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Impact of multiple operating systems on enterprise mobile strategy

Diverse mobile operating systems even in the popular category is skewing enterprise mobile strategy and making it vulnerable to security attacks. Enterprises need to come up with unique ways to safeguard critical information from wanton access.

Multiple Platforms, Multiple Problems

Different constituencies have different perspectives on mobile computing. Some might want to extend their enterprise applications with mobility while some would need to keep the mobile workforce connected to stay informed.

The drive towards mobility is driven mostly from within the organization and hence enterprises have had to resort to device-specific development frameworks to satisfy urgent needs without actually thinking of the path of integration, security measures, ongoing maintenance and support and the like.

Conflicting demands have created growing disparity and confusion in maintaining multiple mobile applications for corporate data and services. IT companies need to implement better strategies if mobility has to be the preferred channel to share information and access applications.

Consistency in Architecture and Applications

A consistent architecture that considers all channels needs to be implemented to expose enterprise data and applications through a secure and standard way.

The need of the hour is a unified platform for building and accessing corporate applications, which is difficult at this point of time, with explosive mobile growth from all quarters.

Devising a mobile strategy that allows the enterprise to “build once and deploy everywhere” is the first step. One needs to innovate quickly and even support custom applications, even for the future.

Enterprise Application Options for Mobile Devices

Native applications are very expensive to create and test, and data resides within the device, which makes it vulnerable to theft of data. Remote wipe must be enabled to redress the threat. Native apps have different versions for different operating systems.

Rich client apps on the other hand are not as feature-rich as thick client apps but can store code locally although the data is sourced from a server. This fact ensures that the device’s resources are not burdened and no sensitive data will be stored locally, reducing the threat of organizational data loss. These apps are well suited for enterprise use.

Thin client apps are the least resource-intensive compared to others, wherein both code and data are sourced from the server. Connectivity is of utmost importance. Since no data is stored locally, they are safe from data leakage. A single version can meet diverse needs of different operating systems. But these apps need a strong backend system for the seamless integration.

Cloud-based apps are sure to gain more prominence in the near future, due to its security and platform agnostic features for free yet secured accessibility. Organizations use a mix of app types and run both line-of-business and other organization applications. Mobile devices that are used as extensions of POS terminals can be connected to ERP

One good enterprise mobile application development strategy is to keep the apps independent of mobile OS with a mix of certain mobile application options.

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