Do your customers and employees carry a smart phone or a tablet? Do your customers and employees access your network services on a regular basis? If so, you need to be thinking about mobile cloud apps, and how they can enable you to reach your customers in new ways, or to improve the productivity of your employees.
A mobile cloud app is not simply porting your existing app to a virtual environment, or modifying them for use on a mobile device.
Mobile cloud apps are a new breed of apps that integrate the experience of a downloaded app with the enablement of a cloud service. Early examples of such mobile apps include a tool that allows you to edit your pictures on your mobile device and then store them in the cloud. A field service’s app has tools on the device the engineer needs to analyze a problem but syncs with a cloud app to enable the engineer to investigate if there are existing solutions.
There are three essential qualities that you need to think about when you specify your mobile cloud app.
Combine the advantages of the cloud with the advantages of a mobile device
The cloud offers the ability to store vast amounts of data, to collaborate with others, and to pay as you go. The mobile device offers the capabilities to go anywhere, to locate the user, and personalization. When these capabilities are brought together, you can create new and innovative apps. Examples are:
- Combine cloud data with mobile location information to create interactive maps that show where your friends are, where your children and other precious assets are, or where your service engineers are.
- Combine cloud computing resources with the touch capabilities of phones and tablets to create new gaming experiences. As we see more sensors going into mobile devices, we can expect to see more innovation in how people can interact with online gaming as well as other online services.
Works all the time
The best mobile apps allow the user to be productive when they are offline, or have a low data rate connection and then offer a richer experience when the user has a broadband connection. The reality is that even with the roll out of 4G, and the growth of Wi-Fi in enterprises and in public hotspots, wireless cannot keep up with the growing traffic demands. Even though wireless service providers are providing higher data rates, these data rates are a shared resource. You can expect that the growth in wireless traffic will outpace the service provider’s ability to roll out additional base stations, so expect things to slow down.
Includes a collaborative aspect that allows your users to participate
Make sure your mobile app includes a collaborative aspect that enables users to participate and feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. One of the easiest ways to make people feel like they are included is to enable them to create and contribute content. One of the easiest mediums to create and share on a mobile device is through video.
The growth in video traffic is outpacing all other types of traffic, and not only because people want to watch Internet TV. People with mobile devices create and share an amazing amount of video content. Let’s go back to our field service example. Let the engineer capture how they solved a customer’s problem and share it with other engineers.
The mobile device provides the camera and means to capture the video. The cloud provides the mechanism to securely store the user-generated content. In addition, the cloud has the computer resource to run sophisticated image recognition software and implement search tags to make it easily accessible and searchable by others.
If your mobile app has these three essential qualities, you will be close to designing the perfect mobile cloud app.
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