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The role of apps in the always-on business

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Mobile applications have become an integral component of the always-on business. Whether it is accessing back-end corporate data or creating sales forecasts in the field, the connected worker has come to rely on these solutions. Warren Olivier, regional manager of Veeam Southern Africa, examines the importance of business continuity in this environment.
“We live in a world where the app is king. Born in the cloud, they are deeply integrated into all aspects of our business and personal lives. And, thanks to the consumerisation of technology, many people only care that it works with very little thought given to the back-end systems involved,” he says.
With many apps available on multiple platforms, it does not matter what underlying platform users are running, they should expect that there is support across these operating environments thereby creating an even more fluid and efficient user experience.
This means that apps are one of the pillars of the always-on business. Companies expect their employees to be connected and access data irrespective of location, time, or device. It has led to an increased focus on business continuity to ensure operations run smoothly even in the event of a disaster.
Research conducted by the University of Alabama looking at the future of mobile app development shows that the average user spends more than 30 hours a month on more than two dozen apps. It also indicates that advances in wearable technology will further positively impact adoption (and usage) rates.
The introduction of the modern data centre has become an important step in this process. Evolving beyond the traditional backing up of data, this data centre drives availability and bridges the gap that might exist between technologies such as virtualisation, the cloud, and even applications,” says Olivier.
He believes that mission-critical apps that cover the gamut of e-commerce, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning, need this modern data centre to provide the glue.
“All the benefits that apps deliver for mobile workers can be negated if there is an inability to access back-end systems. The realtime always-on business environment necessitates this connectivity and strategies that ensure proper plans are put in place to continue with operations even when the proverbial lights go out,” adds Olivier.
This means that companies need partners they can trust to take the time to understand their business requirements and help them develop application strategies that link to their existing business continuity plans. Everything from network design, the tier of the applications, and current availability needs need to be scrutinised to ensure an always-on environment is created.
“The role of technology has shifted to become an integral part of doing business. And applications are helping drive this adoption,” he says.