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Mobility Stacks Not So Simple

     Most enterprises today are investing, or are planning to invest in mobility today. From a branded applications, to BYOD, to a “mobile first” strategy, its different strokes for different folks. However, a lot of these initiatives come under management flak because of budget overruns. This happens typically because when the budgeting and ROI calculations are done, all components that go into the solution are not considered.

For most teams, Mobility is limited to having an app, or a BYOD policy. It is important that you understand the functional stack that goes into a mobility solution before we plan and design our solution. Unless you have the full comprehension of the layers and what goes into them, it is highly likely that you will end up under sizing or oversizing the solution.

Visibility Layer – As the name suggests, this layer is all about visibility into the overall environment. It constitutes of two different types of views – the administration view and the user view. The admin view is used by the tech team to do the management tasks like housekeeping functions (reporting, backups etc.), account management, service configurations etc. The user view is for the consumption of the enterprise applications and services. Being the topmost layer, it should have an integrated view of the layers below.

This layer is essentially the entry point into the services offered as a part of the overall solution.

Solutions Layer – This is the core layer where the actual services and applications exist. The entire technology stack that interacts with the backend systems and data layer exists here. This is where the integration between the device / endpoint and the underlying systems happens. It is critical that this integration is seamless to enhance the user experience.

When designing the solutions layer, all the use cases need to be understood and evaluated in deep detail. A lot of parameters need to be considered like the types of end devices, access logic, data transfer rates, platform support, type and size of data (textual, images, documents, batch transfers, trickle control etc.) are some of the considerations for the design at this layer. Another important factor is whether the availability to the user is online only, or offline as well.

Device administration layer – Comparable to the standard MDM solutions this layer provides the functionality to track, control, and manage the end devices. In case the devices are not company provided, then authentication becomes an important function. In order to use the services offered, the device needs to be registered with the access management solution to allow the traffic from that particular device into the solutions layer.

Networking layer – this is the core data communication layer, and is typically owned and provided by the carrier. However, if the enterprise has deployed a unified communications platform, the same can be leveraged here. This layer needs to support multi-mode access, to enable access through Wi-Fi and other connectivity methods.

The device layer – this is the end point layer, and is the most fundamental layer. It represents the highest complexity in the system, because while the layers above are enterprise owned and managed, and are fairly standardized, this layer is employee / partner / customer owned, and is highly fragmented. The users are driven by personal needs rather than the enterprise goals, and therefore, the technology and functional alignment to the larger enterprise strategy becomes a challenge.

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The author is associated with one of the top mobile development solutions provider, iPhone developer Dallas TX and mobile banking app development

Posted on 2013-05-23, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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