3 Fundamental Steps for Your Mobile Strategy

March 18, 2016

5:00 pm

Developing and deploying an innovative mobile strategy for your business can be a lengthy process but one that will empower your workforce and give them access to enterprise data. It is less about managing mobile devices and more about being an advocate for the business, enabling the organisation to integrate and deliver new and innovative business services more quickly.

Step 1: Strive for Continuous Application Improvement

Mobile users expect regular updates when it comes to mobile applications. Developing for mobility requires short development cycles, frequent revisions and an ability to support a growing number of target mobile platforms.

Companies need to become more agile, both in terms of using agile methods in software development and moving to DevOps methods to speed up both the development and deployment of a mobile solution.

To make your enterprise mobility strategy a success, your business must be agile in terms of listening and responding to customer/employee needs. Adapting to the fast-cycle world of developing mobile applications can, buy its nature, help increase business agility, enabling companies to move quickly on new opportunities.

Step 2: Use APIs to Deliver a Seamless User Experience

The mobile revolution that we often refer to is putting incredible power in the hands of the end user. However, that power depends on access to back-end information systems.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) encapsulate back-end information systems, allowing them to be leveraged by front-end mobile applications for entirely new uses. This means that the existing systems don’t need to be touched, while a new mobile application architecture is built around them. APIs are windows into applications, providing a direct conduit straight into the application’s back-end databases.

…but the APIs need to be secure

APIs can go one way or the other. If done right, they can open up new markets and new customers for companies. However, if they’re done wrong, APIs open the enterprise up to a huge array of new attack vectors for hackers to exploit.

The use of APIs is exploding in popularity because it builds on well-understood techniques and leverages some existing infrastructure. That’s why it is so important to consider seamless and secure API management as it is a key element of any enterprise mobility strategy.

Step 3: Managing and Protecting Data

Identifying your app’s audience at an early stage will help determine the data that needs to be presented to that particular audience.  This will also help determine the security measures needed to protect the data.

It’s fair to say that the majority of us are connected all the time. However, internet access isn’t available everywhere you go and there’s always the chance of losing connectivity at any time. Decisions need to be made in regards to what data can be stored for offline access and what data needs to be up-to-the-minute.

Once these decisions have been made, securing this data needs to be taken into account. Some devices can implicitly secure data local to the device, but enterprises that encrypt the data themselves will get an added layer of security. You need to ensure that your employees have access to the information they need while protecting your company information from exposure to an outside entity.

It’s important to ask the following questions when it comes to data:

  • What information do people need on their mobile devices?
  • What are they going to do with that data?
  • Will they need to make changes to it?
  • How do you ensure access to data, even in locations where internet connectivity is limited?
  • Is it OK to cache data on mobile devices?
  • How are you going to protect your data while in transit over the network, or stored on the device that’s outside your firewalls?

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Andy Floyd is Head of Communications and Content at B60, European App Developer of the Year. We provide expert mobile consulting, app development and ongoing support for enterprises worldwide. Follow B60 on Twitter!

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