Mobile technology is invading the enterprise as never before, and while it is surely transformative in itself, there are layers of technology in play today that can help companies leverage mobile in new and novel ways.
This disruptive technology can be found in organizations large and small. But it is in combining multiple technologies that their true power is revealed, one industry observer has noted.
So what does a rock have to do with it?
Look to the Present
Companies too often design systems that are meant for the previous generation of technology, J. Bruce Daley, an analyst with Constellation Research said in an interview.
"We saw in the early days of the web, with interfaces that looked like they were designed for mainframe terminals, with flat green screens," he said. "It's the same thing with mobile. These are next generation devices where developers have to visualize systems that can take advantage of things like geolocation and voice control."
Visionary developers can take advantage of powerful mobile technologies, for example, by exercising a principle Daley calls the Inclusion Layer. He defines this idea more fully in a report issued last month, Inclusion Layer Products Enter the Market:
Products like Salesforce1, AppStream, and aMind Web and Mobile Frameworks belong to a new layer of infrastructure built in the cloud above standard software stacks — the inclusion layer. The new level is called an inclusion layer because it allows devices and applications to be included together to form compound applications that can be run on mass-market devices such as mobile phones or tablets."
To understand an inclusion layer, you have to understand basic geology. In geology, an inclusion takes place when older rock is enclosed inside newer rock. Now, apply that concept to software. In software, inclusions take place when APIs and device- specific code are enclosed inside a layer of software that manages access, security and identity.
This inclusion layer sits above a standard software stack, allowing devices and applications to form compound applications that can be run on mass market devices, Daley explained.
Solving a Problem
"Most large organizations have an integration problem, and the way they integrate is at the database level. This is complicated," Daley said. "With the inclusion layer, information can stay in silos, and the data can be integrated via mobile device capabilities."