Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Crisis Response Using Cloud Computing



Cloud computing is more than servers and storage. In a crisis situation it can actually be a lifesaver. BlackBerry, in fact, has just become the first cloud-based crisis communication service to receive a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization from the United States Government for its AtHoc Alert and AtHoc Connect services. If you’re not familiar with FedRAMP, it is a US government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The Blackberry certification was sponsored by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

While you may not need a US Government certified solution in an emergency, your organization may really want to consider the benefits of cloud computing for crisis response. From a communications point of view, companies can use cloud based services to quickly and reliably send secure messages to all members of staff, individual employees or specific target groups of people. Smartphone location-mapping functions can also be easily installed and used. One advantage of using application-based software installed on an employee’s smartphone is that it can be switched off when an employee is in a safe-zone, providing a balance between staff privacy and protection. Location data can be invaluable and result in better coordination, a more effective response and faster deployment of resources to those employees deemed to be at risk. 


Using the cloud for secure two-way messaging enables simultaneous access to multiple contact paths which include SMS messaging, emails, VOIP calls, voice-to-text alerts and app notifications. Cloud-based platforms have an advantage over other forms of crisis communication tools because emergency notifications are not only sent out across all available channels and contact paths, but continue to be sent out until an acknowledgement is received from the recipient. Being able to send out notifications and receive responses, all within a few minutes, means businesses can rapidly gain visibility of an incident and react more efficiently to an unfolding situation. Wi-Fi Enabled devices can also be used to keep the communications lines open when more traditional routes are unusable.  


While you’re thinking about your corporation’s crisis response plans, don’t forget about the data. Accessing data through cloud-based services can prevent a rescue effort from turning into a recovery operation. Sources for this life-saving resource include:
  • Data exhaust - information that is passively collected along with the use of digital technology
  • Online activity - encompasses all types of social activity on the Internet such as email, social media and internet search activity
  • Sensing technologies – used mostly to gather information about social behavior and environmental conditions
  •  “Small Data” - data that is 'small' enough for human comprehension and is presented in a volume and format that makes it accessible, informative and actionable
  • Public-related data - census data, birth and death certificates, and other types of personal and socio-economic data
  • Crowd-sourced data - applications that actively involve a wide user base in order to solicit their knowledge about particular topics or events

Can the cloud be of assistance when you’re in a crisis? Cloud-enabled crisis/incident management service from IBM may be just what you need to protect your business. IBM Resiliency Communications as a Service is a high availability, cloud-enabled crisis/incident management service that protects your business by engaging the right people at the right time when an event occurs, through automated mission-critical communications. The service also integrates weather alerts powered by The Weather Company into incident management processes to provide the most accurate early warning of developing weather events and enable proactive response



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.



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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cloudy Thinking and Digital Transformation



(Originally posted on the Engility Corporation Blog)

There’s a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive.
Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one.
As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressing cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. Cloud computing isn't a new technology. It's a new way of consuming and provisioning information technology services. Adopting cloud computing means paralleling your mission processes, rethinking the economic models and abstracting your applications from the technology stack silos, which are currently the norm.

Interactions and dependencies between mission applications may be more important than the data or application itself.
One of the first lessons we learned supporting customers was that cloud migration shouldn't be planned as an application-by-application movement to a different hosting environment. Cloud adoption is an application portfolio activity. Interactions and dependencies between mission applications may be more important than the data or application itself. That's why upfront screening, analysis and digital infrastructure modeling are so critical. Boeing flew its Dreamliner aircraft designs on a computer before they started to build. Shouldn't we (and our customers) test future IT infrastructure on a computer before moving to the cloud? 




That is the digital transformation approach we recommend to our customers, and we have now built an entire methodology around it called Cloud ASCEND. We formed an alliance with a few select partners: Cloud Security Alliance, Burstorm, Sequoia and IBM. These companies bring tools, lessons and optimizations available from the commercial sector (the technical operations viewpoint). We blend those offerings with the experience we've gained actually transitioning applications to the cloud and the lessons we've learned in the DoD and intelligence community (the secure mission delivery and performance viewpoint).

We knew the Cloud ASCEND digital transformation methodology couldn’t be some static, one-size-fits-all approach we trot out for every customer challenge. Our methodology constantly evolves because the world is always advancing. This is an important realization that all organizations need to internalize. Cloud computing enables rapid employment of new mission processes. It lets mission owners deploy capabilities that they didn't know existed. Cloud ASCEND is agile because effectively delivering the mission requires an agile methodology. 

It lets mission owners deploy capabilities that they didn't know existed.
Getting ready to migrate to the cloud? Consider a digital transformation strategy that delivers information mobility, operational scalability and mission agility. These are the real benefits that make the process worth the effort. Organizations can apply a digital transformation methodology to determine when and how to get started, allowing them to reduce risk, reduce complexity and migrate with confidence. Cloud ASCEND enables a sort of future proofing because digital transformation means thinking today and doing tomorrow.




Cloud Musings



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blockchain Business Innovation


Is there more than bitcoin to blockchain?

Absolutely, because today’s blockchain is opening up a path towards the delivery of trusted online services.


To understand this statement, you need to see blockchain as more that it’s more famous bitcoin use case. As a fundamental digital tool, blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. If used in this fashion, it can enable transactional applications that can have embedded trust, accountability and transparency attributes. Instead of having a Bitcoin blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network, a Business blockchain can provide a permissioned network with known and verified identities. With this kind of transactional visibility, all activities within that network are observable and auditable by every network user. This end-to-end visibility, also known as shared ledgering, can also be linked to business rules and business logic that can drive and enforce trust, openness and integrity across that business network.  Application built, managed and supported through such an environment can now hold a verifiable pedigree with security built right in that can:
  • Prevent anyone - even root users and administrators - from taking control of a system;
  • Deny illicit attempts to change data or applications within the network; and
  • Block unauthorized data access by ensuring encryption keys can never be misappropriated.

From an industry vertical point of view, this approach can:
  • Give financial institutions an ability to settle securities in minutes instead of days;
  • Reduce manufacturer product recalls by sharing production logs with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and regulators; and
  • Help businesses of all types more closely manage the flow of goods and related payments with greater speed and less risk.
Innovators within just about any industry can build, run and manage their own business blockchain network. And even if the organization isn’t quite ready to do the heavy lifting, it can consume a blockchain service from companies like IBM.

Ready-made frameworks as also available from the Hyperledger Project, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Available hyperledger business frameworks include:
  • Sawtooth - a modular platform for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers that includes a consensus algorithm which targets large distributed validator populations with minimal resource consumption.
  • Iroha - a business blockchain framework designed to be for incorporation into infrastructural projects that require distributed ledger technology.
  • Fabric - a foundation for developing applications or solutions with a modular architecture that allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.
  • Burrow - a permissionable smart contract machine that provides a modular blockchain client with a permissioned smart contract interpreter built in part to the specification of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

If you’re team is looking to innovate and take a leadership position within your industry, business blockchains may be the perfect enhancement for your business focused application.



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.




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Friday, May 5, 2017

How Quantum computing with DNA storage will affect your health



By Guest Contributor: 
Taran Volckhausen, Contributing Editor at Vector (http://www.indexer.me)

Moore's Law, which states that processing speeds will double every two years as we cram more and more silicon transistors onto chips, has been faltering since the early 2000s when the law started to run up against fundamental limitations presented by the laws of thermodynamicsWhile the chip industry, with Intel leading the charge, has found ways to sidestep the limitations up until now, many are now saying that despite the industry’s best efforts, the stunning gains in processor speeds will not be seen again by the simple application of Moore’s Law. In fact, there is evidence to show that we are reaching the plateau for the number of transistors that will fit on a single chip. Intel has even suggested silicon transistors can only keep getting smaller during the next five years.
As a result, Intel has resorted to other practices to improve processing speeds, such as adding multiple processing cores. However, these new methods are just a temporary solution because computing programs can benefit from multi-processors systems up until a certain point.



RIP Moore’s Law: Where do we go from here?

No doubt, the end of Moore’s Law will certainly present headaches in the immediate future for the technology sector. But is the death of Moore’s Law really all bad news? The fact the situation is stirring heightened interest in quantum computing and other “supercomputer” technology gives us reason to suggest otherwise. Quantum computers, for instance, do not rely on traditional bit processors to operate. Instead, quantum computers make use quantum bits, known as “qubits,” which is a two-state quantum-mechanical system that can process both 1s and 0s at the same time.

The advances in processing speeds made possible by quantum computing would make Moore’s Law look like a caveman’s stone tool. For instance, the Google-funded D-Wave quantum supercomputer is able to outperform traditional computers in processing speeds by a mind-blowing factor of 100-million. With the advantages offered by “quantum supremacy” easy to comprehend, the race is now on between tech-heavyweights such as Google, IBM, Microsoft and Intel to successfully prototype and release the first quantum computer for commercial use. However, due to the “weird” quantum mechanics the technology relies on, there are few barriers to working with and storing data derived from processing with qubits.

Brave new world: Quantum Computing with DNA-based Storage

Basically, the fundamentals of quantum mechanics don’t permit you to store information on the quantum-computing machine itself. While you could convert its data for storage on traditional devices, such as the solid-state hard drive, you would need to process a nearly infinite amount of information, which would require an impossible amount of space and energy to achieve. However, there could be a solution, but it requires us to look within. Not in a hippy-dippy “finding yourself” sort of way, but rather the double helix code found in in humans and almost all other organisms: DNA. For decades, researchers have toying around with using DNA as both a computing and a storage device. Recently, a team of researchers at Columbia University demonstrated that their coding strategy based on one strand of DNA could store 215 petabytes of information. "Performing sentiment analysis on quantum computing and DNA storage topics with Vector API, may uncover robust demand for these technologies in various industries such as healthcare." says Jo Fletcher Co-Founder Indexer.me.

What would supercomputers mean for health treatments?

The human body is an incredibly complex organism. While the markets have released many life-saving drugs, there are many barriers holding us back from realizing their maximum potential. Standard computing isn’t powerful enough to truly predict the ways a drug will react with an individual’s particular genetic composition and unique environmental factors. With quantum computing based on DNA storage, however, you would have the ability to examine pretty much any scenario imaginable by mapping a much more accurate prediction of the of any given drug’s interaction with a particular person based on their genetics and environment. With quantum computing, medical professionals will be able open a new chapter in drug prescription outcomes by tailoring each treatment to meet the exact requirements of each individual.

About Vector

Vector is a natural language processing application that performs information extraction on millions of news stories per day. It provides high value to any quantitative researcher, adding a collaborative-authoring workflow in perfect synergy with the most powerful and unique faceted search in the business. For more information, please visit www.indexer.me or jofletcher@indexer.me.

Useful Links

About Indexer

Indexer is a tech start-up in the artificial intelligence space and has a focus on computer vision and natural language processing technologies.

This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.





Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Friday, April 28, 2017

36 Shades of Hybrid IT

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Everyone has heard of the 50 Shades of Grey. But do you know the “36 Shades of Hybrid IT”? These shades are a new way of describing the 36 point solutions across a hybrid IT environment. Enterprises looking to transform the way information technology is leveraged should evaluate their options by analyzing a transition across three specific high-level domains and their relevant sub-domains, namely:
  • IT Implementation Model
    • Traditional
    • Managed Service Provider
    • Cloud Service Provider
  • Technology Service Model
    • Infrastructure-as-a-Service
    • Platform-as-a-Service
    • Software-as-a-Service
  • Deployment Model
    • Private
    • Hybrid
    • Community
    • Public

Combinatorically (3 IT Models x 3 Service Models x 4 Deployment Models = 36 options) these components are used to identify the “36 Shades of Hybrid IT”. These domains and sub-domain outline a structured decision process that aims to place the right workload into the most appropriate IT environment.  It is also important to note that this is not a static decision. As business goals, technology options and economic models changes, the relative value of these combinations to your organization may change as well. Another critical truth is that the single point solutions identified by this model are rarely sufficient to meet all enterprise needs so a mix of two, three or as many as 10 variations of these specific point solutions may be required.  This is why hybrid IT and cloud service brokerage are such important skillsets to the modern information technology team.

The IT Implementation domain addresses, at a high level, the three implementation strategy options most companies look at when digital transformation is the goal:
  • Continue a status quo strategy that uses a traditional enterprise data center to address requirements;
  • Select and contract with a managed service provider (MSP) by running a traditional acquisition that dictates requirements and operational processes through the RFP/bid process; or
  • Satisfy requirements through the use of standard offerings from one (or more) cloud service provider (CSP).

The primary drivers in an implementation model selection is enforcement of enterprise IT governance processes (status quo and MSP option) or acceptance of CSP IT governance processes (CSP option). These choices are also strongly influenced by capital investment plans and long-term business model changes. Decisions within the Technology Service Model domain should typically reflect staff skillsets and training targets. IaaS reflects the broadest range of skillsets and training requirements.  It also delivers the greatest amount of flexibility and choice. The other end of the spectrum is represented by SaaS which demands the minimum level of technical staff but may also act as guardrails to your business processes and models. Overall control of data security and technology choices are reflected by deployment model preferences. In the Private model, the organization retains absolute control over all aspects of the information technology platform. Choosing this option, however, would also lead to the highest levels of capital and staffing investments. Public sits at the other extreme, requiring strategic alignment with the cloud service provider in exchange for lower capital and staffing investment requirements. Hybrid and Community deployment options lie between these extremes and usually offer unique operational and economic capabilities.

Your digital transformation team should discuss and debate what these “36 Shades of Hybrid IT” mean for your company’s future. The team should also avoid leaving these important decisions to opinions and guesswork. Comparisons and options should be considered using real data. This is where tools like IBM Cloud Brokerage can be important to your digital transformation efforts. Organizations should carefully consider which business applications should be migrated to which “shade”. While some apps run best on traditional, physical servers, others are cloud-ready, but need the security of private clouds or enterprise-grade public clouds. There are even other applications where lower-priced commodity clouds will prove to be a viable and money-saving option.  In addition to migration plans and cloud choices, the best hybrid IT strategies also take into account provisioning of the necessary migration skills and technology management capabilities. After deciding the target environment for each of your business processes, the team may still need to do some application re-architecting.

If you and your team are dealing with Digital Transformation, a cloud brokerage platform can help by using real data to profile your workloads. It will also enable data-driven decisions on best-fit architectures, technology choices and deployment models. In addition, these platforms aid organizations in designing production solutions and in estimating costs before transformation even begins.

This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.







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Friday, April 14, 2017

Digital Transformation Driven by ITaaS

Photo credit: Shutterstock

When executing an effective digital transformation strategy, management is tasked with placing the right workload into the most appropriate IT environment. This represents a shift from buying parts for self-assembly to composing services through self-serve consumption and pay-per-use models.  Quite often this transition also leads to the adoption of software defined environments across the enterprise infrastructure.

Software defined infrastructures do, however, bring with them some very unique challenges. Many of the most prevalent issues are centered around the relatively immature state of the technology itself. The most significant aspect of this challenge is the lack of industry standards for device control. Control software must know the status of all network devices and trunks, no matter what vendor equipment is being used. While OpenFlow stands today as the de facto software defined networking standard, it is a unidirectional forwarding-table update protocol that cannot be used to determine device status. It also doesn’t allow for the programming of port or trunk interfaces. A second critical issue is the lack of business process or enterprise IT policy definition capabilities.  This shortfall often leads to resource over provisioning caused by automation rules that deploy “just in case” instead of “just in time”.

When taken together, the two latter problems heighten the risk of vendor lock-in. This issue was highlighted last year by Major General Sarah Zabel, Vice Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency.  This military organization deals with 2,400 trouble calls, 2,000 tickets, 22,000 changes, and 36 cybersecurity incidents every day. Its global network interfaces with owned and managed networks from other military departments and services providers. When addressing the Open Networking User Group, Major General Zabel stated that the agency suffered from vendor lock-in and too many devices.

“We need an area where vendors accept the fact we need a path away from their solution…We need less dependence on hardware and to be able to work with more software."
Another important but widely ignored challenge is the need to build organizational buy-in, a problem that is often accompanied by business process changes. According to Neal Secher, managing director and head of network architecture at BNY Mellon, "You need to partner with your business and show them the value. There's a snowball [effect] that will add value and allow you to add more automation. You need to prove through evidence that it works and won't hurt the business."

Understanding how to select, configure and operate within this new paradigm requires new technology, new technical skillsets and new management techniques. This trifecta of change cannot be easily assimilated within most large organizations. This is why IBM IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) can often provide critical advice, assistance and technology.

ITaaS is an approach for defining and consuming digital services through a hybrid cloud infrastructure. This approach has often shown itself as the most cost effective path toward workload optimization. When used as part of a holistic strategy, hybrid cloud infrastructures can deliver multiple levels of value by:
  • Delivering programmable, virtualized and application-centric networking capability;
  • Managing the corporate mobile infrastructure and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives;
  • Modernizing and optimizing the IT security program for identity, application, data, network, and endpoint security in a way that manages risk and achieves compliance; and
  • Enabling a shift of executive focus from infrastructure maintenance towards the creation of innovative products and services.

Hybrid cloud environment alone, however, aren’t able to maximize the value of digital transformation.  To do that you may also need to consider cloud brokerage capability.  This tool can be used to plan, procure, govern and manage all IT services across all cloud models. To avoid vendor lock-in, this service can also be exercised across multiple IT service providers.


Software defined infrastructures can deliver infrastructure optimization and enhanced IT services at a reduced cost. Organizations that opt to take advantage of this new operational model should, however, seriously consider taking the ITaaS route.



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.



Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

IBM Interconnect 2017: Cloud, Cognitive and Data!

A couple of weeks ago while attending IBM Interconnect 2017 I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the IBM Interconnect 2017 Podcast Series with Dez Blanchfield. I not only got to pontificate on all things tech, but also had the honor of collaborating with some of the best minds in the business. The series is provided below in it entirety.

ENJOY!




This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.




Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)



Thursday, March 30, 2017

The BYOD Problem


Everyone wants their device of choice right there next to them 24/7.  To an employer, however, that smart device is nothing more than a dagger posed to rip apart every shred of corporate security. This reality of modern business was highlighted by the Information Security Community on LinkedIn through their 2016 Spotlight Report on “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD). The key trends influencing enterprise BYOD and mobile security line up as follows:
  • Increased employee mobility (63%), satisfaction (56%) and productivity (55%) dominate as the top drivers of BYOD. These employee related drivers are considered more important than reduced costs (47%).
  • Security (39%) and employee privacy (12%) are the biggest inhibitors of BYOD adoption.
  • 20% of surveyed organizations have suffered a mobile security breach, primarily driven by malware and malicious WiFi.
  • Security threats to BYOD impose heavy burdens on organizations’ IT resources (35%) and help desk workloads (27%).
  • Despite increasing mobile security threats, data breaches and new regulations, only 30% of organizations are increasing security budgets for BYOD in the next 12 months and 37% have no plans to change their security budgets.

These trends clearly highlight the need for enhanced data and application security in enterprise mobility and cloud computing. They also reinforce the burden of securing data, applications, and devices that is being placed on the employer. Looking solely from the employer’s point of view, the report also summarized the mobility security concerns as follows:
  • 72% – Data leakage/loss
  • 56% – Unauthorized access to company data and systems
  • 54% – Downloading of unsafe apps or content
  • 52% – Malware
  • 50% – Lost or stolen devices
  • 49% – Vulnerability exploitation
  •  48% – Lack of control on endpoint security
  • 39% – Infrequent software updates
  • 38% – Compliance

These findings indicate that enterprise mobility is a very dangerous threat vector that can be ruinous to any business. Unmanaged or ungoverned use of devices can lead to loss of customers, loss of sales, and costly legal and financial fines. This truth led IBM to offer the following Ten Rules for BYOD:


1. Create your policy before procuring technology: To effectively use mobile device management (MDM) technology for employee owned devices Policy must precede technology. Also note that these policies will have broad corporate-wide implications for IT, HR, legal, and security.

2. Find the devices that are accessing corporate resources: Companies must completely understand the current landscape of mobile device usage. Doing this will require using a tool that can communicate continuously with your network environment and detect all connected devices connected.

3. BYOD Enrollment for employees should be simple: Complexity tends to breed non-compliance. To address this issue, the BYOD program should use technology that allows for a simple, low touch way for users to enroll. The process should also concurrently configure the newly enrolled device.

4. Configure your devices over-the-air: To optimize efficiency for both IT and business users, devices should be configured over-the-air. Policies to restrict access to certain applications should also be in-place.
5. Help your users help themselves: A robust self-service platform that lets users perform the following functions should be made available:

·         PIN and password resets
·         Geo-locate a lost device from a web portal
·         Remote wiping of sensitive corporate data
      
      6. Keep personal information private: A well-crafted BYOD program keeps personal employee data away from others. Communicate the privacy policy to employees and make it clear what data cannot collect from their mobile devices

      7. Keep personal information separate from corporate data: Corporate apps, documents, and other materials must be protected if the employee decides to leave the organization. Personal email, apps, and photos, however, should be left untouched.

      8. Manage data usage: The organization should be able to track in network and roaming data usage on devices, generating warnings should a user goes over their data usage or stipend limit.

      9. Continually monitor devices for noncompliance: Devices should be continuously monitored for certain scenarios, and automated policies should be in place. A few common issues are:
·         “Jailbreaking” or “rooting” a phone
·         Use of unapproved applications (like Angry Birds) that don’t rise to the level that requires an automatic wipe of the device
·         Providing a simple way to be alerted when a new OS is ready for installation and making it a self-service function.
      
      10. Enjoy the return on investment (ROI) from BYOD: Although BYOD shifts responsibility for purchasing devices to employees, it’s worth considering the big picture and long-term costs for your organization.

BYOD is now a corporate fact of life. If your environment includes traditional desktops and mobile devices, your organization may also need to consider working with a partner that has the specialized IT skills to migrate, integrate and maintain all types of IT network endpoints. IBM Mobile Virtualization Services should be considered as that partner in order to ease mobile user and application migration issues. Available services include:


This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.com.



Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Both Sides of Enterprise Mobility


Photo credit: Shutterstock

Enterprise mobility has become table stakes in the world of business.  The ability to access current information at any time, from anywhere, on any device has really become a cliché. The familiarity we all have with smartphones and wireless access, actually obscures the true difficulty of developing and executing an effective corporate mobile strategy.  This reality is driven by the fact that companies must actually have two mobile strategies.

The first face of mobility is an inside strategy focused on supporting employees and business partners. From this viewpoint, mobility becomes the central point of access and the management tool for corporate information and intelligence. The organizational goal here is to introduce context to business processes in order to offer viable options and drive better decisions. An additional benefit of this capability is to create frictionless interactions with partners, employees and customers.

The second face of mobility is that of providing support to a company’s customers. This is an outside facing strategy that recognizes that mobile should not serve as merely a communications channel. Mobility, in this context, is a touchpoint through which customers can quickly interact with your company in a convenient and seamless way. The goal here is to serve as a support facility to your customer’s journey which are a discreet set of interactions a customer has with a brand to accomplish a task. Understanding and addressing what may be different journeys for different customer sets, creates real value for companies.


The values proposition for each of these two mobility strategic faces differ between industries and marketplaces. What’s clear, however, is that the convergence of the consumer market and the enterprise market is highlighting the importance of addressing this as an operational requirements. In 2017, the major trends affecting both of these major challenges include:
  • An accelerate use of mobile applications, especially by small businesses;
  • Advancements in the use and exploitation of location based services;
  • More blatant blending of Augmented Reality (AR) and Utility Applications in ways that can boost customer engagement;
  • The introduction of Android Instant Apps that can be used without first going through the download process;
  • Broader use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is seamlessly embedded into digital interactions;
  • The growing popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) Apps that enable more robust connectivity to more devices and more customers; and
  • Heightened awareness of the importance of mobile security and the protection of personal information.
This demands the establishment of a mobile technology framework and strategy that aligns mobility efforts with business goals. This is where industry leaders like IBM can help your organization deal with both aspects. Their mobile expertise can help address both of these faces of mobility by offering:
  • Speedy deployment of integrate mobile applications, devices, systems and user support in a security-rich environment;
  • Enhanced business value through enhanced connections among your employees, customers and suppliers;
  • Cost effective mobility operations support that accelerate implementation through a more scalable and cost-effective mobile infrastructure; and
  • Solutions that are personalized to fit both your customers and employees.
Although dealing with the two-faced challenges of a mobility strategy can be daunting, modern organizations cannot afford to shy away from the challenge. Serving as trusted advisors IBM Mobile Infrastructure Consulting Services is designed to establish a technology framework with a strategy that aligns mobility efforts with your business goals.



This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.com.



Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2017)