Over two years ago I wrote about the intersection of mobile and cloud. Since then the relevance of these two technologies continues to be critical to business and IT strategy.
Today, at Red Hat Mobile we have more real-life case studies and more DevOps functionality to prove that mobile and cloud are two of the biggest world trends in Information Technology and are here to stay.
We are well entrenched in the mobile era. Traveling across different continents in the past month to present and launch Red Hat Mobile, I realized that the question is not whether you have a smartphone and/or tablet, but how many you have? It’s no longer surprising to discover a person that has 16 mobile devices in a household of 4. Global smartphone market penetration keeps growing and 2 years ago tablet sales outnumbered desktop computers and laptops. It is amazing to see that today Microsoft and Apple are competing on enterprise-focused tablets, no software, no operating systems, no PCs or Laptops but on powerful tablets for business.
This mobile movement is primarily fueled by apps. There are now millions of apps that include everything from gaming and social media to shopping and banking and, now increasingly, the Internet of Things (IoT) devices from smart watches to thermostats, all driving demand for apps. The proliferation of apps is creating an explosion of data that is being consumed through mobile devices. This has a significant impact on business, not only from the commercial point of view, with companies offering products and services through B2C apps, but it has also forced enterprises to look at the benefits of B2E apps designed for employees to improve productivity and reduce costs. Enterprises that have implemented a company-wide mobile strategy are ahead of their peers in achieving mobile success. By taking advantage of mobile device features combined with data from backend systems, creative apps are transforming key business processes and models. For example, geolocation, barcode scanning, augmented reality and more, when combined with data from workforce management systems can improve work conditions, safety and turnaround times for today’s field worker.
In parallel to this new mobile reality, organizations have embraced cloud computing and the adoption of cloud-based applications continues to grow. Having pools of resources available on virtual servers helps drive cost savings through infrastructure that is hosted and maintained without the need for capital expenditure. Today public sector, government entities and even financial institutions are beginning to embrace public, private and hybrid clouds models. There’s no question that the cloud is an IT trend that is here to stay.
All of this brings us back to embracing the two global trends that are shaping enterprise mobility: mobile and cloud.
Enterprises looking to provide mobile access to their employees (B2E) require access to multiple systems already in the cloud or on-premise such as CRMs and ERPs. This is slightly different when we talk about consumer apps (B2C), where the mobile app may require information to and from a small number of backend systems, for example a product catalog database or a payment system. Regardless of the goal to have B2E or B2C enterprise mobile apps, there are challenges with making critical business information available to mobile users, namely:
- Multiple and diverse backend systems
- Enterprise software lock-in
- Legacy systems
- Cloud services
- Diversity on programming languages and protocols
- Web services, RESTful APIs
- Authentication, Authorization & Audit requirements
- Single Sign On
- Going from a few users to thousands even millions for consumer apps
- Integrating with more systems
- Integrating with data warehouses and databases (big data)
- Growing number of enterprise apps
- More app features
- Storage of data coming from mobile devices (pictures, documents, scans)
- Multiplatform devices
- iOS, iPhones and iPads versions
- Android phones and tablets
- Windows phones
- Segmentation of Operating Systems versions
- Others devices
- Frequent updates
- On backend systems
- On third party systems
- On cloud services
- On app user interface
- Push notifications
- App content changes
- Online – Offline synchronization
- Monitoring and analytics
- APIs monitoring (endpoints)
- Users downloads and access
- Resources performance
- Performance per app and per device
- Customer usage
Red Hat® Mobile Application Platform is a cloud-based platform that meets the need for agile mobile app development while enabling centralized control over app security and integrations. The product offers a suite of features that embrace collaborative and agile app development, secure backend integration, and a DevOps approach to continuous development and deployment. It offers organizations the ability to rapidly create complex enterprise apps that integrate with multiple backend systems and cloud services that address the challenges previously mentioned.
The platform provides a secure and scalable infrastructure environment, lifecycle management features, private app store and other core features in addition to mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) functionality to enhance the functionality of those enterprise apps.
Without need for major investment and lengthy training and certifications process, the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform enables enterprise mobile developers and DevOps teams to work with the toolkits of their choice and securely access developer components that can be used and reused across multiple organization-wide mobile projects. Mobile developer teams can collaborate, discover, experiment, and iterate quickly in the platform.
In summary enterprises can benefit from a mobile app platform that offers maximum flexibility and scalability, ease of integration with backend systems, rapid deployment, mobile apps that benefit of mobile specific functions (MBaaS) on the cloud-side code and the ability to use your own tools without proprietary restrictions and top all of that with our world-class Customer Support team.