IBM MobileFirst: A Comprehensive Portfolio for the Mobile Enterprise

3 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar

Want mobile & tablet devices in your enterprise? Want to build custom enterprise apps for those devices? Who doesn't? IBM takes steps to help take you into the mobile enterprise with its MobileFirst Portfolio.

Take Advantage of Mobile Experience

IBM has fairly extensive experience in mobile. Along with 270 patents in wireless innovation, it has also pulled in the experience of 10 other mobile vendors via acquisitions in the last four years alone. Add an expanded relationship with AT&T that provides developers with even more tools to incorporate into their mobile apps and you know there's a strong portfolio here.


IBM's MobileFirst Portfolio encompasses security, analysis and app development and adds in cloud-based services for a full suite of enterprise mobile capabilities.

At a glance, MobileFirst offers:

  • IBM MobileFirst Platform: The platform was already in place, but now includes expanded IBM Worklight deployment capabilities, single sign-on for multiple apps and a new beta of the Rational Test Workbench.
  • IBM MobileFirst Security: The introduction of AppScan Source for iOS (see the details below).
  • IBM MobileFirst Management: An updated IBM Endpoint Manager which supports BYOD programs and security standards required by governments and regulated industries.
  • IBM MobileFirst Analytics: The Tealeaf CX Mobile analytics solution has been expanded to include more information on mobile behaviours which will help improve the mobile user experience.

And IBM doesn't stop at the technology as you know. With MobileFirst, as a customer, you also get access to strategy and design, and development and integration services. And for IBM business partners, developers and academics, there are also new resources to support your growth in the mobile space.

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The Tealeaf Dashboard is the starting point for customers andidentifies sources of struggle on a company's mobile or web site thatthey should pay attention to. 

Learning Opportunities

IBM AppScan Source Comes to iOS

Already in place for apps built on the Android platform, AppScan Source 8.7 now supports securing applications built for your iPhone or iPad. The idea is to improve the security of your enterprise apps out of the gate -- which means you are planning security in the design phase. By doing this, you should be able to manage security concerns without reducing the speed at which your apps go live. This approach also supports all the constant updates you need to make to iOS apps.

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Feature of AppScan Source for iOS includes support for:

  • Languages: Objective-C, Javascript and Java. Developers can build in call and data flow analysis to generate trace information, telling them exactly where and what is happening to the data inside the app.
  • US Federal Government Requirements: This includes IPv6 and FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module.
  • 40,000 Mobile Security APIs: After researching the iOS SDK, IBM Security Research identified 40,000 security APIs that could introduce security risks. These APIs have been added to the Security Knowledgebase and tied to the AppScan Source analysis engine. 

Note that AppScan Source iOS 8.7 is expected to be released on March 25, 2013.

Mobile is at the Tipping Point

According to Gartner research, 70% believe that mobile will be a disruptive technology in the next ten years, followed by analytics, social media and the cloud. All of these things IBM has considered in its MobileFirst portfolio. The rate at which our workforces are moving out of the cubicle is increasing, and the rate at which our customers are looking for information and doing a little shopping while watching the tube is increasing. Which means, simply put, get your mobile strategy in place, because if you delay, you'll be pushing up the daisies while your competition giggles.