Welcome!

Wireless Authors: Greg Ness, Avi Rosenthal, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Trevor Parsons

Blog Feed Post

Mobile Expert Opinion: Mobile Platform as a Service by Peter Rogers?

My colleague at Cognizant and mobile expert, Peter Rogers, shares more of his thoughts and opinions on how enterprise mobility is and will evolve in 2014.

***

I think most businesses have realized the most effective mobile solutions are holistically designed from the outset. That means not just building the most beautiful front end, but also making sure that the supporting enterprise services are provided in a timely and secure manner. This has led to mobile and cloud being tightly integrated for many years, it was just hidden behind a black box inside of a MADP (Mobile Application Development Platform). Now it seems the black box has opened up and we are seeing open, standards based, cost effective and flexible Mobile First services being delivered through the cloud. It kind of begun with Parse who offered remote data manipulation and now we are seeing full life cycle management including real-time analytic visualisations.

Mobile Back End as a Service (MBaaS) falls somewhere in between Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), with the key differentiator being a Mobile First intent. The original offerings like Parse were non-enterprise offerings and largely focussed on remote data manipulation, location services and authentication. Later offering have looked to differentiate their offerings by adding dedicated enterprise connectors and these are classed as Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service.

In the non-enterprise MBaaS space then we are already seeing lots of acquisitions and new people moving into this space like Famo.us and AppMobi. The closest thing to a traditional Mobile Application Development Platform is an Enterprise MBaaS, but you will not find a portable native (cross platform) solution on the client side. Instead, a lot of the MBaaS vendors offer partnerships with Mobile Consumer Application Platform (MCAP) vendors - which was the original name for portable native or cross-platform solutions. As such technologies like Titanium, Xamarin, PhoneGap and XDK offer the missing client side part.

The next stage of this technology adventure is the business vertical alignments of Enterprise MBaaS. We will start to see specific services being offered for verticals like Life Sciences, for example a Health Cloud. Indeed Life Sciences is probably the least Mobile First vertical and one of the largest areas of R&D budget so we should see some massive changes sweeping in over the next 18 months. It is worth dissecting an Enterprise MBaaS at this stage before we go any further.

Generally speaking if we performed an autopsy on an Enterprise MBaaS we would find the following: a Service Tier for hosting custom servers (such as Node.js); a number of enterprise connectors (such as SAP); some pre-built server-side services (such as social media integration and push notifications); and a security framework that holds it all together.

Throughout 2014 then we will see the following evolutionary steps:
  • business vertical alignment for the sets of enterprise connectors
  • generation server-side services like Cloud CMS and Mobile Data Management
  • more MCAP integrations with greater client-side libraries
  • new and evolving field of life cycle management services.
Within the B2E space then not everybody has accepted the argument of portable native. However, if we look at real-time analytics it offers us the ability to effectively control the B2E ecosystem by monitoring which apps are in use. This in turn enables us to end-of-life applications that are not being used in order to reduce maintenance cost. It also enables us to spot problems with applications being used through crash reporting. We can even start to look at the successful applications and build more of those in order to start looking at application portfolio management; rather than just building apps for the sake of it.

Real-time analytics was born in the cloud and so this is a prime example of a Cloud SaaS that can be used to enrich mobile application management. We can have dashboards that show in real-time when the application is launched, where it is, and even have dedicated crash reporting that shows if an application goes down. In the B2C space we seem to wait until our App Store ratings drop before taking action but this enables us to see what is happening in the field and to release an update before getting a mass of bad reviews.

I see two types of Cloud SaaS that will become more popular:
  • Developer services - I would class the following as developer services: performance management; crash reporting; remote SDK; HTML5-to-Native conversion; JavaScript cross-compilation on the Cloud. 
  • Life cycle management services - I would class the following as life cycle management tools: real-time analytics; dashboards; automated testing on the Cloud; server-side unit tests; template solutions; and easy personalisation. 
The ability to plug existing native applications into a life cycle management framework has to be one of the most exciting concepts for 2014. Sure, there is always integration work, but maybe we will start to see the emergence of tools that can automatically add in integration points into the code for common areas of analytics such as when the application starts, stops and crashes.

I would, therefore, see the emergence of a new form of Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service that has embraced both developer services and life cycle management services. It also offers some second generation frameworks to support server side development: like offering hosted Express along with Node.js; or having a Cloud CMS; or even a full mobile data management solution. These kind of platforms need a new name to differentiate them.  How about we all use Mobile Platform as a Service.

A Mobile Platform as a Service is the natural evolution of Enterprise Mobile Back End as a Service, and it features:
  • dedicated verticalized enterprise connectors
  • a service tier that comes with supporting frameworks and second generation services like Cloud CMS
  • developer services and life cycle management support for both hybrid apps and native apps with minimal integration required.
These are Peter Roger's opinions.  What do you think?  Agree or disagree? Comments?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is the Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation at Cognizant, a writer, speaker and SAP Mentor Alumnus. Follow him on Twitter @krbenedict. He is a popular speaker around the world on the topic of digital transformation and enterprise mobility. He maintains a busy schedule researching, writing and speaking at events in North America, Asia and Europe. He has over 25 years of experience working in the enterprise IT solutions industry.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
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.
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...
"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.
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...
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...

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...

“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, 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. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @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 its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...