How HP Software helps create, secure, deploy and manage Enterprise Mobile Apps

7048801715_565030b4df.jpgThis is the third in the series on mobile apps and how HP Software help in their creation, security, deployment and management. (First part, second part)

 

In this post, we look at Enterprise mobile apps - those mobile apps that are used by Employees and partners.

 

There are very few Enterprise mobile apps at the moment.  But the pressure from the business to “mobilize” Enterprise app functionality is huge - HP’s own research found that 76% of business users are demanding mobilization of existing Enterprise apps [1]

 

Enterprise mobile apps allow both internal employees and partners to initiate and take part in business processes.

 

Mobile Enterprise apps make it easier to initiate business processes because we can do so from anywhere, at any time. And they make business processes faster because they don’t get bogged down by people who are not sitting at their desks.

 

Mobile Enterprise apps modify the Enterprise’s Systems of Record, often very directly.

 

Some examples of Enterprise Mobile Apps:

  • expenses claims
  • adjusting travel plans
  • signing off the return of 60 cans of unused paint
  • adjusting a light-bulb production run
  • firing off a 2-for-1 campaign for all our Libyan stores
  • adjusting the power of servers based on performance monitoring

 

Let’s now look at the requirements for Enterprise Mobility

 

Requirements of Enterprise Mobility  

BYOD and Multi-device support

For Enterprise IT, one big difference between the PC era and the mobile era is that mobile is BYOD (bring-your-own-device). Enterprises can’t tell their employees what mobile device to use. IT needs to be able to “code once, use many” – to be able to write one app and have it run on many different mobile devices without change.

 

Quickly write apps that talk to the “business process driving applications”

Business processes tend to be driven by the “big Enterprise apps” like SAP, Oracle Apps and SalesForce.com.  Our mobile Enterprise apps therefore need to be able to talk to these Enterprise applications easily.

 

Collaboration and access to corporate documents

Business processes are not “clean”. We often need to ask a colleague or partner a question before we can complete our step in the process. Or, we need to consult an internal file from our Enterprise document store.

 

Centralized access control and single sign-on

Enterprises and their partners will eventually have lots of mobile Enterprise apps. They don’t want to have to perform an Enterprise sign-on to use each app.

 

IT also needs to be able to centrally setup access control to their Enterprise apps, limiting access to the key applications.

 

Right insights, right time, right place

The US retailer Guess has armed its store managers with iPads. From these iPads, the store managers can get access to the information they need to lay out their stores so as to optimize sales : - What lines are selling in what geographies? What items work well together? This insight is created by Guess’s LA-based data center and is made available every day, starting with the East Coast Guess stores.

 

This will be an increasingly common theme. Big Data allows the Enterprise’s employees, holding a mobile device, to help customers and optimize operations. But this can only be done if the Big Data analysis is timely – right insights, right time, right place (i.e. on a mobile device “at the coal face”). 

 

End-to-end functionality and performance

We need to be able to test the end-to-end functionality and performance of the Enterprise applications – mobile device, mobile comms and server-side application.

 

At run-time we need to be able to monitor mobile app performance. And we need to quickly and accurately pinpoint the root cause of any problems – mobile app, mobile comms or server-side application, and in which layer in the server-side application.

 

BYOD and Security – “the malware is already inside the firewall”

BYOD is a security manager’s nightmare because they don’t have control over what people do with their mobile devices. The stats are scary for anyone concerned with Enterprise security [6]:

  • 81% of employees use their own mobile devices for work-based functions
  • 31% connect to their company’s systems via public Wi-Fi
  • 46% let someone else use their device

As with customer-facing apps, we need to test the security of the mobile app and the server-side app.

 

But we have the added problem that the BYOD mobile device, possibly infected with malware, will be used from behind the Enterprise firewall. So in this situation, perimeter-based security is not going to help us.

 

What we need is a solution that looks for security event patterns that then tells us if an application or our Enterprise's Systems of Records are under attack.

 

Let’s now look at how HP Software meets the requirements of Enterprise Mobility.

 

How HP Software meets Enterprise Mobility requirements

Code once, use many

HP Anywhere allows you to use one set of code for many mobile devices. You can use the built-in simulator to see what the app will look like on different devices.

 

Talk to the Enterprise apps

HP Anywhere makes it easy to write apps that talk to the big, business process-driving Enterprise apps like SAP and SalesForce.com

 

HP Anywhere also allows you to create “client-based workflows” where work flows from one Enterprise mobile app to another. This is useful – changing workflows and integrations in huge Enterprise apps takes a very, very, very long time.

 

Collaboration, access to corporate documents

HP Anywhere has built in collaboration either thru messaging to other HP Anywhere users or thru integrated email.

 

And Autonomy gives access to the corporate document and archive stores from Enterprise mobile devices.

 

Right insights, right time, right place

Vertica is used by companies like Guess and Game Show Network (GSN) to analyze huge amounts of information in a timely fashion, offering up the insights to employees holding mobile devices.

 

GSN, for example, uses Vertica to analyse their customers' click steams. This allows them to know when a customer is about to "churn" (your click stream changes when you are bored with a game, apparently). GSN can also tell if you are cheating - cheats fly up the game's levels very quickly. 

 

End to end functionality testing

HP ALM is able to test the build-up of the end-to-end solution. Start by testing the server-side app and then add in the mobile app.

 

HP Software’s mobile Testing as a Service (Mobile TaaS) allows you to automatically test app functionality across a whole range of real mobile devices.

 

End-to-end testing and management of performance

As with customer-facing mobile apps, HP Software is able to test and manage end-to-end performance, including the ability to figure out where performance issues lie.

 

The new HP IT Ops Analytics product even allows IT to predict and thus, proactively avoid server-side performance problems.

 

BYOD and security

ArcSight it able to collect all security events, correlate them against apps and users and figure out when apps and users are under security attack. This is important because infested BYOD devices will already be behind the firewall.

 

References

  • [1] : Source: “Application Modernization Survey”, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of HP, March, 2013
  • [6] : GCN.com : BYOD By the Numbers, May 2012

Author : Mike Shaw

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About the Author
Mike has been with HP for 30 years. Half of that time was in R&D, mainly as an architect. The other 15 years has been spent in product manag...


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