Pity the chief information officer, who has faced waves of new challenges over the past few years as the mobile enterprise gained steam.
First, workers brought their own devices to work and demanded network access. Then mobile workers wanted remote access to business apps across all brands of tablets and phones. And all the while concerns about budgets, security and administration grew nearly as fast as the number of users.
It's not over. Juniper Research predicts that there will be 1 billion worker-owned smartphones and tablets connected to enterprises by 2018. Getting an upper hand on this means finding ways to monitor adoption rates, improve the worker experience, keep a tight lid on security and do it all within budget.
It's for this reason that IBM today introduced new cloud-based analytics and customer experience tools that are designed to simplify the CIO's job in creating and managing a secure mobile infrastructure.
The release is intended to ease concerns around security and compliance while nearly eliminating the need to integrate, maintain and support an enterprise mobile architecture.
Mobile Infrastructure Analytics give CIOs insight into adoption rates, frequency of use and other factors that could indicate a problem with the apps, the user or the devices.
"This is really designed to help the CIO and the CTO, as well as the CEO and finance, to really understand the overall performance of their mobile infrastructure and how the application usage is going relative to developing applications," Linda Lyding, director of IBM's MobileFirst global offerings, told CMSWire in an interview. She said this approach will help companies in "tying legacy apps into the new mobile world."
IBM also said it is adding a new Desktop-as-a-Service tool to its mobile virtualization service, which is delivered through IBM's SoftLayer subsidiary. This subscription service offers on the go employees a virtual desktop environment, giving full access to files and documents stored on their desktop through their mobile device.
The Mobile App Experience
Another part of the release relies on IBM's Tealeaf CX product to manage the employee and customer experience on mobile devices. With this, companies will gain visibility into how workers and customers alike use apps on their mobile devices and whether there are any identifiable issues with features like zooming, scrolling, rotation or other factors that could limit their productivity.
"Without having a view into infrastructure analytics, the company is looking at slow adoption and utilization of business-critical mobile apps, and that in turn is reflected in lower productivty and higher IT costs," said Lyding. "They've also got potential inefficiencies in the application development space."
IBM developed four use cases for the new products, all based on the notion of using analytics to improve the mobile infrastructure.
"We're looking at what I need to have in my mobile infrastructure environment, both from a technology perspective and the application management that enables us to show improved performance ... to become a successful mobile enterprise," said Lyding.
The applications themselves could be anything, she said, including sales presentation and back-office apps, and will work with apps from all major manufacturers, including SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and others.
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