Mobile Computing Re-kindles An Old Dilemma

Michael Corcoran's picture
 By | March 01, 2011
in Android, Apple, Blackberry, Doug Henschen, Howard Dresner, iPad, Microsoft, Mobile BI, web apps
March 01, 2011

Platform independent software:  It is the dream of the IT executive in any sizeable company and it has always been the software development mantra here at Information Builders.  While the proliferation of web-based computing had delivered us all to a world of contentment where computing platforms and operating systems had become somewhat invisible, along came the new wave of mobile computing devices to potentially change the landscape. In his recently updated Mobile BI Market Study, Howard Dresner gives us a timely illustration of current and planned mobile device adoption and strategic trends. The introduction of current and expected tablet computing devices powered by Apple, Android and Blackberry operating systems are forcing IT organizations and software developers to introduce a new series of debates and decisions about mobile strategies and the implementation of mobile software apps.  This topic was explored in great detail in a recent InformationWeek article by Doug Henschen entitled, Mobilizing Enterprise Apps: The Next Big Leap.  The question is “Are we taking a leap forward or backward?’

How can mobile computing be anything but a great leap forward, would seem to be an automatic response. Well, somewhere along this technology journey user interface became the major issue and platform vendors including Apple, Adobe and Microsoft have introduced varying paths in the road. The conflicts become very apparent on the new mobile computing tablets.  While we wait for these vendors to resolve some of these issues, the more immediate questions become:

  1. Should mobile apps be web-based or client-based?
  2. On client-based app platforms, like the iPad, will you look for client apps from software vendors or web apps to feed your own corporate client apps?
  3. Will you pick a single mobile platform standard or support multiple devices?

Food for thought for all of us.  We will be sharing our vision very shortly and very publicly.  In the meantime, we would like to hear your thoughts on the new mobile dilemma.