INSIGHT: Strategic Private Cloud… When and Why?

How should we protect strategic data on mobile devices used to build, test, and support apps? The answer looks something like this…

With the enterprise app market growing at an exponential rate – with expectations of it to grow 27% per year from 2015 to 2016 alone – businesses in New Zealand, and beyond, are asking more and more questions related to mobility development, testing and support.

A question commonly heard is: “How should we protect strategic data on mobile devices used to build, test, and support apps?”

The answer, according to high-tech enterprise company Mobile Labs, looks something like this…

“We don’t need to tell you that everything is going mobile,” says Michael Ryan, CTO, Mobile Labs, “and this trend is anticipated to continue.”

According to Ryan, the business app market was NZ$37.5 billion in 2013, and will reach $77.8 billion by 2016, growing at an estimated rate of 27% a year.

“Mobile devices have become the dominant venue for delivering customer-facing, B2B, and workplace apps as enterprise IT groups move from ‘mobile first’ to ‘mobile everything’,” Ryan adds.

While mobility brings ease of use to end users, Ryan believes enterprise IT faces “massive challenges” brought about by the enormous variety of device types and software platforms in the market.

Moreover, development and testing has dramatically changed – in earlier, desktop-Web development, the number of test cases largely determined quality, since there was little variation among browsers.

“In mobility, however, quality is determined both by the number of test cases and the variety of devices tested,” Ryan adds.

“At the sunset of desktop Web’s dominance, its development hums along using Agile methodologies and DevOps capabilities; enterprise IT is able to leverage virtual servers to facilitate rapid change, continuous deployment, and to closely align production and test environments.

“However, more apps, higher end user expectations, and the burgeoning proliferation of mobile device types quickly bring chaos to the “mobile everything” enterprise, and DevOps gains can grind to a halt.”

For enterprise apps, Ryan believes new technologies are needed to bring order to the chaos of mobile development.

“The new core of the infrastructure is the mobile device cloud that can easily make a variety of devices available to developers and testers and can deliver key DevOps capabilities,” Ryan adds.

“A mobile device cloud must perform well, offer scheduling and DevOps capabilities, and be secure.

“As the core component, a device cloud can speed app delivery, reduce capital outlays, and reduce rework costs.”

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