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Risks and Enterprise Mobility?
Thoughts & findings 4 of 5

This is the fourth in a series of five initial articles, in which I'm going to put my thoughts and findings on the subject of Enteprise Mobility. For this penultimate article I've decided to raise the subject of Risks to be aware of before and during implementation of an Enterprise Mobility Strategy.

It may seems an obvious thing to say, but the major risk at the moment, is NOT having a Enterprise Mobility Strategy. Basically, 'You Snooze, You Lose' ... as your competitors will be planning or implementing a strategy and will reap the rewards! Yes, as I said in the first of this series of articles, the economy is a factor that needs to be watched and yes it is daunting to invest, but there are significant rewards.

Risks

Another major risk is to have a strategy that is set in stone and homogenous. Mobility is an exciting place, fast moving, also hard to predict and an Enterprise Mobility strategy has to be able to evolve and should be planned from the offset as one that is heterogeneous.

There are many issues that you could come up against if you take the approach of developing thin, rich or thick client applications for specific devices. As you know many device/OS vendors have developed broad mobile application development toolkits that are focused on their own single-platform development rather than multi-platform development.  If you are building for two or more devices, this can get very complicated.  Some of the issues are...

  • Higher development costs - Skills must be maintained for multiple platforms, tools and, in some cases, programming or database languages
  • Complexities – authentication, application updates, standardization (eg of DBs) should be consistent across applications

That is why a lot of the smart money is on the Mobile Enterprise Application Platform, that should support many facets of developing mobile applications, on many devices, with many datasources and eases considerably the above issues

Lifecycle of devices

Cutting corners will doom mobility to failure such as not having a plan & policies for the management & security of devices and the priceless corporate data they contain. Having a device lifecycle in place will be necessary, whether this be implemented in-house or via your cellular provider or a 3rd-party.

About Ian Thain
As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain

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