With smartphones now outselling PCs and a recent global CIO  study showing 75% of respondents targeting mobile as a top spending priority, IBM took action to secure its place in the mobile enterprise domain, announcing a "definitive agreement" to acquire mobile app and infrastructure software developer Worklight.

“Our clients are under increased pressure to meet the growing demands of a workforce and customer base that now treat mobility as mission critical to their business,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM application and infrastructure middleware.

HTML5 Solutions for Developers

Israeli-based Worklight is no lightweight in the mobile space.  The company offers mobile solutions including HTML5 development tools that target smartphones and tablets, provide mobile middleware and security technology plus mobile management tools that target in-house development, independent software developers and vendors (ISDs and ISVs) as well as service providers.  Key product offerings for the company include Worklight Studio, Server and Console.  

Earlier this month, the company launched an enterprise mobile developer program allowing ISVs to download its Mobile Application Platform, with self-guided tutorials of the technology for evaluation. In November Worklight announced support for IBMs WebSphere Application Server 

Worklight's new developer program offers 30-day free trial

Worklight's new developer program offers 30-day free trial

Adding to the IBM Solution

IBM said its strategy is to offer its customers a set of the software and services they need to bring mobile devices into their business infrastructure. To get there, the company is targeting development and integration tools to build and connect mobile applications, along with the infrastructure for multiple applications, to support this.

Worklight also helps IBM with the mobile security issues of BYOD (bring your own device) by extending services to the mobile platform without having to build a separate "secure" infrastructure. The company said, "IBM’s offerings are helping customers deliver a single solution that effectively manages and secures all endpoints. These unified capabilities can now extend from servers and laptops, to smartphones and tablets." 

The HTML5 development tools and other supporting products from Worklight will also help IBM offer clients one mobile app development and support solution, across all mobile devices (iOS, Android etc.)  The company said the acquisition of Worklight is expected to close in 1Q12. Worklight will sit within IBM’s Software Group.