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Tag >> Mobile Applications
Sep 27

How to Prepare for the Mobile Explosion

Posted by Ed_Airey in mobile developmentMobile ApplicationsmobileIT infrastructureCOBOL

The advent of the savvy end-user and the trend towards BYOD has changed the way in which services must be provided by IT. As smartphone capabilities further develop, so does the level of expectations for added functionality. 

Businesses will find it impossible to ignore mobile if they wish to remain competitive in the next few years and must consider the most effective way to develop and adapt business applications to the needs of the mobile user.

It comes as no surprise that a new study from Forrester Research  predicts that mobile technology will have “dramatic effect” on back-office IT systems. Modern users expect 24/7 mobile access to all the applications and online services that they would use on their desktop or laptop computer – visiting e-commerce sites, accessing their bank online, and more recently, loading their work applications. Yet, according to Forrester, “hidden costs and disruptions” are set to plague organizations that do not make appropriate pre-emptive action.

The report further suggests that mobile projects hide a variety of potential pitfalls as a result of infrastructure that is ill prepared for exploding activity volumes. However, organizations need not think that embracing mobile will require a costly and complete overhaul of existing IT infrastructure to resolve these issues. 

Businesses should consider re-using as much of their existing business applications and processes as possible in order to guarantee integrity, continuity and security of service for the future. Potential threats to the infrastructure of exploding activity volumes can be mitigated by making smart choices about application provision and workload management, to relieve pressure and offer a more cost- effective and viable solution to adopt mobile.

So what should businesses be doing to embrace mobile in a cost- efficient fashion? There are several steps that businesses can take to ensure that their IT infrastructures are prepared for the mobile explosion:
Re-use and adapt: All too often businesses approach mobile by developing new applications when in fact they could simply re-use and adapt existing, core back-end applications. The benefit of this approach is that costs are reduced and the existing infrastructure is not compromised. 
While many may not consider COBOL for adapting business applications to support mobile use, its simplicity and therefore adaptability, makes this programming language, which accounts for approximately 70% of all critical business processes, the perfect candidate to take IT into the mobile era.  With COBOL, developers are able to modernize applications to support new mobile applications across a wide number of technical platforms. COBOL can be used in each instance to efficiently deliver business services and their supporting data from the back-end to the user. The benefits of re-using COBOL systems rather than re-writing them are numerous and include a faster delivery of IT service, at lower cost and risk, while retaining intellectual property and competitive advantage.
Thoroughly test your mobile apps: When undertaking a considerable project such as adapting to mobile, testing is one area that cannot afford to be compromised. However, traditional testing practices can mean that projects can overrun on time as well as budget. By moving application testing for mobile, web and related back-end systems to a more cost- effective environment that is easy to use, testing phases are able to be completed much faster and more thoroughly without eating into mainframe power. These environments also lend themselves better to supporting test automation and performance testing needs.
Review your workload deployment strategy: In order to cope with potential spikes in activity that mobile may bring, many businesses may look to add extra back-office capacity. However, this can be a costly solution. For example mainframe system capacity may be in the region of approximately $4,000 per MIPS. Instead, IT can look to optimize workload deployment and seize advantage of server choice to free up precious capacity to support mobile application needs.
Adapting your IT processes to mobile, if approached in a strategic and efficient fashion does not have to be the costly and disruptive burden that Forrester suggests. Much can be done with existing IT infrastructures and core assets to improve efficiency without requiring complete overhauls or re-builds that ensure that the IT infrastructure is able to take businesses in to the future as cost-efficiently as possible.

Apr 10

5 Ways to Test Customer Experience

Posted by tomhoff in test customer experienceSony Electronicsonline applicationsMobile ApplicationskioskCustomer Experiencecommunity expoAvaya


The other day I was reading about how Avaya, the enterprise communications systems and services provider, has opened a customer experience center in Galway, Ireland. The R&D facility provides Avaya customers direct access to the company's developers who can demonstrate how they can develop custom environments showcasing Avaya's systems while providing customers a glimpse into the company's future technologies and a chance to offer their feedback on them.

Creating a designated customer experience facility is a great opportunity for companies that sell commercial products that customers can touch, test, sample, and express their opinions about. For instance, Sony Electronics recently opened a 4,200 square foot store at the Westfield Century City mall in Los Angeles where customers can test out a range of Sony products, including PlayStation's Gran Turismo 5 PS3 game, shoot video on a range of cameras, watch 3D movies, or try out Sony headphones.

May 09

The Most Promising Seattle Startups (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by RMatthewGee in startupSeattle StartupMobile ApplicationsInnovation


At the recent SIIA conference, "All About the Cloud,"  I had the opportunity to reflect on my first few months of exposure to the rabid Seattle startup scene.  Below, in part 1 of a two-part post, I'm going to discuss two of the startup themes that have significant potential and that I believe will come into the public eye within a matter of months.  In part 2, coming next week, I will address a startup theme that I believe has future potential, but that I think requires a refined business model.  Why should you stick-around for two posts?  I will conclude part 2 by revealing an interesting underlying driver to all three of these startup themes, a driver that I believe will have a dramatic influence on the direction of future business models and executive thought processes.  Additionally, in part 2, I will highlight the business model concepts that make the ideas in part 1 successful (concepts that coincidentally are in the same areas as those requiring additional attention in the startup theme explored in part 2).


May 05

HP vs. Microsoft, a Mobile Rebuttal

Posted by RMatthewGee in smartphonesmobile devicesMobile ApplicationsMicrosoftHewlett Packard


While attending DEMO's Seattle stop on May 4, I happened to speak with two Microsoft engineers who were disappointed with my recent HP vs. Microsoft postings regarding the future of mobile devices and platforms.  I have always been a proponent of, "when the facts change, I change my mind," (JM Keynes) so it was important to me that I relate their side of the story.

I want to preface this post by saying that I happen to be a long-standing Microsoft champion, so any frustration I may exhibit regarding the lack of new product introductions is purely disappointment, rather than any Apple fanboy passive aggression.  At first, my two conversationalists took the defensive, believing my posts had stemmed from the aforementioned aggression.  Once it was established that we were on the same team, I was pleased to hear their tone switch to one of jovial promotion.

Apr 29

HP Closes Palm into a Mobile Competition Fist

Posted by RMatthewGee in smartphonesPalmNetbooksmobile devicesMobile ApplicationsHewlett PackardApple


The acquisition of Palm by Hewlett-Packard has legitimized HP as a mobile-computing force.  In the absence of a Windows Mobile update, HP has taken matters into its own hands (see my previous post: Microsoft Hears the HP-Smartphone Door Slam ), but enough with the limb jokes...or is it lame-jokes?


Apr 28

Microsoft Hears the HP-Smartphone Door Slam

Posted by RMatthewGee in smartphonesPalmmobile devicesMobile ApplicationsMicrosoftHewlett Packard


The acquisition of Palm by Hewlett-Packard, amusingly, has less to say about Hewlett-Packard, and more to say about Microsoft's mobile strategy.  I am intensely positive on HP's acquisition strategy, an agreement I will address in a follow-up post shortly (now available).  However, on the back of Microsoft's April 12th Kin announcement, I want to address Windows Mobile first.


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