Mobile Technology: Binding Social and Cloud into a New Enterprise Applications Platform

Article excerpt

Nowadays, the IT industry is revolving around the build-out and adoption of a new platform, characterized by mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics. The paper explores the convergence of mobile, cloud, and social, as well as the effects for the enterprise and the emergence of the new enterprise application platforms. In the beginning we set the stage, while showing the expansion of the mobile, cloud, and social in the business information system, as they were found in the literature. We then look over the IT trends, especially the consumerization of IT, as reasons and basis for the information systems embracing of mobile. Afterwards, we present a mobility roadmap for the enterprise and illustrate the reconfiguration of the enterprise application platform.

Keywords: Mobile Technology, Cloud Computing, Social Networking, Enterprise Applications

1 Introduction

The changes set in motion by the Internet and the web technologies are irreversible and have strong impact, but it will take more time to diffuse through organizations. Migrating from old to new ways of doing business has always been a continuous, open-ended process [1],

We have witnessed so many IT trends in the last 20 years and we believe that none was as pervasive as mobile technology. The ability to access any content, on any device over any network in any location, is becoming a reality. While the whole IT budget is either same or declining, the one bright point is mobility. According to some studies, in 2011 and 2012, mobility budgets were 40% larger than in 2010 [2], Organizations consider the enlargement of the number of employees with smartphones (from less than 50% in 2010 to over 70% by 2013), which triggers the raise of the number of devices requiring support (Apple, Android-based and RIM devices, as well as tablets) and the associated costs. The new environment demands to deliver services to employees in a mobile cloud computing model.

Social networking evolved massively in the last few years, at an incredible pace and became the preferred way of interaction, sharing and collaboration between people. Particularly, the last few years repositioned the interaction and sharing on the mobile devices. According to some studies, 60% of Facebook updates are from mobile devices and around 80% of staff members are using their phones and other devices for both work and personal purposes and these figures must prompt the managers' interest and reconfigure the enterprise information architecture [3], Passing over the social networks, other social technologies like blogs, wikis, emeetings, instant messaging or document sharing are noteworthy instruments for employees to collaborate and come upon innovation.

From the business point of view, the wireless access ubiquity, the proliferation of mobile devices and the urgency to keep business moving have brought the mobile technology in the enterprise information system. From the users and consumers point of view, their real-time, continuous collaboration and their new behavior combined with the first two arguments have brought the social in the enterprise information system. If we add a fourth ingredient - the cloud - we obtain the entire representation of enterprise mobility. Today the state of the art in business technology is repositioning in "the third platform", which includes mobile devices and applications; the cloud services; the explosive data growth and a new generation of solutions. Let us mention that the first two platforms were: (1) mainframes and terminals and (2) the client-server model supported by the PC.

This blend of social capabilities, mobile technology and cloud computing materialize into a new platform that forms the basis of a new information system [4], The interdependency is illustrated in Figure 1, where we also considered the position and the role of the enterprise applications. …