When it comes to mobile computing IT organizations basically have two choices. They can either try to extend their existing applications to support mobile computing access or they can develop applications from the ground up that are truly optimized for mobile computing.
Most organizations will, of course, wind up doing both. But for folks pursuing the latter approach Salesforce.com today is unfurling a set of service for building mobile computing applications on Force.com that leverage both the customer information and identity management capabilities that reside in the Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) application.
From a corporate perspective Seligman says the mobilization of the enterprise is pushing organizations to transform business processes in a way that allows the organization to be more agile. To a certain degree that means extending existing applications to mobile computing devices. But increasingly it also means developing more data-driven applications that business people participating directly in the development process.
Seligman says that over three million applications have already been developed on the Force.com cloud computing platform. Seligman says that with the advent of mobile computing, development of new mobile computing applications in the cloud is exploding. The difference between these applications and traditional Web applications, is that end users expect them to be integrated with some actionable workflow process, versus the “brochureware” that dominates so much of the Web applications that organizations have previously deployed.
That’s easier to deliver today in a world where APIs not only given developers more control over their applications, they also have a lot more context about how those applications are actually being used.
There’s no doubt that mobile computing represents a fundamental transformation in terms of how applications are built, delivered and managed. The only question now is how long will it take for the average IT organization to come to terms with that new reality.