The rise of mobile has made things equally easy and complicated within the enterprise IT structure. As companies integrate smartphones – either through Bring Your Own Device programs (BYOD) or through company-provided mobile devices – it’s becoming clear that internal IT professionals need to be well versed in mobile app development and deployment. This brings up all kinds of issues related to the IT infrastructure.
Choosing the Right Platform: Native or Web-based Applications?
The big question is how do IT managers choose the right development platforms for their internal mobile applications? In general, there are two ways to go. You can either develop native apps for specific devices, or build out cloud-based apps delivered to mobile devices over the web. In either case, this is a matter of resources.
· Native Applications – Traditionally, managing native applications involved massive dedicated IT resources and a bloated IT staff to manage them. This is largely due to the nature of native applications. The point of native applications is that they can be tailored to specific mobile devices. They are usually downloaded via an app market directly to a mobile device’s local storage. Unlike cloud-based apps, the web may be helpful in accessing data, but it’s not a requirement by any means.
· Cloud-based Mobile Applications – On the other hand, cloud-based apps require fewer resources and are generally cheaper to manage. The trade-off is that cloud-powered applications may offer less control over performance. In this way, cloud applications often get confused with web applications. This is an easy mix up, as they both are ran completely on external third party servers and require a web browser. The main distinction is that cloud-based applications don’t necessarily need to be web-only. In fact, many cloud mobile apps are simply web versions of native applications.
The Server-in-a-Box Revolution: Deploying & Managing Apps the Smart Way
Mobile has forced many companies to think out of the box, so to speak. While it doesn’t make sense for every company to deploy complex mobile applications for their employees’ smartphones, there is a great need for flexible application development and deployment solutions.
The key to managing internal mobile applications is all about virtualization. These server-in-a-box solutions allow companies to get apps up and running in very short order. They also go a long way to reduce maintenance processes. There is no shortage of virtualization platforms and resources that allow IT pros and developers to do this quickly. Application server configurations can be created and executed quickly, reducing the strain on many of today’s IT departments.
The hard reality is that the world of internal, enterprise-class IT is dramatically shifting. Many are predicting that mobile will completely transform enterprise computing as the de facto computing platform. This means that IT department managers need to be prepared for the technological needs associated with complex application development. The line between server administrators and application architects will become blurrier in the future. The point is to deliver the best user experience for your employees regardless of the development platform.