IBM has declared mobile a strategic initiative. As a result it is making its Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution v4.0 available on each of its platforms, from A (AIX) to Z (z/OS) and everything in-between, including non-IBM platforms like HP, Mac, and Oracle (Sun/Solaris)
The Mobile Development Lifecycle product enables collaborative, mobile lifecycle management capabilities integrated with an enterprise, standards-based, mobile application platform based on IBM Worklight for effective team development of mobile applications. As mobile transaction activity continues to grow worldwide—by the end of this year mobile transactions will have increased 50%—developing for mobile usage becomes an increasingly important consideration for organizations. Companies need to move beyond the initial one-off mobile projects that started them down the mobile path. Going forward they require a strategic approach that encompasses more than mobile device application coding and testing, just two aspects of the overall mobile app dev lifecycle.
Now the challenge is to ensure mobile apps are delivered on-time, with high quality, and meet business objectives. For this organizations need an approach that goes beyond the device SDKs. They need a comprehensive, team-based mobile app dev approach that provides not just a runtime infrastructure for deploying and running mobile applications for myriad devices but also an infrastructure to support rapid change, development, and delivery of quickly evolving mobile applications for business-critical data and transactions.
The z can play a particularly central role in an organization’s mobile initiative, especially as the volume of mobile transactions increase. Already the z is a leading platform for secure data serving and, according to IBM, the only commercial server to achieve the Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification, providing the confidence to run many different applications containing confidential data on the mainframe. And the mainframe is where much of the data users want to access from their mobile devices will reside.
In particular, the new zEC12 builds on this with innovative security and privacy features to help protect data .Specifically, the zEC12 includes a state-of-the-art, tamper-resistant cryptographic co-processor, the Crypto Express4S, which provides privacy for transactions and sensitive data. It also incorporates transactional memory technology that IBM adapted to better support concurrent operations among a shared set of data, such as financial institutions processing transactions against the same set of accounts.
Making this all the more important is the anticipated growth of mobile transactions. According to Juniper Research, the value of remote transactions conducted via mobile devices is expected to exceed $730 billion annually by 2017. While Juniper sees major brands and retailers driving mobile transaction activity, IBM sees other types of transactions, such as flight check-in, client loyalty programs, employee self-service, the signing of legal documents, and other kinds of transactions that will drive the demand for mobile transaction security. Transactions, mobile and otherwise, are where the z excels.
IBM has pulled together a diverse set of capabilities to support the entire mobile lifecycle. The main pieces include IBM Worklight, IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, and IBM WebSphere Cast Iron (Hypervisor edition). It is supplementing the core with tools like Tealeaf CXMobile, support for mobile app testing, support for mobile agile methodologies, and more.
Worldwide smartphone sales grew by 47% last year to 147 million units during the final quarter of 2011, according to Gartner. IDC estimates global downloads of mobile apps will reach 76.9 billion by 2014. It’s apparent the mobile wave is not diminishing anytime soon.
Enterprise data centers should expect to support an increasing amount of mobile traffic from new and different devices. This will present, at the least, significant new security and capacity challenges. The z, and especially the zEC12with its recently updated software, previously covered by DancingDinosaur here, and enhancements like the Crypto Express4S, should be able to handle the challenges in stride, maybe with nothing more than some rethinking of MIPS consumption and assist processor usage.