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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mobile Application Lifecycles Demand New Systems of Interaction

There is no doubt that mobile is changing our lives. It’s changed our interaction with brands and with how we do business, as an employee, client and vendor. Mobile changes the way that service providers work with partners and how marketers reach the new “always on” user. How can you deal with and even take advantage of this new shift where anyone, anywhere can interact with your business? Stated simply – is your business in motion and are you using a mobile first strategy to stay ahead?

Innovate mobile mini-main tentInnovateInnovate Mini-Main Tent for IBM MobileFirstIBM Application and Integration Middleware GM Marie Wieck speaks about mobile at InnovateIBM WebSphere GM Marie Wieck welcomes Jeffrey Hammond to the stageForrester Analyst Jeffrey Hammond in Mobile Mini-Main Tent at IBM Innovate
Innovate mini-main tent speaker Jeffrey Hammond discusses modern app dev lifecycleIBM VP Phil Buckallew at Innovate mobile mini-main tentInnovate Mobile mini-main tent speaker IBM Director Mike GilfixIBM MobileFirst mini-main tent at Innovate#ibmmobile mini-main tent at #ibminnovate

Mobile at Innovate, a set on Flickr.
At the IBM Technical Summit, Innovate, in Orlando, I took a break from capturing developer 'quick bytes' with social host Katie Linendoll to hear from a panel of experts assembled to discuss "how to best stay ahead with IBM MobileFirst" solutions and technology. IBM General Manager Marie Wieck led a series of short presentations in a "Mini-Main Tent" focused on new methods and tools for becoming a mobile enterprise. It was a thought provoking and deep look at why a new system of interaction is needed, how the IT organization should work with development teams to adapt application life-cycle management for mobile, as well as, a comprehensive look at the IBM portfolio and offerings for mobile.

Marie Wieck set the stage, "The planet is getting smaller." We are coping with a deluge of data from a variety of sources - and the sources are growing by leaps and bounds. The internet of information, internet of things, and internet of engagement all provide a seemingly endless ocean of challenges and opportunities. Marie described these as the "3 I's" that are charting the growth of data generated by people, instrumented things and creation of knowledge. There is 2.4 quintillion bytes of new data being generated each day. This presents a new paradigm shift for the enterprise. We must tie social, cloud, big data and cloud together to enable the enterprise to link disparate systems of record like never before and change the way we work.

This notion of tying these together present a new opportunity for business. Each of these systems enable new types of interactions to emerge for the business. New insights, new industries, new markets. There are 5 key trends in mobile that shape this new opportunity. First, mobile is the primary UX in the lives of users. 91% of users keep their device within arms reach all the time. Second, emerging insights from mobile data provide new opportunities. 75% of consumers take action from location based messages. Third, mobile is about commerce. IBM reported 95% growth in Cyber Monday sales from 2011 to 2012. Fourth, mobile creates a continuous brand experience. 90% of people use multiple screens as channels. Fifth, mobile drives the internet of things (IOT). Machine-to-machine interactions are expected to grow from 2B to 18B by 2023. What sort of infrastructure and systems are needed for this new enterprise landscape? Marie described a new system of interaction based on the cloud that ties the partner value chain together to a continuous client experience and the internet of things.

Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond took the stage to describe the how modern applications will be developed to deliver this intersection of systems of record, systems of engagement and IOT. He started his presentation with a zen koan: "The best way to develop mobile apps is not to develop mobile apps."  

Jeffrey asserted that mobile is simply the new model of interaction and how systems integrate with the modern application. To be successful, businesses must tie together systems of record (think: CRM, ECM, SCM, mainframes), systems of operation (think: cars, planes, industrial equipment) and systems of engagement (think: tablets, browsers, HUDs, phones). In the overlap of these systems sit things like wearable tech and WCM. The key to these new modern applications is the successful integration of context. Context links content (data) to adapt in real-time to customer needs. This has been a long time assertion of mine in the world of social media. Jeffrey went so far as to say that the thing that will separate the "pretty apps" from the good ones is integrating systems of record with context. Making this happen is not trivial because it requires the application team to work closely with IT to serve up the right APIs and information architecture and cannot be successful as as one off project. A modern application needs a service facade to connect the variety of mobile clients to the three systems. Jeffrey also astutely pointed out that the business must make some hard choices to map the choices presented in the client experience. These choices are weighed by priority of cost, experience, performance and agility. He summarized this modern application design paradigm by describing the shift of focus for application lifecycle (ALM) for the three systems. Focus for engagement is time to feedback, whereas record is time to certainty, and finally, operations is time to safety. Hammond said modern applications demand that development teams and IT not only work together but adapt to mobile first by adapting agile principles and different ALM processes. This means building analytics into applications, using DevOps approach with developers testing and thinking beyond your own channels and about contextual experiences.

IBM Vice President of IBM Mobile Enterprise Strategy and Product Management Phil Buckallew took the stage to discuss the expansion of the IBM mobile portfolio with new capabilities and innovations. He told the audience there have been 125+ new patents for wireless inventions in 2012 and IBM has acquired a wide set of mobile capabilities from companies like Worklight, Emportis, Tealeaf and urban{code} to name a few. The IBM MobileFirst platform provides a way to quickly develop and deploy high quality mobile apps across multiple platforms with Worklight and IBM Rational tools. Tackling the new BYOD reality is a new business imperative. IBM MobileFirst also provides means to manage mobile devices, data, apps, expenses and services through their lifecycles with IBM Endpoint Manager and Emptoris Rivermine. Phil described security as a scary threat but also as a huge opportunity. BYOD plays a part with user access and vulnerability scanning is also key. IBM Security Access Manager integrates with Worklight and location geo-fencing capabilities to address this space. Core to mobile is high quality engaging experiences for the user. Tealeaf CX mobile adds analytics to optimize the mobile experience providing deep insights into customer usage. There are also a variety of design and cloud services to take your business strategy to the next level with IBM MobileFirst. Last but certainly not least, there is a growing developer community including a partner ecosystem to support all aspects of the new modern application lifecycle.

IBM Distinguished Engineer and CTO of Rational Software Leigh Williamson described the mobile app development lifecycle from an IBM POV. He said it was "an aspirational framework" since not all teams will need or attempt all of the activities for each mobile app project. He describes the lifecycle as a way to think about continuous development by applying the same discipline as you do to any business process. Leigh asserts that many of the mobile app dev lifecycle challenges can be addressed with a DevOps approach to drive down costs, speed time to market and reduce risk. Eric Minick from the new IBM company, urban{code}, describes the value of DevOps this way, "Mobile development moves more quickly than most enterprises are accustomed to. The coordination required, and the pace being driven by mobile, is a big factor drive DevOps in the enterprise."

The last deep dive of the mobile Mini-Main Tent was focused on developing and deploying mobile apps. IBM Director of Enterprise Mobile Platform and Analytics Mike Gilfix talked about the new Worklight 6 release for the IBM MobileFirst platform. Two stand-out moments for Worklight for me are winning the CODiE 2013 award for "best mobile development solution" and a five year ROI statement from Forrester. In this new study, Forrester compared the initial and annual costs of developing and maintaining a complex 4-platform app in a native environment versus doing the same with IBM Worklight. The ROI statement is 363%! That is a big number. Check out the Forrester study for all the details.

So, where do you go from here? There are a couple of ways that you can stay ahead with IBM MobileFirst. Learn more by connecting with the IBM MobileFirst team with social media via Twitter and Facebook. Use the hashtag #ibmmobile and subscribe to this blog if you haven't already! Next, of course, try out the code! There are new free developer trials available for Worklight and mobile cloud services plus Rational tools on developerWorks. Also take a look at my live coverage of this Mobile Mini-Main Tent at Innovate via Storify.



This blog post was originally posted at A Smarter Planet blog by Ryan Boyles.

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