Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: SmartBear Blog, Anders Påls, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, PowerBuilder

Mobile IoT: Article

Going Mobile in 2012

Dream bigger than data at your fingertips. How can mobile technology help your company implement its business strategy?

In 2011, the top mobile apps deployed within enterprises were for email, field service, CRM sales and workflow. Will these apps be the most beneficial for your business? Only you and your team know that answer because every mobile journey is unique.

In less than two minutes, most CIOs can describe three or more (different) mobile scenarios that could help their business be more productive, reduce costs, improve customer relationships or be more efficient.

  • A bakery with national distribution wants to increase the number of deliveries each truck makes by receiving orders earlier in the day and pre-loading delivery trucks.
  • A cleaning company wants to bill clients earlier in the cycle by collecting employees' daily onsite reports rather than monthly aggregated reports.
  • A video production company needs to speed its responses to customers by streamlining the approval process for each review cycle, expense report, travel request and purchase order.
  • An auto parts distributor needs to share its inventory and ordering across all partner sites to ensure that suppliers and customers have the parts they need.
  • A retail company wants to improve its interaction with mobile-toting consumers by designing a mobile-friendly website.

Every company has a business relationship, need or process that can be improved with mobility. The most important question is where can mobility provide the biggest benefits in your business? The answer will depend on your user types and their mobile devices, existing business processes, current systems and platforms and known inefficiencies.

That's a big mix of variables. Six months from now you can shake those variables again and identify new mobilization projects that have sprung up based on the success of the initial deployments.

  • At the cleaning company, executive management wants to see business analysis reports on a daily basis.
  • The video production company wants the sales team to enter new work orders so that they can see a full view of the project pipeline and forecast potential revenue.
  • The retail company is now ready to mobilize its inventory for its suppliers.

The list goes on and on because mobility breeds mobility. Once one group is mobile, others will want to mobilize their business processes and mobile recommendations will be coming into IT fast and furious. That's the amazing thing about mobility: It unleashes creativity and inspires people to think about nontraditional and better ways to do their jobs. A large jewelry company, for example, wanted to safeguard the samples that sales people were using during sales calls. The company realized it could slash its insurance costs by putting images of its inventory on mobile devices rather than traveling with the expensive jewels to different customer sites. That's the power of mobility.

Build Once, Deploy to Many
To meet the requests for mobility that start coming in from across the company, CIOs will need to invest in a flexible, end-to-end mobility solution that adapts to current and future mobility plans.

A word of caution, though - while speed and efficiency are important, you will want to develop a mobile business model that can be replicated easily. Some early mobile adopters were quick to mobilize a small business unit or a specific application, but they could not repeat the process when other groups asked for something similar. Without that ability to build once and deploy across many scenarios, mobility suffers and becomes costly in both capital and operational expenses.

Enterprises that deploy open, extensible platforms can replicate a pilot program for one unit or group out to other departments, across multiple mobile devices and operating systems and business applications. With this model in place, companies can cherry pick apps that will give them quick, early successes. A pilot program of 20 field personnel, sales people or executive management is often a good place to start. These groups are already highly mobile and eager to work on their mobile devices.

They are good test cases for developing UIs across multiple device types and operating systems, as well as initial integration to back-end systems. They can also provide feedback on data syncs between onsite platforms and mobile devices. Another important area to test is app enablement and onboarding. The first experience that users have with the mobile app is the most important. When large sets of users download the apps, the configuration, security, access profiles and all the initial set-up routines should be uniformly easy and user friendly.

Think Big or Go Home
According to a September 2011 Yankee Group report, companies are focusing their investments in mobile solutions on improving responsiveness to customers (48 percent), providing mobile access to existing applications to improve worker productivity (41 percent) and transforming business processes to improve operational efficiencies (30 percent). These companies have started their mobile journeys and are leveraging mobile as a way to combat economic challenges and ride what we all hope will be a return to a more profitable, business-friendly year.

Looking at mobility from a single perspective, as in mobilizing one app or giving mobile devices to a lone group, kills its potential. An end-to-end mobility strategy that addresses the entire life cycle from app development to deployment to support and training is a necessity for being better prepared and more competitive in 2012.

Truths About Mobile Business Apps

  1. Building mobile business apps is harder than building consumer apps.
  2. Mobile business apps leverage the features of the enterprise app that are most relevant to the mobile user. Not every feature and capability will be transferred to the mobile app.
  3. Mobile business apps are updated three to five times more often than traditional enterprise apps.
  4. Business apps often need offline data storage. More data means data syncs have to happen when there's a strong connection. One or two bars will not be enough.
  5. Mobile application management support can reduce the app onboarding process from days to minutes.
  6. Mobile application development platforms that support build once/deploy to many can reduce the development time for Android, BlackBerry and iOS platforms from months to weeks.
  7. In looking at plans for 2012, every new app deployment should have a mobile component.
  8. App development and app management must be tightly coupled to ensure success.

More Stories By Loren Corbridge

Loren Corbridge, Senior Manager for Enterprise Mobility at Sybase, an SAP Company, has more than a decade of experience in product management and enterprise mobility strategy. She works with tier-one customers and partners to develop successful business models for their mobility solutions. Leveraging this and other industry experience, she helps lead go-to-market strategy and operational enablement for enterprise mobility products at Sybase.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...