There was a very interesting recent interview with Leigh Williamson of IBM on their enterprise mobile strategy in readwriteweb.com. We thought it worth paraphrasing:

We look at mobile applications and the mobile environment as the significant next generation of information technology. We have these generational shifts that occur every dozen to 15 years and it is pretty clear that mobile constitutes a major generational shift. There are a couple of unique characteristics that personify this new generation in IT, certainly the pervasiveness of very powerful computing that is now available to everybody just walking around with it in their pockets. The way in which end users, human beings, are interacting with that computing power has taken a bit of a shift since the PC, desktop Web application kind of generation. We look at mobile applications and the mobile environment as the significant next generation of information technology. We have these generational shifts that occur every dozen to 15 years and it is pretty clear that mobile constitutes a major generational shift. There are a couple of unique characteristics that personify this new generation in IT, certainly the pervasiveness of very powerful computing that is now available to everybody just walking around with it in their pockets. The way in which end users, human beings, are interacting with that computing power has taken a bit of a shift since the PC, desktop Web application kind of generation

We are looking to enable our customers to be able to, in a cost effective way, develop mobile versions of their business applications and to also support the underlying business infrastructure which is increasingly defined by software rather than by just by hardware.

We are integrating our backend, middle and front tiers under one umbrella called IBM Mobile Platform. This way we can provide an end to end mobile solution to our business clients.

functionality is not really unique to mobile. The same requirements and demand composition that you would use for software in general would apply to mobile in general… but tools and best practices that are very specific to mobile and that is where we plug in our mobile specific tools into the overall project. Areas like the code construction, areas like the testing of mobile software and areas like security analysis for the applications that are mobile, those are areas where we plug in unique mobile-specific capabilities.

a lot of the key challenges [around mobile applications development] are things like the need to be able to develop a mobile application that can be supported on multiple, different mobile devices in the fragmented market place that exists. Also the need to be able to manage and control the update and maintenance of the mobile application once it has been deployed out into production and people have installed it in very large numbers on their mobile devices.

Mobile [client] app updates present concerns to the enterprise .. distribution is through third party app stores .. It is still possible to ensure through certain technique that the end user of the application is forced to go back to the app store and get the latest version of the app to get the fixes if they want to continue to use the application

The App Store Model Has Significantly Changed the Way Software Is Deployed, Does That Make It Easier On Enterprises Or Create A Logistical Nightmare?
The thing about the app stores are a couple of different things. One is the ability of the end user to search and locate the app that they need and conversely, the ability of the enterprise to get their presence out there and make and audience aware that they have an application, they have value to offer in certain areas for certain tasks. That comes with that sort of middle man that certainly comes with a challenge in the maintenance and control aspect but that is the trade-off that people are willing to make to get their apps out there. We have an internal [app store] that we have been using for many years now based on an asset repository solution and part of the IBM Mobile Platform that we are in the process of rolling out will include that kind of capability. It is not going to be the very first thing that comes out but as that platform is evolved and delivered, that will be a part of it. It will be a private app store, it wouldn’t be that we were thinking of creating another iTunes or Android Marketplace type of app store, that is not what I am talking about. It would be enterprise-based, the same way that we use it to manage and provide vetted control and distribution of [all kinds of applications, mobile or otherwise}.

The full article is available here:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/12/a-deep-look-into-ibms-mobile-d.php

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