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Understanding enterprise mobile app development

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Enterprise mobile development is the practice of creating and deploying portable, scalable, and trusted mobile applications to help large organizations engage with customers, partners, and employees.

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In our always-on, mobile world, a field worker with a smartphone expects to be as connected as a colleague at a desk. Enterprise mobile app development is about making this connectivity possible, while meeting the security and reliability requirements of a large organization.

Enterprises seek to make their applications available on mobile devices without incurring unreasonable amounts of development time. There are a variety of development strategies to build mobile apps, from pre-packaged, no-code mobile solutions to fully custom solutions to mobile-integrated dev platforms.

For many enterprises, a services-based development strategy with integrated mobile capabilities is becoming the standard method. Integrating mobile app development into a larger strategy built around cloud-native microservices brings many advantages, such as increased productivity, lower costs, improved security, and greater visibility and control.


Packaged mobile apps

As a short-term solution, packaged apps may get a mobile app project off the ground. But that app will be limited in what it can do, and it may be insufficient at connecting to complex and proprietary enterprise systems. Enterprises may still have to develop custom code to add the mobile functionality and integration capabilities they need.

Integrated mobile developer services

The mobile developer services approach considers mobile as part of an integrated, cloud-native application development infrastructure. Under this approach, developers can use a set of reusable mobile services across many apps and platforms. Instead of adding yet another dev platform, enterprises can extend the ones they already have for mobile uses cases.


Enterprise-grade security

With apps secured at the service level, it’s possible to extend enterprise apps to mobile devices while still maintaining high security standards. From platform to device, data is protected at every level, even if the device becomes lost.


Faster time to market

Developers can work with the environments, platforms, and frameworks of their choice—increasing productivity. They can also provision resources on demand, and independently create, test, and deploy mobile apps.


Lower cost of operations

With a cloud-native platform, an organization can deploy apps across on-premises, private, or public cloud infrastructure. Installation, upgrades, and lifecycle management can be handled consistently across any infrastructure. This flexibility helps reduce costs.

Prepackaged mobile apps are an option for basic consumer uses and other situations where data security and scalability are secondary concerns. But to deliver enterprise mobile solutions, organizations need a development platform that favors flexibility, consistency, and security.

Modern developers often use microservices to break down apps into small components. Microservices can make it simpler to extend capabilities to mobile apps without having to repeat the same work over and over again. Combine microservices with containers and you’ve formed the foundation of cloud-native development, which supports the modern digital requirements that make mobile apps reliable, secure, agile, and responsive.

A cloud-native development platform with integrated mobile services can:

  • Provide a unified approach for mobile, web, and cloud-native app development
  • Support modern client- and server-side application frameworks
  • Ensure efficient use of resources
  • Deliver a consistent user experience
  • Automate operations, including installation, upgrades, and lifecycle management
  • Enable workload portability, so apps work consistently across cloud boundaries
  • Facilitate horizontal scalability, so an organization is ready for changes in demand

Enterprises need to make sure that data is secure, confidential information is not exposed, and governance is maintained from application to application regardless of the device used to access it.

Cloud-native development supports these security needs, beginning with centralized control and consistency. Automation, established as part of a hybrid cloud security strategy, can enhance security by ensuring all systems are patched in a timely fashion. Proper API security can prevent unauthorized access and protect all applications that rely on the API. Authentication can be handled by a centralized service, rather than custom-built for different applications.

And an integrated mobile development platform can provide security at the device level. If a device gets lost or stolen, centralized management tools can ensure it can no longer be used to access secure data.

Modern enterprise mobile apps allow users to access confidential data, complete transactions, buy services and products, contribute to business processes, and conduct many other activities. All the while, the latest development methods reduce the potential for security violations, data leaks, and other critical security violations.

Each time a field worker resolves a problem using a tablet, or a customer pays a bill with a smartphone, it’s the result of an enterprise’s investment in digital integration and app development. As part of their digital transformations, many enterprises have adopted middleware technologies to standardize their application development processes.

Industries such as utilities, telecommunications, oil and gas, and manufacturing are using mobile platforms to enable field workers to maintain and upgrade their infrastructure. Integrated securely with back-end systems, mobile workforce management apps can help workers make decisions, communicate, record their activities, and conduct their work more efficiently. Likewise, enterprises are using customer-facing apps to improve customer service.



For enterprises with a field workforce, mobile applications have become essential tools. Putting real-time information into employees’ hands—wherever they are—can improve productivity, safety, resource management, and decision making.


Consumers benefit from improved enterprise mobile services as well. Customers use mobile devices to manage their accounts, pay bills, check the status of outages, and more.

With tools that support a unified approach to enterprise app development, Red Hat provides the foundations for mobile experiences with elevated security, speed, and flexibility. Red Hat also offers consulting services to accelerate mobile app development and integration.

Red Hat engineers are engaged in the mobile open source community, working to improve features, reliability, and security of mobile solutions.

As with all open source projects, Red Hat contributes code and improvements back to the upstream codebase, sharing advancements along the way. Of course, collaborating with a community is about more than developing code. Collaboration is about the freedom to ask questions and offer improvements—that’s the open source way and the power of the open organization. It’s why Red Hat has been a trusted provider of enterprise infrastructure for more than 20 years.

Collaboration is about the freedom to ask questions and offer improvements—that’s the open source way and the power of the open organization.

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