Suhas Uliyar, Oracle vice president of product management, mobile strategy, talks about enterprise mobile application development challenges, strategies, and solutions.
Oracle Magazine: What is the current state of enterprise mobile application development?
Uliyar: Enterprises have been deploying mobile apps for the last 15 to 18 years. However, mobile development is going through a very interesting phase of evolution driven by the changes in devices, operating systems, and new services, such as location and payment.
The result is that enterprises that have gone mobile are taking another look at their mobile apps, and many organizations are now in redeployment and redevelopment phases, learning from their early deployments or from other early mobile adopters.
One analyst organization predicts that more than 50 percent of existing mobile apps will be rewritten in the next few years.
Oracle Magazine: How are the demands for enterprise mobile apps changing?
Uliyar: Several drivers are creating demand for enterprise mobile apps. First, mobile is at the heart of all things digital, and enterprises are transforming themselves into digital businesses. Next, “bring your own device” is creating demand, from lines of business to IT, to support a mobile-first strategy. And devices themselves are changing to the point where it is becoming hard to differentiate a laptop from a tablet. Examples include the Microsoft Surface and the new iPad Pro.
Mobile is at the heart of all things digital, and enterprises are transforming themselves into digital businesses.
There was a time a decade ago when employees were given corporate-owned devices, typically expensive, rugged devices, to perform highly field-centric tasks such as asset maintenance, field service, and delivery—in industries such as telecom, mining, utilities, and consumer packaged goods. The business case for the return on investment had to be strong, because there was a high cost to the initial device investment even before any software development and integration costs.
Now, employees are walking into their organization with their own tablets or smartphones or even smartwatches and demanding mobile access to all the data that’s in the enterprise systems in order to perform their tasks on the go. In addition, these employees are demanding the same level of user experience they are used to with consumer apps.
Oracle Magazine: What are the key challenges in enterprise mobile app development?
Uliyar: Mobile cuts across many lines of business and IT in an organization, and the challenges are different for different users and groups. For business users, the development challenges are user experience, insights into application usage, and the velocity of innovation. For IT, the challenges are mobile app integration, mobile security, mobile analytics, and the cost associated with delivering to the velocity that the business is demanding. For developers, the challenges are developing for multiple device form factors and operating systems, mobile app integration, testing, diagnostics, and monitoring application performance.
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Over the last few years, building the client side of the application has become easier with cross-platform tools, but the challenge to deliver a full application has become integrating the client-facing app with existing on-premises applications, next-generation SaaS [software as a service] applications, and mobile services from third-party micro services providers in a secure, scalable, and performant way.
Oracle Magazine: What is Oracle’s strategy for enterprise mobile application development/solutions?
Uliyar: The Oracle mobile app strategy is built on five core principles: enable client developers to build an engaging app across platforms—write once, run anywhere; manage the complexities of the mobile app integrations; ensure application, content, and identity security; deliver effective mobile analytics and personalized engagement; and make the software development lifecycle simple.
Oracle delivers on these five core principles with three core portfolio components: Oracle Mobile Application Framework, a client development tool; Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, an Oracle Cloud Platform service that includes Oracle Mobile Application Framework; and Oracle Mobile Security Suite, which provides application, content, and identity security.