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Expert Tips on Integrating Mobile and Cloud Strategies
1. Recognize that mobile and cloud are symbiotic and synergistic
Cloud and mobile are symbiotic as they rely on each other for greater benefit. They re also synergistic in that their combined use produces greater value than the sum of their separate uses. Cloud strategy provides a resource platform anywhere we might require one, while mobile strategy extends reach everywhere we could possibly go, said Scott Maurice (@scottjmaurice), managing partner, Avail Partners. When cloud and mobile are combined it creates an entirely new way of operating a business, said Sabrinath Rao (@Commvault), head of virtualization, cloud business unit, Commvault. They ve been linked for some time now due to cloud infrastructures ability to solve many of the challenges of mobile computing such as scale, frequent updating, and heterogeneous platform support, explained Charles Moore (@delphix), product marketing, Delphix.
2. Develop a cloud first and a mobile first strategy
Many technology companies have switched to cloud first and mobile first strategies, meaning that they develop for the cloud and mobile before they do on other platforms, said Max Dufour (@maxdufour), partner, Harmeda. In fact, Sravish Sridhar (@sravish), founder and CEO, Kinvey, suggest you go one step further and use the cloud to build your mobile apps as if you had no legacy infrastructure holding you back. Cloud and mobile are not a happy accident. You can t build cloud as a way to hope to enable mobile, said Tim Crawford (@tcrawford), CIO strategic advisor, AVOA. Look upstream and leverage mobile applications to drive opportunities to leverage cloud.
3. Expose APIs to mobile
Put an API layer between mobile and cloud, advised Chris Purpura (@ChrisPurpura), VP of digital enterprise strategy, MuleSoft. Most mobile applications need to access many backend services, which might include identity, CRM, location, storage, social graph, customer history, and payment status? With an API strategy and platform in place, you can easily swap or update services behind the scenes. To fast track your mobile development efforts, Jeff Bolden (@BlueLotusSIDC), managing partner, Blue Lotus SIDC, suggests you utilize the mobile SDKs offered by public cloud providers to take advantage of the server PaaS you are using. Do it with some trepidation, warned Bernard Golden (@bernardgolden), VP of strategy, ActiveState, One challenge with using a cloud provider s mobile APIs is that the user is committed to that provider s framework and APIs. This makes it difficult to migrate an application to another environment.
4. Test in public cloud move to private cloud for production
A mix of private, public, managed cloud model to deliver mobile services will give you flexibility, scalability, and cost effectiveness. You can develop and test mobile applications in public cloud first (to gain cost efficiency and easy access to compute resources), then move the applications to private cloud when in production (to protect sensitive data or comply with regulatory requirements for data sovereignty), suggested Terence Ngai (@TerenceCNgai), head of cloud delivery and go to market, HP.
5. Understand the how what where when and who of data
The key to creating an effective cloud and mobile strategy lies in context. By understanding the details surrounding app usage in real time (what data is being shared with whom, if it's being shared with someone outside of the organization, what sensitive data is at risk for compromise), IT gains the ability to make informed policy decisions around mobile and cloud usage, said Sanjay Beri (@sanjberi), CEO and founder, Netskope. Further, it enables IT to spot suspicious activity and take appropriate counteraction right away. A strategy based on contextual understanding of cloud and mobile usage helps your organization move into the business of brokering safe cloud usage.
6. Secure mobile device data at all stages
The old static security principles assume there is a beginning and an end, but now they all blend into our new always connected and always on world, said Jeff M. Spivey (@spiveyjms), VP of strategy, RiskIQ. Expand past old constructs and limits with a more holistic approach to risk management not a siloed approach of cloud or mobile. The trick is to find seamless layers of security and encryption that protect data end to end at rest, in transit, and on device and are so transparent that they're as easy to use as the cloud is by itself, said Asaf Cidon (@asafcidon), CEO and co founder, Sookasa. Too often, we see security solutions that disrupt the best parts of cloud or mobile computing, such as by disabling features like sync or blocking data from getting to the cloud or devices. But that isn't the answer, because that won't enhance productivity or help prevent user errors. The real solution lies in protecting the data itself, such as with file level encryption, so that your security measures follow the data wherever it goes.
7. Devise a permissive not restrictive BYOD policy
Bring your own device (BYOD) policies give your employees the freedom to create, collaborate, and execute regardless of time or space, so the key is to tap into the potential of these ubiquitous endpoints without putting corporate assets at risk, said Neal Bradbury (@IntronisInc), co founder and VP of channel development, Intronis. Stop implementing massive over priced solutions that are too difficult for users to use and stop banning [employees] from deploying these outside, unsanctioned applications, suggested Simon Bain (@sibain), CEO, SearchYourCloud. Instead, focus on how you can extend, enhance, and add additional functionality to these downloadable apps that address issues surrounding security.
8. Ask your employees what they want
Listen to your employees. In many ways the cloud strategy should be guided by the mobile needs of your workforce. Ask yourself what your teams need first and foremost, advised Eric Hanson (@fuze), VP of strategic initiatives, Fuze. Whether it is giving them tools to be in more places at once or those that help them strike a balance between life and work, technology needs to serve as an enabler to give them control of their day, to stay connected and engaged, and to free them to get their work done on their terms.
9. Focus on the user
No matter how complex or advanced the cloud technology or the solution is, for the end users (mobile workforce), the success is largely measured by the user experience and enhanced productivity that adds real business value, noted Viral Tripathi (@ViralTripathi), manager advisory, KPMG CIO Advisory. All employees want to think about is the best way to get their job done. If that means they can use what their IT organization has provided, brilliant. If not, enterprise users will gravitate towards the tools that work, leading to all of the challenges associated with shadow IT, added SearchYourCloud s Bain. A starting point for user centric strategy would be to differentiate the service needs using end user profiling (segmentation) methodology, continued Tripathi. For example, executives, information workers, task workers, etc., have different requirements whether in the office or when mobile. Ultimately, you ll want to define the user population mobile experience journey, added Ray Bordogna (@RayBordogna), partner and chief strategy officer, LiquidHub. When you place importance on your workforce, you ll see that cloud and mobile technologies enable companies to better equip the organization for maintaining the needs and expectations of the workforce while also having an advantage over the competition, said Clara Liang (@claraliang), chief product officer, Jive. Serving your employees first and foremost shortcuts you to the end goal.
10. Get Goldilocks visibility into your cloud
When moving legacy applications to IaaS (infrastructure as a service), business generally hits a major snag visibility, explained Dr. Mike Lloyd (@dr_mike_lloyd), CTO, RedSeal. Most organizations, like RedSeal, use multi tenant facilities in the cloud which limit the amount of visibility individual companies can have into the infrastructure as that would compromise the security of other companies sharing the same equipment. As Lloyd explained, to manage access limitation, cloud providers develop APIs that give customers enough visibility to run their applications without giving visibility that would compromise the security of other customers. This visibility API, aimed at giving customer IT teams the Goldilocks level of visibility not too much, not too little, but just right is the new front line, where competitive innovation between cloud services is going on, said Lloyd. This visibility has become a game of identification, more than just endpoints or IP addresses, mostly because user locations are constantly changing. The techniques used to understand who is trying to gain access, or what they are trying to gain access to, have to be rethought. This includes API s on mobility controllers that can translate the world of identity to the world of network access, and corresponding API s for cloud services that can translate the fast moving abacus like world of cloud data centers into terms that fit the wider IT management ecosystem, added Lloyd.
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