Welcome!

Wireless Authors: Liz McMillan, Nicholas Lee, Jackie Kahle, Yeshim Deniz, Daniel Keeney

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, Wireless, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Security

SOA & WOA: Article

Mobilizing Business Data: The Holy Grail of Enterprise Mobility

Enabling mobile-first security & data distribution models that efficiently integrate line-of-business systems & mobile consumers

The last few years have seen an explosion in the demand for enterprise mobile solutions. This movement has been clearly reflected in the rapid evolution of the enterprise mobile platform ecosystems. From mobile device management (MDM) to enterprise mobile middleware technologies, the industry has produced a large number of technology platforms aiming to address the different needs of the mobile enterprise. Despite of the rapid growth of the enterprise mobile space, the industry remains without good solutions for addressing what, arguably, can be seen as the most important challenge of the current generation of enterprise mobile solutions: mobilizing business data.

The reasoning behind my argument is very simple. The current generation of enterprise mobile apps is, by and large, focused on creating mobile representations of existing enterprise business processes. The majority of these business processes are tied to on-premise or SaaS line of business systems. While mobilizing some of those business processes can be seen as trivial, the introduction of mobile consumers introduces a number of risks from an enterprise perspective on such diverse areas as data privacy, performance or security.

We Are Great at Sharing Files but Are Bad at Sharing Data
Email, calendar and file sharing have been the focus of the first generation of enterprise mobile solutions. From Citrix's ShareFile Box to the recent Microsoft SkyDrive Pro, the industry has seen a plethora of solutions that enable secure document sharing on mobile devices.

Despite the importance of file sharing, it is important to realize that it's only a small element of enterprise mobile data. A large percentage of enterprise mobile apps are required to access business data from on-premise or SaaS-based systems using mechanisms that can be abstracted via files or documents. Sadly, as an industry, the enterprise mobile technology ecosystem hasn't produced the equivalent of enterprise file sharing technologies but for business data.

MDM Is Not a Solution
Mobile device management (MDM) has become a common element of enterprise mobile infrastructures. As an attempt to differentiate in an overly crowded market, MDM vendors often claim to provide the infrastructure for securely mobilizing business data. While that statement might be true in some very specific scenarios, it is far from being a generalization. MDM platforms can certainly secure business data in some very constrained scenarios but they typically don't provide the infrastructure for mobile developers to interact with data living on corporate systems. This type of solutions require a more specialized infrastructure that is outside the domain of MDM platforms.

Mobile Business Data Needs New Security and Privacy Models
Enabling access to mobile business data from mobile devices introduces new security threats to organizations in areas that fall outside the domain of traditional enterprise security packages. While most security threats in the traditional enterprises fall under the spectrum of antivirus or secure networking platforms, these technologies are just starting to understand the DNA of security vulnerabilities in mobile applications.

These security risks get exponentially more complex when we factor in access to corporate data from mobile applications. In order to address these challenges, organizations should embrace mobile-first security techniques such as multi-factor authentication, mobile data encryption or contextual threat analysis that are designed with mobile applications as a first class citizen.

Accessing Mobile Business Data in Real Time
Enterprise mobile applications often require real-time access to data stored in corporate systems whether they are hosted on-premise or in SaaS systems. This requirement often translates into serious challenges for line-of-business systems that are not optimized for mobile consumers requesting information on real-time basics.

To enable real-time access to business data from mobile applications, enterprises should provide mobile-optimized interfaces to broker the communication between mobile apps and corporate systems. By mobile optimized, we refer to capabilities such as support for multi-factor authentication, friendly to concurrency, contextually aware, message throttling, support for offline communication models among other essential elements of enterprise mobile solutions.

Storing Transient Business Data in Device
In addition to accessing information in real time from business systems, enterprise mobile apps often are required to manipulate the data directly from the mobile apps or operate completely offline. Consuming business data in this fashion poses well-known challenges to enterprises in areas such as data privacy and security.

In order to enable "data in device" scenarios, enterprise mobile solutions should provide the mechanisms to secure the target business data in a form that can only be consumed in the context of a specific user session within a specific application. In addition, this type of pattern is typically recommended to rapidly changing not overly sensitive data that can become irrelevant after a certain period of time.

Distributing Mobile Business Events
Business data is not only access from mobile applications to on-demand basics. In some scenarios, enterprise mobile apps need to receive business data in the form of notifications or events triggered by line-of-business systems. While push notifications is a typical event-based pattern for distributing information to heterogeneous mobile applications, enterprise mobile solutions often require additional mechanisms that address some of the security and information consumptions patterns in the enterprise.

To address those scenarios, organizations need to establish the infrastructure for mobile applications to securely subscribe to events that can be published from line-of-business systems. These types of patterns will ease the burden of optimizing traditional corporate systems to support direct access from a large number of mobile consumers.

Caching Mobile Business Data
Despite the requirements for accessing business data in real time from connected devices, it's important to realize that the majority of traditional enterprise systems are not equipped to support the performance requirements of mobile consumers. To address this limitation, enterprise mobile infrastructures often rely on more modern data storage mechanisms to temporarily cache business data so that it can be available to enterprise mobile applications.

Even though the business data caching can introduce additional back-end infrastructure, it minimizes the impact on traditional corporate systems from both the development and operational standpoint

Business Data is Not Mobile: We Need Context
Mobile applications are a richer and also fundamentally different consumer of business data than traditional line-of-business applications. In addition to the aforementioned requirements about data privacy or performance, mobile business data takes a different connotation when based on the location, frequency of access, wireless network, etc.

Extending traditional business data living in corporate systems with contextual elements will not only maximize the efficiency and richness of enterprise mobile applications that need to consume those business data sets, but will automatically mitigate some of the security and privacy risks mentioned in previous sections. While the effort of contextualizing business data might seem daunting at first glance, it can be a great enabler for brand new mobile-first business capabilities

Summary
Enabling robust mechanisms for consuming business data is one of the most complex aspects of mobile solutions in the enterprise. While solutions like MDM have provided effective capabilities for securely managing devices and files, business data access remains a very challenging scenario for most enterprise mobile solutions. To address that challenge, organizations need to enable mobile-first security and data distribution models that efficiently integrate line of business systems and mobile consumers

More Stories By Jesus Rodriguez

Jesus Rodriguez is a co-founder and CEO of KidoZen, an enterprise mobile-first platform as a service redefining the future of enterprise mobile solutions. He is also the co-founder to Tellago, an award-winning professional services firm focused on big enterprise software trends. Under his leadership, KidoZen and Tellago have been recognized as an innovator in the areas of enterprise software and solutions achieving important awards like the Inc 500, Stevie Awards’ American and International Business Awards.

A software scientist by background, Jesus is an internationally recognized speaker and author with contributions that include hundreds of articles and sessions at industry conferences. He serves as an advisor to several software companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, sits at the board of different technology companies. Jesus is a prolific blogger on all subjects related to software technology and entrepreneurship. You can gain valuable insight on business and software technology through his blogs at http://jrodthoughts.com and http://weblogs.asp.net/gsusx .

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
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.