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How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for Enterprise Mobility?

In this white paper, Impetus talks about how both mobility and cloud computing are transforming computing as we know it. It focuses on the key drivers of mobile cloud computing, and looks at how the Cloud is shifting the paradigm of enterprise mobility. The white paper additionally details the mobile solution development approaches, and examines how the strengths of the Cloud can be leveraged to create a smart hybrid mobility solution development strategy for enterprises.

Impetus Technologies Inc. November 2011

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

Table of Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................... 2 The key drivers of Mobile Cloud Computing ......................................................... 3 The power and impact of the Cloud on Enterprise Mobility ................................. 4 The ideal model for Cloud-based enterprise mobility ........................................... 5 Using public Clouds ................................................................................................ 6 Approaches to enterprise mobility ........................................................................ 7 The Cloud Powered Smart Hybrid approach ......................................................... 8 The Impetus solution ........................................................................................... 10 Summary .............................................................................................................. 11

Cloud computing is proliferating as is mobility. Today, both these technologies are marrying, to create an unmatched and powerful platform for users, which brings a host of benefits to them, cost-effectively, conveniently and on-the-go. The mobile platforms, as well as the Cloud have revolutionized the way enterprises work, bringing about tremendous changes in the way data is created, moved, stored and retrieved. The traditional self-contained, on-site networks are going away and a new infrastructure, that serves a mix of on-site and Cloud, will rule in the near future. A recent report by Forrester predicts that the global cloud computing market is going to increase from about USD 41 billion in 2011 to USD 241 billion in 2020. Another study by IDC reveals that a total of 302.6 million smartphone units were shipped in 2010, compared to 173.5 million in 2009. The growth is massive, and has been driven by the following factors:

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

Easy access to computing, storage and various other resources, deployed on the Cloud; these resources are available to all enterprises, irrespective of their size. Outsourced management, that allows enterprises to use software without any problems of installation, maintenance, or managing the associated databases. A huge pool of resources on the Cloud that can be pulled. A way of reaching devices, by leveraging services from various mobile platforms. Anytime and anywhere access of services offered by enterprises (that is facilitated by the Cloud).

The key drivers of Mobile Cloud Computing

HTML-5 The first critical driver is the availability of HTML-5. This reduces the dependence of end-users on plug-in application technologies including Java, Flash and SilverLight by offering Web application caches in an offline mode, and enabling users to access the pages even when the Internet connection is lost. From the mobile Cloud perspective, HTML-5 is a critical breakthrough that can address the issues of poor connectivity. The rise of the Cloud The next key driver is the Cloud itself, which provides greater processing power than the handset. The general consensus is that, rather than having users download thick clients to handsets, it is easier to download thin clients, where the major share of processing is conducted on the Cloud. Also, the Cloud enables collaborative applications to be available 24x7, at any location. The proliferation of high speed networks According to a study by the Yankee group, there is a year on year growth in high speed networks and in the manner in which the mobile industry is leveraging the same. With 4G connections worldwide expected to cross the 500 million mark globally by 2015, it is essential for the mobile developers to use the cloud services, effectively and seamlessly. Another study by Juniper Research shows that the total market for Cloud-based mobile applications will rise from USD 400 million in 2009 to nearly USD 9.5 billion by 2014, at an average annual increase of 88 percent.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The power and impact of the Cloud on Enterprise Mobility

It is an established fact that combining the power of cloud computing with the freedom and functionality of mobile devices can give enterprises access to a wide range of benefits. The Cloud enables enterprises to access key information on mobile devices, and reach out to their customers in an efficient way. A user, for instance, can access important documents related to an on-going project from his/her iPad. Other advantages include increased reliability, burst-ability, real-time updates, scalability, employee empowerment, etc. However, companies utilizing the Cloud for their enterprise mobility initiatives need to overcome some challenges, such as, deploying numerous heterogeneous devices on the Cloud, securing limited capability devices as well as efficient and secure application distribution. Organizations must deploy best practices to address these concerns, including the following: Proactive security monitoring and intrusion prevention, the key to maintaining a secure environment. Central mobility management, along with role-based policy management, to ensure better control and reduce end-user responsibilities. Distribution of approved applications via enterprise application stores to create a single and secure delivery platform in the Cloud environment.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The ideal model for Cloud-based enterprise mobility

This model provides a high level structure of cost-effective and highly maintainable Cloud-based enterprise mobility. It indicates an ecosystem based on collaboration, where every enterprise accesses its core services through the Cloud. The enterprises have an option to create their own Cloud, or host their services on public Clouds. Hosting services on a public Cloud works on a payper-use model. This strategy encourages device agnostic solution design, where all the high level applications used for PCs and other mobile devices within an enterprise will leverage the Cloud for business logic and the majority of their storage needs. Here, the User Interface (UI) plays an important role in helping people efficiently access the application features from various devices that exhibit different form factors and capabilities. In this model, the application UI for a specific platform can then be organized efficiently, by leveraging the repository selection manager component.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The UI will be designed as web pages, and will be organized in a repository that supports the resources and content for a wide variety of devices. While writing the UI web pages, the use of proprietary or third party cross-platform compatible visual frameworks such as Sencha Touch, are advised. They will assist in the native rendering of the UI, and will help in providing a rich user experience as well as cross-platform compatibility. This solution simplifies the application development for all target platforms and devices, as the target application will just need to use the existing pieces hosted on the Cloud. No UI management, business specific and UI logic will be incorporated in the application, which is being designed for the target platforms and devices. Apart from the enterprise Cloud component for core proprietary services, organizations can pick and choose the desired services from a range of other Cloud service providers. They may specialize in various domain proprietary services like Business Intelligence, CRM, Mobile device management, etc. The enterprises benefit by leveraging expert services from various specialized vendors in the desired areas. In case of SMBs, the enterprise Cloud may not exist at all. In fact, the services can be availed from the specialized Cloud service providers to achieve Cloudbased enterprise mobility.

Using public Clouds

Currently several public Clouds are available with innovative offerings in mobility. These can be leveraged by enterprises, both large and small. Windows Azure: Windows Azure is an Internet-scale Cloud services platform hosted through Microsoft data centers that can be used to build compelling mobile applications. It provides highly scalable processing and storage capabilities, relational database services, access control services and premium data subscriptions. The platform also offers toolkit support for all major mobile platforms including the Windows Phone, iOS and Android, that can be used by developers for accelerated application development. Apples iCloud: This is another platform that offers an effortless way to access just about everything on all the Apple devices of a user. It stores music, photos, applications, calendars, and documents, and automatically pushes them all to the user device. The iCloud Storage APIs can be used to store documents and add data in the iCloud.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

An upcoming Cloud shift in mobile phone hardware is also on the cards. Apple is planning to combine its latest OS, the iOS 5 and the iCloud with the iCloud iPhone. This upcoming handset will rely heavily on Apples new Cloud based offerings, and less on internal storage.

Approaches to enterprise mobility

Today, when it comes to mobility solutions, developers have the option of going for a thin client, thick client or a hybrid approach. Picking the right approach can be tricky and critical, as it can have a direct implication on the budget, timeline and mobility offerings on the corporate roadmap. The thin client is entirely written using web technologies, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The application gets executed on top of the browser layer and is therefore, not as fast as the native application. A thick client, on the other hand, resides on the mobile device file system as a binary executable file. It provides better performance and an enhanced userexperience, but is expensive to develop and maintain. The Hybrid Application Development Approach, which is much talked about, claims to leverage the best of the thick and thin client approaches. It is a native application consisting of embedded HTML. The web content may be packaged in the application or downloaded from the web. With its reasonable cost and cross-platform portability of web content, this approach brings to developers the power of the native application as well. Unlike the thin client approach, the hybrid approach leverages the specific features of the OS in the applications. Like the thick client approach, it is distributed through popular app stores or via the enterprise distribution mechanisms. In the Hybrid approach, developers have an option of using HTML5 and JavaScript, to develop touch optimized applications that support client side rendering and offline data caching. As this approach allows developers to utilize web technologies, it enables easy portability across all mobile platforms and is cost effective. However, unlike the thin client approach, it can be customized for web resource versioning and bundling. At the same time, just like the thin client approach, the hybrid does not provide a native look and feel, which may adversely affect the user experience.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

Market research indicates that developers consider the thick client approach as appropriate when the solution is device specific only, or is tightly coupled with the device native capabilities. For the majority of mobile extensions to existing enterprise IT solutions, the hybrid approach is preferred, as it leverages the existing web presence and business logic. At the same time, it integrates well with native or custom features on various mobile platforms. While the Hybrid approach is considered the most optimal approach to mobility, the addition of the Cloud to this approach makes it even smarter and better.

The Cloud Powered Smart Hybrid approach

Impetus recommends the Cloud Powered Smart Hybrid Approach for costeffective and highly maintainable enterprise mobility. In this approach, there is no need to download thick clients to the handsets. Rather, it is better to go for thin clients or hybrid clients, where the major share of processing happens on the Cloud. However, using the thin or hybrid client approach depends on the cost, timeline and benefits/trade-offs for a given enterprise.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The Cloud powered Smart Hybrid approach combines the best of the Cloud and hybrid mobility development approaches, along with other important factors that improve time-to-market, cost effectiveness, cross-platform compatibility and maintainability of the complete enterprise ecosystem. This solution has two parts: The Smart App Server which is hosted on the Cloud, is an intermediate component that is responsible for facilitating all the business logic services and their interaction with other third party services. It also includes a Visual Infrastructure manager, which keeps an assortment of HTML pages for the targeted handheld devices. It identifies the devices at the run time and delivers appropriate pages to them. On the device side, there is a native container application, with a range of rich plug-and-play components to pick from. It facilitates the rendering of pages received from the Visual Infrastructure manager on web-view. The Smart App Container is a native application that embeds the browser field to render the web pages pulled from the Cloud. The UI of these web pages is designed by leveraging the existing web presence. The smart app container has unique options that allows it to integrate seamlessly with the native applications and facilitates communication between native and HTML. It also leverages the Cloud-based enterprise services to procure the desired features. The web pages can be bundled along with the application package or can be downloaded dynamically.

How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The Impetus solution

Impetus has implemented the Smart Hybrid App Approach and called it the Instant Mobilizer. It is a unique, cost-effective and easily maintainable solution that provides the following benefits: Offers developers a range of strategic components to choose from, to create customized solutions. Its wizard for instance, helps generate cross-platform, compatible hybrid applications for all major mobile platforms such as the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. The wizard can also be used for leveraging an existing web presence and sharing with it the location of existing web resources. It then extracts information (such as color themes, font styles, images, content, frames, interactive components, etc.) from the web pages and uses it for generating a UI for other target devices. It offers a smart visuals repository organizer that helps to optimally organize the UI for all platforms and devices. The mobilizer renders suitable web pages in accordance with the capabilities of the device. The mobilizers communications layer on the device side facilitates interaction among the native and HTML portions. It helps in improving native and custom applications feature usage from the Smart Hybrid app. It facilitates the use of Cloud-based services from within the Smart Hybrid Applications. Some advanced features can be integrated on a plug-and-play basis, in accordance with the requirements of the application.


How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

The Smart Hybrid App approach, which leverages the immense power of the Cloud and is an extension of the traditional hybrid approach, is a balanced and cost-effective way to leverage native capabilities in conjunction with HTML based UI screens. This approach leads to an overall rich user experience, and is a highly maintainable solution. Clearly, cloud computing and enterprise mobility are emerging as key industry trends. According to Impetus, enterprise mobile apps and app stores, together with Cloud-based enterprise mobility, will drive the future.


How ISVs can utilize Cloud-based services for enterprise mobility?

Enterprise app stores play an important role in addressing the data privacy and security concerns of Cloud-based enterprise mobility, thereby offering a robust and trustworthy solution, which is also flexible and dynamic. Overall, they will assist in reducing the backlogs by leveraging specialized domain services hosted on various Clouds. This leads to better enterprise mobility solutions, where every feature is picked up from the best service provider, resulting in enhanced quality. Utility billing will help in lowering costs, while keeping the service experience level high. In summary it can be said that the Cloud will bring immense value to the mobility initiatives of organizations, and must be made an integral part of organizational strategy.

About Impetus Impetus Technologies offers Product Engineering and Technology R&D services for software product development. With ongoing investments in research and application of emerging technology areas, innovative business models, and an agile approach, we partner with our client base comprising large scale ISVs and technology innovators to deliver cutting-edge software products. Our expertise spans the domains of Big Data, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Mobility Solutions, Test Engineering, Performance Engineering, and Social Media among others. Impetus Technologies, Inc. 5300 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Suite 450, San Jose, CA 95129, USA Tel: 408.213.3310 | Email: Regional Development Centers - INDIA: New Delhi Bangalore Indore Hyderabad To know more visit:

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