IBM plans today to announce a line-up of new development, management, and security tools to help enterprises master mobile computing.
Mobile is a fast-growing technology, with more than 10 billion mobile devices likely to be in the hands of consumers and workers by 2020, according to a statement from IBM (which sponsors Internet Evolution). Some 90 percent of mobile users keep the devices within arm's reach at all times and use them for many kinds of transactions.
The Mobility Metamorphosis
"In many ways, mobile will be the new way to reach employees and consumers," Phil Buckellew, vice president, Enterprise Mobile, IBM Software Group, said in a phone interview. "It's a fantastic opportunity to reduce the wait time that exists in business processes because these devices are always in consumers' hands. Organizations have the opportunity to improve the way they do business with their clients, take latency away from their business processes, and ultimately improve business results."
IBM is introducing services to help businesses create a mobile strategy and build infrastructure that incorporates the goals of CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs.
IBM is also introducing analytics tools for mobile devices to provide CMOs, e-commerce, and customer service professionals with access to realtime insights into the online customer buying experience both on the Web and on mobile devices. These analytics are designed to help customers improve customer support, site usability, tailor marketing campaigns, and increase online conversion rates.
IBM added new native app development and offline data synchronization support for its Mobile Foundation, which encompasses development, cloud integration, and device management.
The newly updated IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices is designed to help companies with BYOD, by making it easier to secure devices and give employees tools and portals to manage their own tools, so IT departments can focus on back-end security and compliance. IBM also introduced new mobile services to manage Apple, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry devices, along with new WiFi management tools to improve network availability, incorporating Netcool/OMNIbus into the IBM EndPoint Manager.
"Mobile device management is the same pane of glass that IT organizations are now using to manage the desktop environment," Buckellew said.
New security tools allow networks to make context-based decisions on whether and how to allow users to access. "For example, if you've got an ER doctor that's on-shift, in the emergency room, and connected to the hospital network, you don't want them to have to jump through a lot of hoops to access patient records. If that same doctor is accessing from a coffee shop across town five hours later, you might want them to use multi-factor authentication, or make sure they're not accessing more than one patient record at a time," he added.
Said IBM in an emailed statement:
Rohde & Schwarz, a global manufacturing company specializing in high-end test and measurement equipment, is transforming its organization into a mobile enterprise by doing away with cumbersome hard copy product catalogs. By arming its 2,000 global sales representatives with mobile devices and applications, the sales team can now access critical information needed to retrieve client information in real-time, access inventory information and rapidly close sales.
Rohde & Schwartz is using IBM's Worklight to develop apps for multiple platforms. Representatives can access the in-house product database on the road and while meeting with clients. Worklight allows the company to develop applications efficiently and also easily integrate with backend systems, reducing development times to weeks from months, IBM says.
Mobile is transforming the demands on businesses, and businesses are using mobile to transform themselves. IBM is looking to help with that process.
For a closer look at how mobile is changing the face of business, check out our Internet Evolution/IBM infographic: Business on the Move.
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ó Mitch Wagner , Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution