Mobile applications and cloud services are both increasingly relevant
to CIOs and IT decision makers. The IT industry is starting to talk about the Mobile Cloud; however, there is no official
definition of what the mobile cloud is or how it will impact the enterprise. Indeed, I moderated a panel a few months ago
with top vendors and service providers. I asked each panelist to present their vision of the mobile cloud. To my surprise,
there was no commonality or cohesion across the panel.
this and subsequent articles we are going to break down the technical components of the mobile cloud. We are going to look
at what is happening in the industry, and discuss the implications to IT professionals. This article considers where you should
put your applications, in the cloud or on the device.
SharePoint 2010 Administration course delivers 15 hours of training that will help
you earn one of the most powerful Microsoft certifications in the industry.
Gain the knowledge to pass the 70-667
and the skills to setup, deploy, configure, and manage a real SharePoint environment.
To answer this question, we first need to look at the mobile device.
The number of mobile phone users worldwide is measured in billions, with
most countries exceeding the number of active phones per population by 70%. While the growth of the smartphone and the tablet
has been impressive, the growth is measured in millions, and these numbers pale in comparison with the number of mobile phone
The key question is, "Will these mobile phone
users move towards the more expensive smart phone, or will these users prefer a cheap device with pay-as-you-go services in
mobile network service providers would certainly like it to go towards a cloud based model, as it increases their relevance
as a provider of wireless services. By branding services such as storage and data recovery, the mobile service providers keep
their relevancy in the consumers' minds. Providing cloud services also obviates some of their fears about becoming a megabyte
pipe provider, where they provide the physical network, but the applications and the service is provided by another party.
Device manufacturers and application developers largely favor the growth
of smart phones. The cloud pay-as-you-go utility model makes it feasible for small application developers to build and host
cloud services. However, it is hard to imagine that we will ever see the growth in mom and pop stores developing cloud services
like we saw with the iOS and Android platforms.
to whether you should put your applications in the cloud or on the device is: it depends on what the service is.
There are some services that are better suited to the cloud environment and some services that are ideal for deployment on
a rich media device.
The social and one-to-many services
are ideally suited to residing in the cloud. Examples of these services include sharing and collaborative applications, interactive
training, and the next generation of social interaction with realistic avatar and user generated content.
Personal services that are unique to the individual fit more naturally on a rich media device.
Personal services include services such as personal assistants, mobile payments, single player games, books, and self-improvement
Then there are a series of applications which benefit
from a combination of a rich device and cloud capabilities. The obvious services that fall into this category are location
services and asset tracking.
What Does this Mean for the IT Professional?
Adoption of mobile consumer applications into the business will continue. There is particular excitement around the
collaboration and location based services. These applications will exist on cloud and device platforms. In addition, the range
of user devices will continue to diversify, with users bringing multiple devices into the corporation. These devices will
introduce a new level of networking and security complexity, as they will automatically form networks and intercommunicate
with each other.
In response, IT development organizations
need to start classifying user services based on whether a rich client or a cloud host environment offers the best business
solution. They need to look for cloud providers that offer a development framework for delivering solutions in the cloud in
conjunction with rich devices. In addition, plans to handle security in the cloud infrastructure will not be sufficient. You
have to develop a multi-level security solution that encompasses the device.
The decision on whether to put your applications
in the cloud or on the device really just depends on what the service is. Some services are better suited to the cloud environment
and some are more ideal for deployment on a rich media device. In subsequent articles, we will continue to break down the
technical components of the mobile cloud. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The limited processing and memory
capabilities of mobile devices have always required some use of the "cloud" for delivery of mobile applications
and services. However, the challenges inherent in application development as well as the desire to enhance applications with
location, presence, and other value-added services are driving greater use of the cloud for creating advanced mobile applications.
The enterprise will be the primary beneficiary of cloud services as mobilizing enterprise data and enhancing existing mobile
applications and services will tremendously enhance productivity.
The benefits of enterprise cloud services will
be available not only to large enterprises but also to the SMB customer segment.
This study by clear-cloud.com
provides a detailed view of the drivers and inhibitors for cloud services used across all mobile device platforms. Particular
attention is given to cloud services providers including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft for facilitating greater mobile applications
development, mobilizing enterprise data and merging the IT and telecommunications supply chains.
report includes an in-depth review of the enteprise IT and mobile supply chains and how each is leveraging networks and cloud
services to support a growing mobile worker base.
Forecasts are provided for traditional mobile cloud applications,
new mobile cloud applications and for hosted mobile services. Subscriber and revenue estimates are included for North America,
Western Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of World. The report is rounded out with recommendations to mobile and IT suppliers,
helping them to capitalize on the opportunities provided by enterprise cloud services. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It’s no surprise that many
cloud experts predict that mobile cloud computing will become increasingly important in 2012.
Given the numbers
of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices shipped every day, more and more users are relying on the cloud as the main
driver for satisfying their computing needs, whether it is data storage, applications or infrastructure.
A simple Google search for smartphone
sales in 2012 quickly reveals booming sales expectations, not least in growing markets like India
and China. One of the main reasons for the growth is the availability of affordable devices
across all platforms including Windows, Android and Bada.
Secondly, the application of smartphones in industry and corporate settings is supporting
increased sales. Previously, the Blackberry was virtually the only accepted corporate smartphone platform. This is changing
fast, as both iPhones and Android (and presumably Windows Phone) are being adopted in corporate settings.
Although security issues are still creating many concerns,
perhaps especially for the Android, this trend shows no signs of slowing down. This is especially interesting as Android has
already captured half of the global smartphone market share, according to Gartner. Whether this is a bomb waiting to explode is hard
to determine, but it is clear that malware is growing at an exponential rate, although most users are still unaffected.
According to a Maravedis prediction, Android will continue to be the leading smartphone
OS in 2012, accounting for approximately 50% of worldwide market share, followed by iPhone with 18%, Windows with 13% and
Blackberry with 12%. Symbian will be largely discontinued by the end of the year.
Tablet sales display a similar picture. Sales are expected to surge in 2012. Although Apple iPad is still the market leader, it is closely being followed up by several Android designs –
most notably from Samsung and Acer and increasingly the budget-friendly Amazon Android Kindle Fire.
These factors contribute heavily to
the increasing mobile cloud emphasis. It is however not due only to increasing availability of smartphones and tablets, but
also standards and cloud services that support remote data access, storage and apps. Prominent examples include Apple iCloud,
Microsoft SkyDrive and DropBox, to name a few. Users are getting used to upload and access their data from the cloud –
and increasingly from a mobile device.
In fact, “Visiongain” expect mobile cloud services to reach $45 billion in 2016. The greatest revenue
contributions will come from mobile cloud apps, driven by increasing smartphone penetration, growth of 3G network coverage
across the globe and deployment of 4G/LTE services. Furthermore, technology enhancements such as BONDI,
OneAPI and HTML5 will further enhance the development of cloud based mobile applications.
From the predictions above it certainly seems that mobile
cloud computing has a bright future ahead. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are likely to enter the domain with carrier-cloud
services that are poised to compete with some of the public cloud offerings through service differentiation and network quality
levels. This will further help to advance the mobile cloud in industry and corporate settings whereby customers can receive
improved service levels and service guarantee. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
stagnation is slowly drawing to an end as U.S. companies are signaling they're ready to sink some cash into growth and emerging
markets. That spells opportunity for certain IT professionals. Companies are looking to hire and retain those who are skilled
in areas such as mobility, cloud computing, software development, and big data.
Such is the big picture painted by two separate reports
released this week. One comes from research company Hackett Group, titled "2012
IT Key Issues: Coming to Terms with the 'New Normal'." It identifies Global
1000 companies' key priorities for the year. The other is IT staffing company Bluewolf's "2012 IT Salary Guide," which provides an in-depth look at IT salaries
and hiring trends.
to Hackett Group's survey, company leaders have identified the need to grow their emerging market presence as one of the most
important priorities for 2012, compared to 2011.
They now want their current level of globalization to triple
within two to three years, and among their top goals is expanding the reach of their IT service delivery models.
But simply growing and tapping new markets
isn't enough. Companies want to remain agile so that they can adapt quickly and intelligently to volatile changes in customer
demands and costs, according to Hackett. "Getting the right information to permit quick action can only be accomplished
when mechanisms are in place to gather high-quality data, conduct rigorous analysis, and make decisions with confidence,"
the report says.
"IT and other support functions overwhelmingly recognize this fact and are focusing their
technology priorities for 2012 around the themes of improving the foundation of unified data (to create 'one source of truth')
and being able to provide analysis and access to those findings."
Companies' goals here include implementing business intelligence and analytics
applications, establishing data stewardship, standardizing master data and cleansing data, rolling out Web-based and self-service
tools, and carrying out those tasks and others while investing minimally in new technologies.