Way to Mobile

December 7, 2010 No Comments

Source:  IIFL

Mobility has an important place in the Enterprise Architecture roadmap of all enterprises. Every enterprise is seriously looking at the mobility space and defining strategy and business plans based on mobility. Demand is rapidly growing from both workers and consumers to access corporate and business applications from their mobile devices. In this article, I will highlight trends and analyst predictions in the mobility space, study various options available for enterprises and define a method to strategically build mobility initiatives based on experience gained from rolling out mobile applications.

Imperative for Mobility What analysts have to say on mobility: Gartner By 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. By 2014, more than 3 bn of the world’s adult population will be able to transact electronically via mobile and Internet technology. By 2015, context will be as influential to mobile consumer services and relationships as search engines are to the web. These highlights indicate how important it is for every enterprise to have a strategy in place for getting their enterprise/consumer facing applications onto mobile devices. Even though there is a debate on whether native mobile apps or mobile web apps are best, enterprises cannot ignore the need for existing applications to be web enabled as it ensures a wider reach.

The Mobile Landscape Unlike desktops, the mobile landscape is unique and encompasses different types of players and forces. Challenges and opportunities posed by these players and forces should be well understood to ensure optimal delivery of business value for an enterprise through the mobile channel. The key players like Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), networks, mobile devices (hardware), mobile operating systems (software) etc have significant impact on an enterprise’s mobility strategy. Transcoder/Proxies are the other key players in the game who pose significant challenges to mobile applications when it comes to delivering a homogenous user experience.

Mobile Devices: These are the devices that may or may not be able to make phone calls and they rely on MNOs. The devices that can make phone calls are called ‘Mobile Phones’. Mobile applications can even target devices that may not be able to make phone calls (like the iPad). There are different categories of mobile phones: feature phones, smart phones & legacy, and WAP phones. Feature phones constitute a major portion of the market. But with the rise of iPhones and Androids, smartphones market share is increasing day by day. Networks: There are multiple types of networks available each with different levels of capacity to transfer data.

The type of network on which a mobile application is deployed impacts the level of sophistication of the application and its efficiency. GSM in 2G with GPRS/GPRS EDGE or 3G, CDMA etc are examples of networks. An application that is deployed on a 3G network can support efficient video/audio streaming while a 2G application will have limitations on its data consumption.

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