How to Manage the Influence of Mobility on Enterprise Infrastructure
My mum always said, "Be careful what you ask for because you might just get it". The consumer-fueled rise of disruptive mobile technology is driving a massive change in our expectations of computing capability.
In our personal lives we expect near instant access to apps stores, Amazon, Google, Netflix etc. and to on-demand data and computing capabilities from any device, anywhere. This creates an impatience on our part for similar ubiquitous access within the enterprise, and we become increasingly agitated when we donã??t seem to be getting it.
What does a mobile-first infrastructure look like?
Many vendors are now taking a "mobile-first" approach to development using the increasingly popular consumption-based payment model (SaaS) with distribution via private and public apps stores and delivery via cloud-based platforms.
But what impact will this have on the infrastructure needed to deliver, support and manage all these apps? What does mobile-first infrastructure look like and how will it manifest in private data centers, or hybrid and public clouds? What effect will this entire scenario have on the traditional IT department and their outsource partners?
According to Dr. Stephen Herrod, former CTO of VMware and now managing director at General Catalyst Partners, there are some clear trends emerging.
APIs are the future. They have been around for a long time and come into play whenever one desktop or laptop application is moving information to another, copying and pasting between Notepad and Microsoft Word for example. For most of us though, our most dramatic exposure to what APIs can do for us is via mobile devices, and the associated app explosion.
Mobile applications are highly dependent on rich and complex data sources for many reasons, but one of the most important is to keep the application relevant to the user. For example, applications that provide bank account information, real-time travel updates or even weather data all depend on APIs.
As enterprises become mobile-first, the critical nature of the relevance and quality of applications becomes evident. Think about the importance of up to date, rich information coming into sales and CRM applications, staff safety applications (particularly prevalent in utilities, mining and healthcare), and even something as taken for granted as email. New tools, services and platforms will rise to support these and will help pave their way.