What is the impact of cloud on mobile?

Guest post by David Landsberg, HP Anywhere Product Manager

 

Cloud+automation.pngSocial, Mobile, Big Data Analytics and Cloud (or SMAC as Malcolm Frank from Cognizant called it) are changing the way we live. They are also changing the way we do business.

 

In this blog post, I want to discuss/talk a bit more about the impact of cloud services on mobility.

The Enterprise IT world is moving towards the cloud. This trend is true for Enterprise Mobility as well.

Supplying enterprise mobility services to its employee base is a relatively new task for IT.  As new vendors start offering different cloud-based mobility services, let’s take a closer look at some of the requirements and considerations of such services.

 

Security: This is the first and perhaps foremost priority for IT teams. The expectation is to have a level of security that matches on-premise solutions that are owned and control internally. If this level of security is unobtainable, it is highly unlikely that a vendor will be approved.

 

More employees are using their personal mobile devices at work. This means your valuable company data is now stored on a private mobile device and accessed from these private mobile devices. Keeping this data safe has to be a top priority, no matter the mobility vendor or whether the customer’s systems of record is behind the customer firewall or another cloud service such as Salesforce.

 

Identity Management: Because the mobile applications that enterprises tend to roll out to their employees’ access some legacy system, the company credentials tend to be the preferred choice of authentication. 

This issue is complicated by:

  • Additional apps that are used by partners.
  • Non-employee access (example: external contractors)
  • Cloud services who have their own Identity Management system.
  • Different authentication protocols and mechanisms used by different systems (OAuth, SAML, multi-factor authentication )

As you can see, this is a pretty complex picture. To enjoy the full benefits of Enterprise Mobility as a Service, a robust cloud based Identity Management system needs to be in place.

 

Device and Applications management: IT managers still need to be able to decide who can access certain data elements. Managers need to be able to handle lost devices, devices switched between people and people switching roles. This is the main niche of MAM (Mobile Application Management) and MDM (Mobile Device Management) and without something in this space, there really isn’t any mobile solution.

 

Scale and performance: It is natural to think that cloud services can automatically scale to your needs. After all – that is one of the main pitching points of cloud-based services. If the app is down because it couldn’t scale to handle unexpected demand, users might stop using the app and look for quick alternatives.

 

Another important thing to remember about mobility is that scale takes on a new meaning. Mobility catches on very quickly. Systems that we used to access once a month, now get accessed dozens of times a day because of the ease of use and accessibility. One obvious example is email access: once upon a time I used to check email only when I VPN’d to the company network, today I receive my emails via push notifications to my device and access my email perhaps hundreds of times a day.

When you think of the potential performance risks associated with mobile, you have to take into consideration the high-latency mobile networks. Leveraging a CDN service is practically a must-have for cloud-based mobile services.

 

Cloud services need to handle the fast pace growth you will demand on the computing side, but also on the operational side such support, access to more and wider range of backend systems etc.

 

To summarize, in this blog I’ve looked at some of the areas to consider when the worlds of mobile and cloud collide. Security, Identity Management, device & app management and scale & performance are just some of the topics to evaluate from the unique perspective of mobility and cloud.

 

BTW – as soon as you bring Analytics into the picture (and you really should be doing this now…) you have Big-Data join the party… but I will save that for another blog…

 

If you have any additional thoughts on the role of cloud on mobility, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below

Till next time…

D

Labels: Big Data| Cloud| mobile
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