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Mobile Strategy: How Your Company Can Win by Embracing Mobile Technologies Book Review

I am currently involved in helping nail down mobile application management and native application development plan which is part of a larger mobile strategy, so this book arrived at the perfect time.

There is a lot of hype about how difficult building and deploying native applications can be. That same type of hype drove businesses to spend millions of unjustified dollars during the dot-com boom. Companies were paying outrages amounts of money for simple brochureware web sites. The same thing is happening today with mobile application development.

There are a lot of companies offering to provide prebuilt customizable frameworks, others offering to build a custom solution, and yet others using code generation tools offering you faster time to market. Most if not all of these options lead to vendor lock-in and/or architectural lock in.

Frameworks built without taking into consideration a company’s unique architectural needs have a very low degree of modifiability and offer ridged solutions. The solutions usually end up costing much more to maintain and make changes too.

On the other side of the coin, I am not to saying native mobile applications are simple to build. Moving to a mobile client application development environment with a requirement for natural user interfaces using touch is much different than building web sites. The correct architecture is absolutely necessary and it usually needs to take advantage of data assets already in place.

The dot-com boom days produced a ton of garbage created by naive developers that thought software development was an outlet for their undeniable artistic talents that until then had been held captive. They were finally free to create… at least until their companies went bankrupt as a result of their artistic genius.

So what is the point of all that blather? The point is to set the context of our current state of connectivity as a society. The dot-com boom was the result of the internet bringing information to every home with a PC. It created a B2C and B2B world over night. It was unchartered territory, and a lot of people went flying into it with no plan at all.

We are now faced with information being delivered to every person, all the time, and usually in real-time. To blindly just blaze forward without a strategy will most likely land you in the poor house. You must approach the mobile world with a solid plan in place.

This book thoroughly covers all the areas that must be looked at when developing a mobile strategy. I have listed the chapters below included in the book to give you a look at the high level topics covered.

1. Introducing Mobile Enterprise
2. Defining Business Value
3. Mobile Business Challenges
4. The Mobile Framework
5. Mobile Development
6. Mobile Security and Management
7. Mobile Business Transformation
8. Planning a Mobile Project
9. SoCloDaMo (Social + Cloud + Big Data + Mobile)
10. International Considerations
11. Case Studies and Mobile Solutions
12. Moving Forward

Although we already had most of our mobile strategy in place it was nice to be able to double check that we were heading in the right direction. I wish I had this book a year ago, and I am really glad I have it now.

In chapter 4 the author introduces a framework that helps give a view of the entire mobile landscape. It is a visual representation followed by a detail description of each part of the framework. The framework does a great job of setting the context of the elements needed to create a mobile strategy. At a high level it includes Business Results, Mobile Tasks, Functional Patterns, Mobile Transformation, Mobile Development, and Mobile Security and Management.

The book has a ton of advice that will help you avoid going down the wrong path, and points out the things you should be thinking about. For example the book points out that "It can be overwhelming to start to develop a mobile strategy that takes into account business-to-consumer, business-to-enterprise, multiple device platforms, different application types (for example, native, web and HTML5, hybrid, and virtual), as well as bring your own device (BYOD). Developing a mobile strategy starts with answering a few key questions:", and then goes on to provide the list of questions to help you get started.

The book does a really good job of remaining unbiased. It covers the bad and the good of the different choices you need to make, which provides a balanced context for you to apply the recommendations to your own scenarios.

One of my favorite things about this book is the attention it gives to security. They devote a chapter to it in which they cover mobile's unique characteristics that impact security because they are used differently than pcs. The chapter includes enterprise security requirements, mobile security and management consideration, mobile device management and security, mobile network management and security, mobile application management and security, and the adaptive mobile security approach.

Chapter 8 does a great job of outlining a generic mobile plan that you can use to start with. It covers defining mobile team structure and leadership, defining value goals, what will drive value, defining value indicators and value measurements, what does the customer want, defining functional patterns and capabilities, assess gaps using the mobile framework presented in chapter 4, defining an overall roadmap and plans based on a mobile framework using the mobile framework presented in chapter 4, and adjusting approach to improve functional capabilities.

This book is an absolute must read for those looking to enter the mobile world. Even if you already have, this book is a great book to verify you have taken the right steps. It will help bring to light why you are having issues that could be cause by something happening up stream in your process.

I liked this book so much have 2 more on the way. One for my CIO and one for the Director of Enterprise Architecture at my company.

Every CEO, CIO, IT Director, Enterprise Architect, Software Architect, Business Analyst, and Developer should read this book from cover to cover.

Mobile Strategy: How Your Company Can Win by Embracing Mobile Technologies

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More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.