Mobilization : Required Business Orientation and Associated Technology Options
Mobile computing has become the business transforming factor for many of the enterprises. With the advent of cheaper and affordable smartphones, phablets and tablets getting released every now and then, the mobile market is on the rise and hence the consumption of the services via those mobiles are also on the high leading to the increased demand for the mobilization of consumable services.
Gartner references by saying that more than 60% of the CIOs plans to enhance their organization mobility capability in the next three years and out of them, more than 40% wants them to be seen as industry leader in the mobility adoption. This is the another promising trend that is double assuring the fact that the organizations have already started looking into mobilization to help increase the consumption and usage of mobility. Given the market fact that the mobility is on the rise , and organizations have been wanting to go mobile, what does it really mean for an organization/enterprise to go mobile? Let's have a look at the same .
Mobility Strategy and compelling roadmap along with Orientation towards it are key to an Organization for effective Mobilization:
First and foremost, the organization/enterprise wanting to go mobile must have a Mobility Roadmap in place, which should have been the outcome of their business analysis lead identification and prioritization of services that needs to be mobilized to reap business benefits in terms of Cost, Increased user base, customer satisfaction, Productivity increase etc., The few critical answers that the Mobility Strategy should be answering includes
- Departments within the Organization where the Mobility is applicable (with the immediate need and long-term need) along with the Categorization and understanding of each departments Customer segments (B2C, B2B, B2E).
- This immediate and long-term needs should have primarily categorized by ROI yield and second important being the market demand which could have driven by the Operating market, Customers, Employees etc.,
- For B2B, the organization should have a clear vision on whether the organistaion will distribute the devices or it wants to support the kind of devices their business partners will bring in (accordingly the roadmap will have an impact)
- For B2E, the organization should have a clear vision of whether the organistaion will distribute the devices or it wants its employees to bring them (accordingly the roadmap will have an impact)
- Within departments , details on Services Identified for Mobilization should have been envisioned categorized by Immediate Term (0-6 months), Mid-term (6-12 months) and Long Term (1-3 years).
- Organization should have thought of or budgeted for the application development , Deployment Approach ensuring their business Criticality and Security needs that each departmental app must adhere to and should have decided on whether to go for In- house Deployment or Externally Hosted Deployment approach or open to both.
With the answers or clarity to the above being in place , the immediate next step is to move on to putting this strategically designed roadmap in action. There comes the technology to be decided. Lets have a brief look on the options that mobility market poses in front of the business today:
In the world of mobility, there are multiple technology options available to choose from namely
(a) Browser Based Application development Option: This is very similar to the existing and more prevalent Internet option, where the systems are accessible via browsers of Laptop/Desktop, but with associated complexities brought in by mobility like varying browser capabilities and largely classified screen seizes and aspect ratios, OS Specific navigations and rendering needs to be taken care of addressed. This option will not require any application footprint on the device and hence considered to be relatively easier to manage as all the assets are managed from a single server entity mostly.
Enterprises can go for this option , when the applications in need does not warrant any native capabilities of devices like accessing address book, invoking camera, considerable local storage and the applications can be completely online.
(b) Native Application development Option: These are the applications developed using the respective OS provided technology stack like Android Java for Android devices, Xcode for IOS etc., These kind of applications will require considerable footprint on the devices and requires professionals with specialized skills specific to platforms/OS to be available. These kind of applications will provide the ability to have access to the native capabilities like invoking camera, harnessing the toucless gesture capabilities. This option requires more amount of work to be done on the each OS side and less work at the server side.
Enterprises can go for this option, when their applications in need requires access to native capabilities, offline/synchronization needs, high performance and presence on the playstore.
(c) Hybrid Application Option: This option harnesses the power of both the options discussed above. When a native application internally uses a headless browser and presents that section with the HTML content it is classified under hybrid. The entire application can be designed in this fashion in which case native app becomes container to hold the HTML views (in a headless browser concept) and can still have the access to the native capabilities.
Enterprises can go for this option, when their applications in need requires access to native capabilities and are willing to minimize the cost compared to that of a native with compromise on Performance.
Each of these above discussed options have their own merits and de-merits. It should be purely the business requirements that should drive the technology option to be chosen to meet the business requirements to be met without any compromise. In my next blog I shall share the insights into the Merits and De-Merits of these technology options and the relevance of MADP vs AD.