IBM doesn't intend on letting 2014 be a second consecutive year of mediocrity. That's why it is expanding mobile services associated with its MobileFirst business.

IBM identified mobile as a potentially big money markers at the launch of the MobileFirst business last year. On top of this week’s additions, which include multiple new services, it also promises to feed technology gained from recent acquisitions into the MobileFirst strategy.

Hints of Things to Come

While it didn’t clarify what technologies this actually involves, its current buying spree focusing largely on big data, analytics and business intelligence provides a tantalizing hint of what might be coming.

That’s only speculation, though. What is definite is that this week Big Blue has added eight new services to its MobleFirst business, ranging from mobile management services to mobile collaboration services to embedded device security and virtualization services.

The objective, IBM says, it is to provide all the technology and services and enterprise might need to take their business out of the office onto the road.

IBM’s MobileFirst strategy was launched early last year to exploit its mobile technology along with the then 270 patents in wireless technology that it bought through the acquisition of 10 mobile technology companies in recent years.

In all, it provides security, analytics and app development along with a number of cloud-based services for a full suite of enterprise mobile capabilities. At launch it included:

  • IBM MobileFirst Platform: The platform was already in place, but now also includes expanded IBM Worklight
  • IBM MobileFirst Security: The introduction of AppScan Source for iOS
  • IBM MobileFirst Management: An endpoint manager to support Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) strategies
  • IBM MobileFirst Analytics: The Tealeaf CX Mobile analytics solution has been expanded to include more information on mobile behaviors

At that point it also introduced strategy, design and development and integration services for those that were attempting to implement enterprise mobile strategies.

Clearly, though, it didn’t go far enough for IBM because it is now expanding those services with a focus on security and application development. It also foresees the incorporation of new technologies into its application development.

In 2014, we will further leverage our software acquisitions and growing capabilities in the cloud to provide clients with more flexibility and choices, including ‘mobility as-a-service’ solutions,” Rich Esposito, general manager of IBM Mobility Services, said in a statement.

Mobile Challenges

Specifically, the new services will address three problems that IBM identified in the The ‘Upwardly Mobile’ Enterprise: Setting the Strategic Agenda,” study launched at the end of last year.

The study showed that 90 percent of global organizations across eight major industries are planning to sustain or increase their investments in mobile technologies over the next 12 to 18 months. However, there are three principal challenges:

  • Integrating mobile applications with existing systems (54 percent)
  • Implementing secure end-to-end mobile solutions (53 percent)
  • Reacting to changes in technology and mobile (51 percent)

It is these challenges that IBM aims to tackle with the new services, which, broadly speaking, provide technology around the areas of analytics, application integration and development, security, and enabling speedy reaction to business possibilities by a mobile workforce.

The new services are currently being unrolled and can be accessed through IBM’s MobileFirst business. However, IBM is promising a lot more for mobile over the year, there is still more on the way in the coming months.