When building mobile extensions to existing enterprise applications, a key part of the design has to address data management across the application. IT should be looking to find a way to deal with the challenges imposed by the consumerisation of IT and still address manageability, security, and quality of service.
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Not one mobility strategy fits all and there are a number of approaches to take with the right solutions, depending on an organisation's IT systems, applications portfolio and the demographics of its mobile workforce. Some examples are outlined below:
Virtualisation / Thin Client
Desktop virtualisation with an ideal solution is not only more manageable than traditional desktop architectures; it is more flexible as well. The software allows users to access the same desktop environment from many different client devices and locations, enabling disaster recovery, remote office and work from home, and green computing through the use of low power thin client devices. It should also help to reduce latency by only accessing the required data and the security levels are well above standard with none of the data actually stored locally on the device. This offering should extend to "soft clients" which can be used in conjunction with devices such as iPads.
Applications and Middleware
Applications built with an optimum Application Development Framework provides organisations mobile capabilities they need for mission critical sales success while enabling them to innovate and deliver new and industry-defining applications across the entire enterprise.
Next generation applications built with this Framework must offer cross platform, rich on-device mobile capabilities with tight device services integration, and a mobile-optimised user interface.
It should also enable enterprises across industries to meet frequently changing mobile requirements by allowing developers to rapidly and visually develop applications once, and then deploy to multiple devices and channels.
Organisations with a large mobile field force might opt for a mobile applications strategy for the key enterprise applications. Mobile distribution channels should be able to share common infrastructure and services with the rest of the enterprise. The developer should not have to create a separate and specialised data or services layer to service the expansion into the mobile space. Accordingly, the core service development frameworks recommended will ensure that the repurposing of an existing service for use in the mobile scenario is a simple task.
A most favourable Mobile BI solution, for example, is developed on the Apple iOS and can be downloaded from the app store, but it uses device-specific rendering to display BI content, so IT departments don't have to create separate mobile-only versions of reports and dashboards. That means individual charts and graphs on an iPhone, for example, will be displayed at full width and users can scroll vertically from dashboard element to element.
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