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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tech execs betting on enterprise mobility

Today ZDNet is reporting in a new article that more and more Tech Executives are betting on enterprise mobility for the upcoming year. The full article can be read here.: Tech execs betting on enterprise mobility; Apple's iOS, Android ride along

Looking at this article we see the following two graphs, with the first being (currently) supported mobile devices.:


And application planned adoption.:


What very intersting in this is what we see for offical support, based on the respondants to ZDnet. We still see Blackberry and Windows Mobile being the top two for Enterprise Apps, while Apple's iOS is listed third.

Moving foward looking at the applications that will be adopted, and based on the ZDNet article, we see that mobile LOB (Line Of Business) apps are targeted as the next big opportunity for the mobile enterprise.

Recently, I have posted about how a cusotmer can extend their Dynamics AX investment to the Apple iOS platform with the iPhone and iPad. This is still true, and also true for the Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms as well.

Dynamics ax on the iPad and iphone
More on Dynamics AX and the iPad

What I am seeing however, with more and more push of the Apple iOS platform into the enterprise is that Apple's iOS platform will become more and more offically supported by enterprise Technology Depts.

The article does not show what depts plan to offically support, but I would be willing to bet that the Apple iOS would be one of the top platforms, if that was one of the metrics of this report.

I agree with ZDnet in their article, that mobile LOB applications are the next thing for enterprise, and this goes well beyond email and contacts, as pointed out in the article itself.

Your talking more and more productive applications, that do more than offer consumption. That actually extend a customers enterprise investments, beyond their walls, into the cloud, and on into the mobile land scape.

With the Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Apple iOS and Andriod OS as choices, along with numerous ways to cloud enable or on-presise host integrations to mobile LOB applications to a customers backend investments, how does a company make the right choice for moving forward with this? For moving forward with mobile LOB application planning, development, build vs. buy vs. customize?

I think that with the cloud, and integration options, along with the four mentioned mobile / device platforms, it's easy to see that could be a mixed bag actually. And why not right? No need for a device vendor lock in.

If you take Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP platform, in how flexible and open it is. Then mix in Windows Azure, Google's AppEngine, or even on-premise services, then the device becomes a light or mid sized client, depending on the need of the LOB application.

A mid-sized companies, with today's options, does not have to have an IT staff that knows everything about all platforms. They also don't have to have a vendor lock in either.

Being flexible, and with a little research, IT depts' can remain open minded to the LOB application needs of their companies, and use that to drive the choice. So if you have a Dynamics AX ERP investment, and in turn have a hyrbid mix of services in the cloud and on-premise, Windows Mobile could be your phone and the Apple iPad could be the tablet / slate device. And both can work with these services that help create mobile LOB applications that extend your enterprises reach.

I hope this continues to help drive thought around not being locked in, but looking at the needs of the business, and the needs of the LOB apps, to drive how this will get done for your company. From there is could also be a mixed bag of inhouse development, VAR based development, and purchased third party mobile Apps that complete a total mobile LOB solution for a companies needs.

That's all for now on the topic, however check back soon as this will continue to be a hot topic for the remainder of the year and well into next year. I have some interesting things coming out soon actually just on the mobile enterprise LOB topic, including extending Dynamics AX!

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