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The cloud gets mobile apps moving

Sharon Gaudin | Aug. 18, 2015
New York City uses cloud services to get apps tested and built more quickly.

Security, other issues
Using the cloud for mobile, though, comes with its own issues.

While cloud services appear to be particularly well optimized for mobile, enterprises, as always, need to consider security needs, especially when there are compliance issues involved, according to Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group.

And while Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, said security always is an issue, enterprises also have to consider if they're willing to give up a level of control over their application development and management processes.

"Anytime you outsource infrastructure, you give up control of that infrastructure," said Shimmin. "You give up being the captain of your own ship over pricing and your own equipment and the ongoing management and maintenance. Of course, buying those servers, standing them up and maintaining them is going to cost you sizably more but it's worth it to investigate the pluses and minuses."

Altisource's Juneja also noted that when he's building apps on the cloud and using a cloud vendor's security and infrastructure, he's still ultimately responsible for the security of that app and all of the data being used on it.

"At the end of the day, you are responsible for that data," he said, adding that enterprises have to do a lot of homework before choosing a cloud provider. "The more you use a cloud provider's services, you still own the responsibility but you're trusting the cloud provider to be compliant."

And when it comes to picking a cloud provider, Juneja pointed out that it's important for enterprises to make sure they go with one that is flexible.

"You want a cloud provider that lets you decide what you build yourself and what building blocks you're willing to take from the provider," he explained. "If the provider says you have to use everything we provide, that's not good. It has to be pick and choose."

Juneja also warned enterprises moving their mobile work into the cloud to be careful building in the cloud if their app is going to be dependent on on-premises systems.

If a new app requires data from an old financial system that is in an on-premises facility, "then your app has to work with co-located facilities," he said. "That gets complicated and then you're better off building it in your own facility."

The road to mobile
Back in New York, getting mobile apps up and running quickly has become crucial in the time since the storm, too, to help the city's 8.5 million residents get more timely information. "Mobile is where more than half of the Internet access is from," said Schachter. "If you want to reach the public and you don't have a mobile... you're missing the opportunity to connect with the public and your customers."


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