Mobility will be the key to enterprise agility in the coming years. That’s the word from Certus director of mobile solutions, Matt Smith.
The company just launched its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) offering in Australia and New Zealand, based on IBM’s mobility development platform. (insert link)
Having recently joined the firm from US-based, Leverage Mobile, Smith said there are a number of things large companies do not currently consider when embarking on mobile development programmes.
“Currently, if a customer wants an enterprise level app or a business app, they essentially have two or three paths they can go down to get it. They can buy an out-of-the-box app, something that does what it does and they just buy it.”
“They can by software like IBM’s mobile first platform or SAP, they can buy a set of tools, like Titanium, to build what they need or to hire consultants to build what they need.”
“What a lot of companies are doing is they are going through an interactive framework. Where they are getting a more non-functional app with a user interface and connecting that with internal developers.”
“There is either a large cost with consulting and paying for software, or there is a low cost with little value because the end-product is not doing that much.”
“What we do is sit in the space that currently doesn’t exist,” he said.
“We produce an enterprise level app, in the sense that it is on IBM software, the IBM licenses are not purchased by the client, they are part of our agreement with IBM, we stood it up in the Cloud so the client does not incur that cost, and we have built out an entire app framework on top of IBM so that they don’t have a lengthy consulting engagement.”
Smith said the market has been in transition for a number of years and some the industry is seeing some of the predictions it made coming to pass.
“I think there still a lot to learn, there is still a lot happening, the trends seems to be that customers are now looking to the Cloud and to a SaaS-based model first, then if it doesn’t work to the level they need they look at a more traditional consulting model as an alternative. While just a few years ago, that was flipped.”
“Companies are trying to move more and more of their infrastructure and software to the Cloud. We have talked about this as a trend for a couple of years and now we are experiencing it first hand. Now when we talk to clients, the SaaS option is now their first choice.”
“The other trend we are seeing is that customers are becoming more aware of the technical barriers to the Cloud. It’s not as simple as signing up and hiring an interactive firm to build you an app and putting it out. They understand security needs to be looked at, Integration and having a hybrid model that can integrate into other Cloud systems, these things are becoming more apparent to customers.”
“There is a whole wave of conversation around modernising companies toward the Cloud, and mobility is leading that. We have a Cloud readiness assessment that we do when taking on new clients, because if they’re not Cloud-ready we have to address that first,” he said.
“I think offerings like the one we have now are going to become mere prevalent. Companies that have just a front-end technology are discovering that is not enough. These companies are going to end up needing to find something that is also addressing the integration layer and security aspects more than just providing an API. I think more of that is going to happen.”
“I also think the enterprise players like IBM or SAP will move into providing customer solutions and not just tools. In a year or 18 months, companies like us and these large vendors will end up meeting in the middle.”
When asked about plans for expansion form the A/NZ market, Smith replied.
“Right now we are A/NZ focused, we are targeting our existing client base, we have clients in utilities, healthcare and finance, right now we are going through the process of bringing this to them. We are also going direct to market to find new customers looking for mobility solutions.”
“That’s our focus for now. in the future we will plan to expand globally, we haven’t decided which markets yet. North America makes a lot of sense but right now we are not looking anywhere else.”