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Some technologies and solutions seem http://lh4.ggpht.com/_dQ3LH59r7kA/TVxl7OlPORI/AAAAAAAAAqw/0tXwA7F1t7k/s1600-h/2553555562_9eac4fa7d4%5B17%5D.jpgnaturally suited for being in a cloud centric network.  Is there a fit with enterprise mobility?
 
Mark Beccue, an analyst with IT market research company ABI Research, says that soon, “Cloud computing will bring unprecedented sophistication to mobile applications.”  What does he mean?  Cloud based mobile applications do not use up battery life as quickly, they have more storage capacity and processing abilities. They have all the power of a server-based computing infrastructure behind them.

If you have all the processing power you can ever want in the cloud, there is less reason (assuming you always have access to the internet) to build rich client native applications.  Just access the power of the cloud and use the mobile device as the UI (user interface) to the cloud.

This means that mobile applications can be incredibly powerful and access the full power of networks available anywhere.  Data and content mash-ups can be exposed as web services in the cloud.  Integrations technologies, mobile platforms, security and MDM (mobile device management) solutions can all be in the cloud. 

Mobile application developers will spend more time developing mobile web applications (browser based/HTML5) for the cloud, than on rich native applciations.  In other words, there will be less need for mobile application developers and more need for web developers.  These developers can simply access available services in the cloud instead of spending all of their time trying to create their own mobile applications, integration infrastructures and mobile platforms.

This is not an all or nothing scenario.  Many SAP ecosystem vendors have a variety of application strategies and combinations that incorporate integrate both HTML5 features and native applications or containers.

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on this subject this week called, One Cloud Fits All.  Here is an excerpt that I found intriguing, “…mobile applications in the cloud can be accessed not just by the latest smartphones, but by any phone capable of running a Web browser. This will allow owners of lower-cost phones to tap into the same applications that, right now, are confined to more advanced handsets.”  As I was reading this statement I had an epiphany.  The web is all abuzz about Apple developing a less expensive, less powerful iPhone.  Now I understand.  It is the iPhone for the cloud.

Mr. Beccue added, “”By 2014, mobile cloud computing will become the leading mobile application development and deployment strategy, displacing today’s native and downloadable mobile applications.”

I wonder… was SAP’s acquisition of Sybase and their SUP a necessary step in the evolution of SAP enterprise mobility, or a move that will be outdated by 2014.  I would venture to say it was a necessary first step.  However, Terry Stepien at Sybase is already busy working on cloud-based services for SUP (Sybase Unwired Platform) and Afaria.  He is working (the last I was updated) with the large MNOs (mobile network operators) to incorporate SUP and Afaria into their cloud environments.  It will be a fascinating evolution to watch.  Go Terry!

What are your thoughts about cloud-based mobile solutions and integration platforms?  Is this the future?

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