The Coming Second Wave of Mobile Computing

Michael Vizard
Mar. 12 2013, 11:00AM EDT

While most organizations are still struggling with just how to cope with giving mobile computing devices access to the corporate network, a second wave of mobile computing is already starting to gain momentum.

According to Mike Riegel, IBM vice president of mobile and Websphere marketing, that second wave of mobile computing is going to be driven by APIs that are wrapped around business processes, as opposed to merely giving employees access to files and email.

In that context, organizations won’t think of mobile computing as just another IT project, but rather a series of changes that in time will see enterprise applications being reworked in a way that makes them more data driven. Accomplishing that goal in some cases will require new middleware, while in other instances new applications will spring up that are being developed to run natively on mobile computing devices.

In either case, Riegel says organizations of all sizes will soon have to re-imagining the end user experience, which in many cases will require the use of advanced analytics tools to actually discover not only what functionality end users want, but also discover broad patterns in application usage.

The biggest challenge right now, says Riegel, is that there is a real shortage of mobile application development talent, which Riegel says is one of the reasons we’re seeing an increased number of boutique mobile application development houses that are contracting out their services.

To tap into these trends IBM recently launched a Mobile First initiative that spans everything from application development to mobile computing security. What IBM expects to see in time is essentially a more programmatic approach to mobile computing that is roughly equivalent to what developers saw first with the emergence of the Web when applications were first browser enable before becoming full-fledged Web applications. Mobile computing is following the same trajectory in the enterprise in that we’re seeing the emergence of mobile clients for existing legacy applications, which in time will be replaced by more mobile native applications.

Riegel says it may take as long at 10 years for this transformation to completely play out. But with each passing day there are now more people accessing applications via their mobile computing device than those using a PC. As developers continue to take note of this trend it’s only a matter of time before mobile computing devices become their primary rather than secondary device target.

Michael Vizard

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Although I do think there will be more and more people using mobile devices vs laptop/desktop computers, I still think there will always be a play for the desktop computer. As a developer and gamer, I enjoy a beastly desktop computer utilizing 3 24" monitors, so I can spread my work around more.