Mobile computing is changing the IT world and how people are computing. And soon, mobile devices will drive cloud computing into a new era of data and communications gathering. If you think of it, using a private cloud is sensible for security, management and other aspects of mobile communications and applications but getting to that sweet spot will need a good plan and investment by the IT community.
Some have already made the move to that direction. A survey was made on 3, 545 IT decision makers in eight countries were made last December 2011. A third of the collective said that providing information access to multiple devices was the main reason for implementing cloud computing. The survey which was headed by TNS and funded by service provider CSC stated that the third reason is cutting costs in implementing cloud with 17% of the respondents. Why are enterprises and IT firms adopt the cloud? The top three reasons are:
- Accessibility to information using multiple devices; 33% of the respondents
- Accelerating business speed; 21% of the respondents
- Cost cutting; 17% of the respondents
The IT professionals said that one part of the move is to get an automatic rendering of contents to all available mobile devices, eliminating the need to write device specific applications or apps for Android or iPhone units. Once the content management system is fully implemented, it will allow all of the content to be managed by customers, end users, business units or departments. By integrating CMS accessibility, in essence a mobile cloud will be created. According to HyperStratus CEO Bernard Golden, companies and businesses represent the tip of the mobile-cloud trend. The increase and diversity of the mobile computing devices, which have as storage as compared to traditional desktops and laptops will shift toward a centralized environment like cloud to push app functionality.
According to Juniper Research, it was expected for cloud-based mobile apps to grow by 90% from 2009 to 2014. ABI research on the other hand said more than 240 million businesses will shift towards cloud computing via mobile devices by 2015. And with the increasing popularity of mobile devices as primary sources of information, the number can go to a billion. With this prediction, it is wise to manage all information in a centralized method because ramping up a mobile enterprise will not be able to cope with the scale.
Cloud Computing Is Not Mobile Computing
People are quite confused of these two processes because they sound the same, but the two processes are quite different. Let’s discuss the difference.
- Mobile computing. In this process, mobile devices run native applications and data that are saved on the mobile device. Native applications will not have any latency issues or network bandwidth problems but these applications can have limited functions and most often, not business-grade apps. It is very rare that a native app will offer serious database queries for serious users.
- Cloud computing. This process runs differently. Applications are saved and run on servers that reside in the cloud. Application data are also saved in the cloud an data queries are sent back to the mobile device using an over-the-air network like 3G or 4G. The end user gain access to these apps using their mobile browser on their mobile device. Cloud computing also enables users to run robust applications as long as sufficient security is applied. Latency and bandwidth issues can be problems especially in data transfer between the mobile device and the cloud.
Identity management should be extended to mobile devices because the end user should be able to control what are saved and resides on their device if they decided to have it replaced or if it gets lost. If these are met, the IT developers and IT organizations can correctly position an enterprise private cloud to accommodate mobile computing. Developers should program and build apps to run on mobile devices and gain access to any back-end corporate program, software and information saved in the cloud.
Building A Mobile Cloud Environment
Applications and data move between the cloud and mobile devices via off-site networks, security should be one of the primary concerns. An organization should consider:
- Security. This will ensure that programs, data and applications are protected just in case the devices get lost or stolen. It should also be protected during normal news.
- Mobile application development. An organization can build their own apps or purchase third party applications.
- Mobile device management. An organization can provide employees with mobile devices or implement bring your own device (BYOD). You can limit employees to specific devices or let them choose their choices.
There will be more download and uploads to the cloud in the near future. More mobile devices will come from different geographical locations with a larger range and a variety of software. These factors should also be considered by the organization, the IT community and mobile content providers. If all these requirements are met, the era of cloud computing will take the technology world by storm.