To say that 2011 was a tough year for BlackBerry manufacturer and former tech darling RIM would be an understatement. While there’s no shortage of customers, investors, and writers happy to jump on the RIM-bashing bandwagon, not all that long ago, the company was a pioneer. Before “smartphone” entered the vernacular, I remember the average person referring to anything that wasn’t a “dumb” phone as a BlackBerry. One of my early smartphones was a Windows mobile device, and I’d often have people ask, “You don’t have BB?”
However, RIM certainly appears to be fighting a losing battle these days, with activist investors encouraging the company to sell itself outright or become a holding company for intellectual property rather than mobile powerhouse. There’s no shortage of reasons as to how RIM landed in this state, but I’d like to focus on two that are instructive as related to our business.
Death by enterprise
RIM made its initial mark in the corporate space, evolving from high-end pagers to revolutionary devices that unleashed email from the confines of the desktop and made it mobile. The sales pitch essentially wrote itself: in a time sensitive business climate (i.e., all the time), being able to exchange information before the “other guy” had an obvious competitive advantage. RIM was the first company to take mobile email mainstream and had to build the infrastructure to support it, from the BlackBerry device itself to its own global infrastructure and corporate software to “plug in” a company’s email system. Read more
Today mobility has redefined the technology trends and apps are fast moving to mobile devices for greater end user experience, at the same time improving quality of life. The new mobile Apps are simple, easy, and enables greater time and cost rationalization. There are things to look forward as, How fast things can change and how quickly mobile innovations can alter the competitive and business landscape in the mobility arena today. Mobile computing technology has broken all barriers related to “perceived superiority”. Innovation in the mobile space is no longer the prerogative of a few design houses or countries; it is a much wider phenomenon. This also brings us to the topic of what the future is going to be in the mobile space, thanks to the fierce competition between platforms and providers – old and new, experienced and not so experienced. Here is what would shape the future of mobility:
Enterprise Applications Moving to the Cloud
We are experiencing Cloud Computing wave, it is the ease of use, adoptability, cost factors that are driving everyone to adopt cloud as it is getting defined today. Nowhere is the effect being felt as strongly as in the mobile computing space. With Apple’s iCloud already offering seamless synching of all of one’s mobile devices, the tidal wave may have just started. iCloud may be promising just free space and calendar synch capability as of now, but as computing power and applications start making the network their preferred place of operations, a new wave of innovations is bound to hit the enterprise mobile space. We could see the emergence of enterprise application stores offered as a managed service for non-primary tasks along with the focus on core enterprise applications getting powered over the cloud and thus breaking the computing prowess barrier of the handheld. Organizations are demanding mobile interface for critical enterprise applications, so that a seamless and incessant strategic objectives are available at your finger tips. Salesforce CRM on mobile, Blackberry, video on mobile are few classic examples.
Internet is the only enabler of cost effective distributed computing as we understand the cloud of today, and hence companies still need to find answers to questions on security and how to enable multiple virtual networks to seamlessly talk to enable a glitch free corporate and user experience, but those are problems that are already being worked upon and hence a solution may not be too far away.
Portability as a Deciding Factor for Development Platform Choice
We all acknowledge that application development needs to get de-constrained from the platform quirks to enable enterprises to not only to not get tied down to a single platform and device but also to promote BOYD to reduce IT costs. What seems to be appearing as the biggest enabler in the portability space is HTML5. It is emerging as the standard for mobile application and service development and is being supported by all the major mobile web browsers, except Windows as of now. It is also expected to be supported by all the major ERP vendors as a part of their mobile enterprise application platform offerings. Portability, thus, is emerging as a key criterion while choosing the development platform.
Allowing Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) to Enable Mobility
Although this does not count as a trend within the mobile computing and development space, it certainly is one within the consulting domain.Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) related to the mobile space is expected to gain prominence as enterprise mobility catches up further. Read more
CMMI is a process improvement approach that enables organizations to establish effective processes that ultimately improve their performance.
As part of this appraisal, a total of seventeen critical Engineering and Organization level processes have been assessed across various parameters such as on-time delivery, customer satisfaction ratings, total quality management metrics, etc. Maturity Level 3 indicates that our organization has defined standards, procedures, policies, checklists, tools and methods to conduct business effectively, and has also established processes that are well characterized and understood.
Achieving CMMi Level 3 emphasizes our commitment towards quality and pushes our quality standards to new levels. From my perspective, this enables us to explicitly link our Management and Delivery practices to our customer’s business objectives and exceed their expectations at all times. It not only strengthens our ability to deliver world class solutions, but also allows us to better manage risk and enhance organizational processes.
I am extremely proud to have a team that has helped us build a world class organization and am eagerly looking forward to achieve many more milestones as we continue to grow.