Do you stop working at 5 p.m.? Do you leave the office, turn off your phone and forget about work until tomorrow morning? Of course, you don’t. Your co-workers don’t and – most important – your customers don’t either.
We’re all accustomed to working, shopping, playing and interacting at any time of the day or night, thanks to the wide adoption of mobile technologies. While the largest companies have long recognized this trend, some medium and many smaller companies didn’t believe they needed to participate in a 24/7/365 world. But they’re catching on.
A recent survey showed that 69% of small businesses were planning on investing in new and emerging technologies such as cloud-based services. That figure corresponds favorably with the numbers reported by medium companies (75%) and large enterprises (74%).
With the wide adoption of cloud and mobile technologies in the enterprise, users expect access anytime and anywhere. Because of this, enterprises have to be prepared with the right architecture to meet expectations.
Creating a Better User Experience
In terms of architecture, cloud and mobile go together like bacon and, well, everything. When architected, developed and deployed properly, employees across the country or across the world work as easily and effectively as on-site employees can – and so can your customers.
As the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) states in a white paper about mobile cloud computing architecture standards, “at a high level, cloud capabilities for mobile support the lifecycle of enterprise mobile applications that are deployed to employee or customer devices and provide managed access to backend business applications and enterprise data sources which support the mobile apps on the devices. These solutions allow companies to leverage emerging mobile technologies to reinvent customer relationships by engaging them anywhere and anytime the context is relevant.”
In other words, proper architecture can bring a better user experience. While the appearance and functionality of the app is important, equally important – but often overlooked – are the data pipes that connect the app to whatever the app is supposed to do. Interacting with back-end systems, providing a sufficient level of security and authentication and readily facilitating a user’s tasks are critical to the success of the mobile app.
And this is where leveraging cloud resources comes in. The scalability and elasticity of cloud computing complements the often up-and-down needs of mobile, allowing resources to be matched more closely with demand.
Speeding Development Cycles
When compared to many other IT development projects, mobile app development occurs quickly and frequently as conditions change. Your infrastructure needs to evolve at the same pace.
“Cloud services are good at supporting DevOps, agile development and operations capable of introducing new versions of apps and backend services rapidly through the use of automated test and deployment capabilities complemented with monitoring to validate operational quality,” the CSCC white paper states.
While leading mobile platforms all have their own software development kits (SDKs), native implementations often offer a superior user experience. Take a close look at the mobile devices your workers or your customers are using. It might be better to focus on one or two platforms, rather than trying to be all things to all people.