Thinking back 10 years, who could have predicted the unprecedented expansion that has occurred in consumer mobility? The influence that smartphones and tablets have had on consumers is not something to be taken lightly. We now carry a single device that is used for phone calls, email, controlling your TV and counting your calorie consumption for that day. Why is our work day seemingly absent from this ecosystem?
We can, and should, take advantage of an already entrenched culture of micro tasking through the use of mobile apps. Whether it's on personal or corporate devices, the 'always-on' mentality that has come from always being connected, should be utilised to increase business productivity and help users in their day-to-day activities. This means developing apps that look and feel as good as consumer apps while allowing completion of business tasks.
For large enterprises, the cost of producing multiple mobile applications can be prohibitive unless done in the right way. Developing solutions for each business problem from scratch with little or no re-use is not the way to go!
So what does investing in infrastructure like the Sybase Unwired Platform bring to the table?
One of the greatest advantages of the Sybase Unwired Platform is its ability to connect to a wide range of back end systems like SAP, databases and web services. I covered this in more details in a previous blog - What is the Sybase Unwired Platform? In this way, rather than exposing multiple systems to the outside world you only have to expose the Sybase Unwired Platform. This means that you can put the system to work exposing a whole host of useful services to facilitate multiple projects, all through a single entry point.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The time taken to achieve ROI is key to getting business buy-in to your investment. As Steffen Schwark covered in his blog 'Mobile Enterprise apps - Build or buy?' there are a wide range of pre-packaged offerings - 'out of the box' (OOB) apps which fulfil some of the more basic requirements for some systems.
These OOB, rapid deployment apps can be excellent in helping you get on the road to building a good ROI however, for business problems that require a more tailored solution, you might want to look at developing a custom application which is loyal to your own business processes.
With Sybase Unwired Platform the frameworks around basic, but important, concepts like synchronisation, encryption and authentication, are standard out of the box. So immediately avoid the massive and often costly overhead of developing these frameworks from scratch and lets you concentrate on developing great apps in a timely fashion.
System sizing can be a difficult topic to approach when designing a mobile application, especially if you are unsure as to the number of users you will have. Do you invest in too much infrastructure that will never be used or do you undersize and end up with performance problems? By using a scalable platform like Sybase Unwired Platform, you can end the endless sizing discussion. As more projects start to use your platform you can easily scale-up your landscape to support it with very little pain. An immediate cost saver!
Supporting post-release apps within a business can add significantly to the overall price tag. By standardising the way you deliver your applications through the use of something like the Sybase Unwired Platform, you create an in-house mobile standard which all mobile projects can follow. So rather than having 200 apps all of which are different and a nightmare to support, you end up with 200 apps that follow the same guiding principals which is easily supported.
Finally one of the most important aspects of the Sybase Unwired Platform which can really drive the business case is rapid in-house deployment. Once implemented, this platform provides, for want of a better phrase, an incubation centre for mobile applications. Each new mobile project does not have to worry about access to back end systems, security or even infrastructure. All of this reduces the total cost of development and enables your business to concentrate on what to develop rather than how to develop it. You will end up producing apps that bring major business benefit and that your employees and customers will love!
It can be tempting to fall into the trap of developing mobile applications without a platform like Sybase Unwired Platform or a standardised approach however, this cannot be the best way forward. By Investing in an enabling platform like the Sybase Unwired Platform you can devise a mobile roadmap that will benefit your business, your employees, your customers and your budget.