Saturday, December 24, 2011

Driving fast into the Tech Lane


As I was driving down to a restaurant with a friend of mine, we were chatting about another common friend and his new venture on mobile applications. The conversation soon gained technical flavor and it was a nice drive into the fast changing technology lane. Here are some excerpts from our conversation during the drive.

On why enterprises are in a hurry to port existing applications to mobile platform...

The technology is evolving so fast and enterprises will soon be embracing mobile devices which range from smart phones to tablets. Every tech worker owns a mobile smart device of his or her choice. Most such workers are holding senior positions in the enterprise and are very keen to use it to perform their work and for the purpose, try to influence the IT heads to allow such devices in work environment. This in fact is a challenge for the CIOs in terms of information security and confidentiality. But as this trend is growing, the IT heads have no option than to embrace this trend and start regulating this with a formal BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, controls and governance framework around it.

On how BYOD is relevant in the context of mobile applications...

Yes, as the BYOD is gaining increased acceptance, the next big challenge is to get existing applications working on such devices, so that the employees don’t have to be provided with a desktop or even laptop. This in turn drives the need for porting the applications to mobile platform. Many tools and methodologies are emerging in this space so as to facilitate building mobile applications from ground up and also to port existing legacy applications to mobile platform. Write once deploy any where is the USP for today’s development tool vendors.

On how legacy applications can be ported...

This is where the Service Orientation is gaining importance. Business services are identified and exposed as reusable services and then build a portal application on top of it to appropriately present it for end user access on a variety of devices. The organizations would also consider embracing the cloud based SaaS applications to replace the legacy applications. And yes, migration to cloud could be a daunting task but CIOs are seeing a longer term benefit in doing so. An alternative shorter term solution could be to get a virtual desktop on the mobile device and then work on whatever legacy app that runs on the desktop.

About the concerns on cloud...

Yes, there still are certain concerns that keep organizations away from the cloud. However this trend is changing. Most organizations have already moved less critical applications to the public cloud. Like we have central / reserve banks regulating the banking industry, it is time for the industry consortium to come up with an independent regulatory body / framework, which can help establish the trust amongst the enterprises, which in turn will ease some of the security concerns. While industries like Banks and healthcare providers have reasons to be concerned to embrace cloud, other industries are showing serious signs of embracing the cloud.

On the amount of data that banks process and manage and whether that could be a deterrent for cloud adoption...

Be it cloud or not, data quality and data maintenance is going to emerge as a critical function. Dirty data and redundant data is being identified as having considerable impact on the profits of the organization. Tools have emerged in assuring data quality, data de-duplication and master data management. Computing hardware and related technologies like virtualization has made vertical and horizontal scaling very easy and thereby making the usage of these data intensive tools a possibility.

We both enjoyed this conversation and I am sure, you would also enjoy reading this.