Mobile Apps: An Ongoing Revolution

a guest post from Suhas Uliyar, VP Mobile Strategy, Product Management, Oracle

The rise of smartphone apps have proved transformational for businesses, increasing the productivity of employees while simultaneously creating some seriously cool end user experiences.

But this is a revolution that is only just beginning.

Over the next few years, apps will change everything about the way enterprises work as well as overhauling the experiences of customers.

The spark for this revolution is simplicity.

Simplicity has already proved important for the front-end of apps, which are now often as compelling and intuitive as consumer apps. Businesses will encourage this trend, both to further increase employee productivity and to attract ‘digital natives’ (as employees and customers).

With the variety of front-end development tools available already, this should be a simple mission for developers to accomplish – but front-end simplicity alone is not enough for the enterprise mobile revolution.

Without the right content even the most user-friendly app is useless. Yet when it comes to integrating apps with ‘back-end’ systems to enable this content, developers often face a complex, costly and time-consuming task. Then there is security: how can developers strike a balance between complying with enterprise security policies and keeping the user experience simple?

Complexity has acted as a brake on innovation, with integration and security compliance swallowing enterprise resources. This is why the simplification of integration, security and scalability is so important: it frees time and money for revolutionary innovation.

The key is to put in place a complete and unified SOA integration platform that runs across the entire enterprise and enables organizations to easily integrate and connect applications across IT environments. The platform must also be capable of abstracting apps from the underlying OS and enabling a ‘write-once, run- anywhere’ capability for mobile devices - essential for BYOD environments and integrating third-party apps.

Mobile Back-end-as-a-Service can also be very important in streamlining back-end integration. Mobile services offered through the cloud can simplify mobile application development with a standard approach to dealing with complex server-side programming and integration issues. This allows the business to innovate at its own pace while providing developers with a choice of tools to speed development and integration.

Finally, there is security, which must be done in a way that encourages users to make the most of their mobile devices and applications. As mobile users, we want convenience and that is why we generally approve of businesses that adopt BYOD policies. Enterprises can safely encourage BYOD as they can separate, protect, and wipe corporate applications by installing a secure ‘container’ around corporate applications on any mobile device.

BYOD management also means users’ personal applications and data can be kept separate from the enterprise information – giving them the confidence they need to embrace the use of their devices for corporate apps.

Enterprises that place mobility at the heart of what they do will fundamentally transform their businesses and leap ahead of the competition. As businesses take to mobile platforms that simplify integration, security and scalability we will see a blossoming of innovation that will drive new levels of user convenience and create new ways of working that we are only beginning to imagine.

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