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May 18, 2012

Going Mobile: Applications on the Move

By Marie Lingblom

A quick online search for news about the “consumerization of IT,” is a little dizzying in its repetitiveness.
Headlines often try to get our attention with a stark picture: “Consumerization of IT taking its toll on IT Managers,” or “Consumerization and the BYOD Trend Heighten Data Leakage Fears.”

Yet many of these same articles also start with some sort of caveat admitting up front the content is filled with more buzz words and warnings than substance or strategy. Seems pretty clear the shift from government and big business to consumers as the driver of IT has already happened—and is on the move. The real question is, “where do we go from here, and how do we get there?”

Mobile computing is the most obvious and pervasive consumer technology. Mobile devices, notes Gartner Managing Vice President Dennis Gaughan, are often owned by the end user, with applications and interfaces that “keep functionality while digging into business data.”

The adoption rate of mobile devices, led by the wide range of capabilities from tablets, raises a clear and immediate need for security and governance at businesses of all sizes. For IT departments, says Gaughan, “it is not just about designing applications or a tethered device. I need to be able to deliver information and applications regardless of the form factor of the device.”

That means integrating every aspect of the software and product life cycles. And while some aspects of mobile applications development are the same as that of traditional software, mobile development has many unique aspects. For instance, a large diversity of platforms exist, different models of programming models and a scarcity of skills associated with mobile development.

The mobile business conversation, then, must evolve now with focus on areas including software engineering issues associated with mobile applications, and how to adapt existing tools and skills to mobile application development.

And don’t forget to include in that conversation folks across the enterprise—from mobile application developers, IT security officers and architects to business executives, team leaders and business analysts.

Trends in mobile application development, cloud computing and other related topics are high on the agenda at IBM Innovate 2012 Conference in Orlando, June 3-7. Click here for more information about or to register for the IBM Innovate 2012 conference.

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