This year will see a dramatic transformation as businesses change the way they deal with mobile devices and the approach taken to developing apps, moving from traditional coding to mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) tools. To date, mobile devices and applications have taken the consumer world by storm, but their integration into business processes has lagged.
MEAP allows business and IT leaders to develop multi-platform mobile apps quickly and securely. Furthermore, it supports the design and implementation of the correct mobile strategy to avoid business disruptions and security breaches resulting from outdated or ad hoc mobile policies.
“With mobile development, MEAP is the perfect development tool as it allows programmers to quickly deliver apps offering a rich, easy-to-use graphical interface,” explains Daniel Hall, VP of sales and marketing at Magic Software SA.
“Mobile users expect to see the apps they want almost immediately, and they want systems that deliver the enticing user experience they have become accustomed to.
“MEAP systems deliver precisely this and also ensure that once the logic of the application has been defined, it can be deployed to multiple mobile platforms without the need for recoding.
“This allows companies to avoid having to go through the whole development process for each platform they want to support; instead they simply choose the operating systems and devices they want to support and let the MEAP tool do the hard work.”
The proliferation of mobile devices, particularly tablets, also enables business leaders to view realtime enterprise information, from performance issues to problem areas, from wherever they are. The correct apps allow them to keep a close watch on specific areas of the business, at anytime, from wherever they happen to be.
This type of business intelligence (BI) on the move is only possible when the company in question has implemented an effective mobile strategy that governs the security, deployment and integration of these devices into existing back-end systems.
“It’s important to remember that mobility is simply another business process that needs to be integrated into your current processes and systems,” adds Hall. “Treating it as such will allow businesses to obtain the results and productivity improvements mobility promises.”
With so many mobile apps in circulation and so much potential to create new ones, an IT department cannot independently code the integration of each app into their back-end systems.
An enterprise service bus (ESB), or middleware, makes the process simpler by efficiently controlling the transfer of data between apps (and traditional applications) and the relevant back-end systems, according to the rules set by the company.
Mobile devices and apps are going to be an important part of consumer and business computing over the next few years.
And while the consumer market gets all the attention and is easier to service, businesses need to ensure they have a mobile strategy and tools tailored for their environment that empowers them to quickly develop reliable, cross-platform apps that are securely integrated into their back-end systems as well as their existing business processes.