There is no any doubt that we are in the midst of a digital transformation.
The fast pace at which the digital technology is evolving is revolutionizing the way we work and live.
It is impacting our homes, all types of businesses, corporates, educational institutions, and any other sector you can think of.
Every entity is shifting to the use of mobile devices at workplaces.
The use of smartphones is ubiquitous and is expected to surge in the years to come. According to a forecast the global sales of mobile phones are expected to touch a staggering 2.1 billion by 2019.
By combining cloud and mobile, businesses can access their applications from anywhere and anytime.
We are all aware that cloud computing enables convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources. In other words, consumers can acquire resources quickly and they are charged on the pay-as-you-use basis.
Cloud today is transformative in that it is allowing developers to design applications that run on the cloud.
The cloud platform can provide an application, its composite environment for its deployment without the need for buying and managing hardware and software.
Cloud services act as hosting vendors by being a group of computers operating as internet servers offering resources to consumers on a utility basis.
In the present scenario, cloud computing concept has enveloped the mobile world by being able to deliver applications and services in the cloud.
It simply means SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS in the mobile industry has come to stay.
"Emerging technologies like cloud computing are quickly becoming conventional", says a CIO of a large firm. "The broad acceptance of cloud has driven it to the mainstream with the result we no longer need to install hardware and software on-premise."
Companies have realized that cloud means fewer costs, less upkeep, better scalability and unlimited scalability.
Developing straightforward mobile applications is commonplace. We see myriad mobile applications in the market.
But connecting apps to services and backend systems is a huge challenge.
Information Technology specialists have realized that a majority of mobile application development efforts are targeted to assimilating mobile functionality with back-end information systems.
It is essential therefore that mobile cloud services must be able to streamline their offerings in such a manner that clients get everything they need to establish a workable mobile strategy.
Industry demand continues to grow for mobile access. But complex applications require expertise in data management, security, and various back-end services.
Thankfully the challenges are being approached in a positive manner.
They have to because companies are increasing the number of employees with smartphones. CIOs have realized that they have to deliver services to their staff in a mobile cloud computing environment.
"Our aim is that the services must be available to my employees anytime and anywhere and must include Android as well as Apple devices."
But things may not be as simple as they seem to be. Enterprises must evaluate how mobile and PCs may differ in an actual operating environment.
For example, mobiles must be;
- Network-aware – The service delivered must be crafted to operate in an environment of unpredictable connectivity. In SaaS hosting delivery, the host must understand how the application will respond if the connection is dropped or the network speed is slow.
- Device compatible – The features the mobile device offers are vital. Does the mobile support touch, gesture or voice navigation? Is the computing power adequate to run software and services?
- Identity-aware – In a mobile environment, the thrust is on securing the device. In the mobile cloud, businesses would desire to make access to applications and content securely as well.
Before adopting cloud-based mobile applications, businesses must consider security and application management issues related to mobile cloud computing.
Proper mobile device governance means robust application control. One of the approaches for companies to regulate applications is by deploying mobile device management or MDM in short.
MDM is software that allows company IT administrators to secure and put into effect policies on smartphones and other devices.
Despite the fact that mobile devices’ potential to deliver business productivity anywhere and anytime is immense, so are the challenges.
The most compelling challenge is to make employee-owned device secure.
Mobile security risks encompass primarily the following:
- Application risks – The staff may install third-party mobile applications that can adversely interact with company data stored on mobile devices.
- Device risks – Mobiles have robust cloud storage capabilities over which organizations have much less control than desktop personal computers.
As mentioned earlier a Mobile Device Management solution is a good bet that can regulate which devices can access specific applications on a company network. A typical MDM solution can perform activities such as device provisioning, monitored software distribution, and password management.
Yes, the future of SaaS on mobile devices is bright provided essential challenges are met.