • Time to build for native is much greater
  • One has to build for each platform and there are too many of them.

 

The other way is to code your own HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript on the client side and code the server side (using tools like PHP, Ruby, Java, Visual, Studio.net) and then you still have to figure out providing access to the native hardware of the mobile device.

 

The drawbacks are:

 

  • The time it takes to write the server side in ROR, Php, Java etc.
  • The time it takes to write the client side code in JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5. Yes there are tools and libraries such as Sencha JQuery for rapid application development but it still requires significant time to integrate.
  • You still have to create the shell for access to native hardware functionality

 

How can we do it better?

 

The challenge is to accommodate the “work anywhere, anytime” productivity and user satisfaction benefits that consumerization of IT and BYOD can bring, while retaining enough control to keep company data secure and compliance requirements satisfied. The difficulty is in building business apps that run on the web AND on all the major mobile platforms in all the form factors, and user interfaces in a cost effective and timely fashion. This is where traditional approaches break down – more time and more money and still works on a single platform. The problem is compounded with the difficulty in recruiting people with the requisite talent.

 

We looked at mobile apps in native mode and HTML5. The third approach is to use the newly emerging low footprint, automated cloud platform to create, transform, configure, customize and manage mobile experiences in real time and no code. This is a better suited approach in a world converged by mobile, cloud and social. This is where the UI and app-logic are manufactured and emitted to devices at run time for a rich optimized performance, anytime, anywhere.

 

Here even a user can shape the mobile experience with a design palette offering all the services that enterprise IT will allow the enterprise user. It is a departure from traditional approach of enterprise IT awarding the job to an offshore service to reprogram and recode the application to a newer model that involves Enterprise IT as both change agent and cheer leader of a newer platform for rich experiences to accelerate the mobile enterprise.

 

The steps are simple. Focus on the one part that is unique to each enterprise application i.e. its data and workflow. Make sure that it can work on any device in a simple and optimized way. That procedure is by integrating the mobile cloud platform with the existing enterprise application using the integration studio and the workflow orchestration engine. The process is to let the cloud platform to connect to the web application that has to be mobile enabled, auto extract the workflow, integrate with other workflows/ business functions of the user’s choice, mobile enable the composite application, package security, manageability for enterprise use, and consume on any device. There is no HTML code, no native code, no scripting. One such platform is MoNimbus™ , with it you have end applications for mobile web and native platforms in real time and no code.

Ram C. Kumar

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