Clients are increasingly taking advantage of cloud computing and mobile device applications to optimize their IT strategies and deliver the best possible outcomes for their business. Mobile applications and cloud computing are no longer just industry buzz words—they are innovative and disruptive enterprise technologies.
According to IBM’s 2010 global TechTrends Survey, neMobile and cloud computing to top Channel opportunities in the new year.arly 2,000 IT professionals agree that mobile and cloud computing will be dominant technologies for business within the next five years. Gartner also predicts a huge increase in both mobile and cloud computing, with $6.2 billion expected to be spent on mobile applications and $68.3 billion in cloud computing services in 2010 alone.
Our IBM business partners see the growing importance of mobile and cloud computing and are seizing the opportunity. They are working to help clients understand these key technologies and are implementing solutions to best meet their needs.
MIKE RIEGEL, VICE PRESIDENT,
A Better Mobile Solution
Mobile technology evolved over the past few years and now businesses are embracing mobility as part of their IT infrastructure. With IT budgets strained over the past two years, the market has seen a path paved towards sharing technological resources—hardware, software and technical expertise. This has given rise to cloud computing, which can address the needs of large and small enterprises with its pay-as-you-use facility.
Mobile computing doesn’t work without cloud—and we’re seeing growing acceptance of both among customers across many industries. As these two trends develop, users will only need to have Internet access over their mobile devices, to connect to their respective IT environment on a cloud. And, to diffuse the last remaining concern among business leaders, there will be a growing need for innovative user authentication and security applications from ISVs to protect the devices and the cloud infrastructure.
No Time for Cynicism
Just as governments and businesses viewed websites with a bit of cynicism in the early to mid ‘90s, history is repeating itself in the mobile space. This time, the cynicism won’t last long. Businesses and government are quickly seeing a mobile presence not as a ‘nice to have,’ but as a ‘must have.’ From my experience in the mobile space, I’ve seen early adopters achieve a great deal of success when measured by their users’ feedback and reaction. Mobile computing simply offers them something no desktop experience can–efficiency.
Time is money, and now more than ever users are not asking for it, they’re demanding it. It’s imperative that businesses and government adapt and innovate to the changing landscape or get left behind. Users now have a computer in their pocket, and they expect to be able to use it.
Jason A. Kiesel, Founder &
Chief Architect, CitySourced
The Power of Choice
Partners and resellers of enterprise mobile ap plications need to give businesses the power of choice. Corporate mobile users should be able to use whatever device they like, and still be able to quickly connect to their corporate CRM system and get the information they need.
This means keeping the technology as open and fluid as possible to facilitate that. As an industry, we’re at a stage where it’s less about the operating platform, and more about the applications. Mobile business applications will be a bright spot for 2011.
Also, businesses are finally taking best practices from the consumer side when addressing mobility. Speed of deployment and hassle free management are a few areas that companies both large and small seem to want more of. That’s a great thing for the development of mobile technology. Resellers should have plenty of opportunities to generate additional revenue and gain expertise in this exciting area.
Location is Everything
Looking at trends for 2011, one quickly emerging need that can be addressed more easily with cloud computing is that of location-based services or LBS. ‘Location’ has become a vital, strategic requirement across both enterprise and mobile operator market segments. In the enterprise, the ability to schedule, route and track mobile workers is a key component of work force management solutions. The ROI is well past the proven stage and we’re now seeing widespread deployment.
LBS, including developer platforms, can more cost-effectively be provided through a cloud based service with a common, centralized platform and data store. Content can uploaded to a private cloud or shared in a public cloud. Cloud-based search technology has evolved to provide more relevant search results geared to the user application.
Finally, the mobile phone application can be deployed and updated centrally to ensure the user always gets the most up to date functionality and the most current content.
Evolving Business Models
Cloud services have emerged as the most important opportunity of the decade for the IT industry. Most traditional ISVs are trying to leverage the cloud to offer new services that extend and differentiate their existing products, enabling them to increase customer loyalty and penetrate new markets.
Many VARs and IT resellers are already evolving their business models to depend less on perpetual licenses as well as ‘break-fix’ revenues and focusing on combining their integration and managed services expertise with cloud-based infrastructure and SaaS offers.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and the term ‘cloud’ may cause many to roll their eyes, but this appropriately vaporous term does signify a lasting change across the IT landscape that will continue to evolve and morph over time. 2011 will be a year where many will move forward with their cloud strategy, while others will slowly drift behind.
Steve Crawford, Vp of Marketing and Business Development, Jamcracker
Embrace the Cloud
Cloud applications are fundamentally more strategic for businesses—cloud applications allow businesses to focus their resources on their core, competitive advantages, and outsource other applications to the cloud. For the VAR, we believe a key value of VoIP-based cloud applications is the sale and integration with LAN and WAN equipment.
As businesses embrace cloud communications applications, VARs have an opportunity to increase—and deepen—their relationship with customers. We also believe cloud applications allow VARs to bring new applications to customers, and deliver richer solutions by integrating IT productivity and communications applications.
When VARs deliver integrated communications solutions, they become linchpins —which can lead to increased revenue, and becoming more critical and essential to their customers.