Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Rules of Enterprise Mobility

During many mobile meetings, presentations, and discussions I've come across a collection of "Rules For Enterprise Mobility". These rules cover topics like selecting mobility tools, types of users and applications, mobility needs and a lot more. Let's start with three rules of three:

Rule of Three
Gartner coined the phrase "the rule of three" to help convey when it best makes sense to use a MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform). The idea is that you should consider a MEAP if you have any of the following needs:
  • 3 x mobile applications
  • 3 x device types
  • 3 x back end systems
Of course a platform helps with these by providing security, integration, and write-once deploy-many tools that you may have to develop yourself if you go it alone. So that's a rule number 1.

Three Mobile Groups
Coincidentally there are three user groups that we typically identify as the target of mobile applications:
  • B2E (Business to Employee/Enterprise)
  • B2B (Business to Business)
  • B2C (Business to Consumer)
Business to Employee/Enterprise applications are those which are used by employees of ones own company. Business to Business are used by partners or subcontractors and Business to Consumer are used by the general masses. Ok this is not really a rule per say but it's still mobility and involves the number 3.

Three Application Types
Thirdly there are 3 commonly recognised mobile application types:
  • Web
  • Native
  • Hybrid
Each of these application types have their place and various pros and cons (for example portability, performance, learning curve, cost) which I've discussed in my previous blogs. I don't know if that's now 9 or 27 rules or if it makes sense to try to or correlate them further. It would be great if there was one rule to bind them all but Tolkien didn't write enterprise mobility.

Four C's 
In the blog by Christopher Koch the concept of the four C's is discussed to explain the scope of a mobility platform:
  • Create
  • Consume
  • Connect
  • Control
As Christopher explains a mobility platform for enterprise that covers each of these areas will add value to business and IT. Suggest you have a look at the Gartner quadrants for some good information on the various mobile platforms.

Seven Steps
The 7 Steps for an Enterprise Mobility Strategy are covered nicely in Spider 21's Weblog these are:
  • Mobility Roadmap
  • User Workflow Analysis
  • Mobile Platform Selection
  • Device/OS Selection
  • Back-end integration
  • Mobile app development
  • Change Management.
Well worth a read to understand more about each of these important topics.

More Numbers?
I hope this selection of rules serves as a good reference for Enterprise Mobility and would love to hear some suggestions for more rules to include/update the article. If you are looking for detailed information on topics like Mobile Device Selection, Benefits of Mobility, or Mobile Testing then please follow the links or read through all the articles on this blog.


  1. Very well summarized Adam. A crisp take on Enterprise Mobility.

  2. Very nice post about the issues, options and choices that enterprises are facing with Enterprise Mobility. Too often, I’ve seen people talking about the evolving options for mobile apps in the terms of which approach is “winning” like ReadWriteWeb, where they recently had a post that said “.. native apps have won”…. But in reality, enterprises face very real competing objectives and priorities… and will need to make trade-offs about what platform / approach will be best in the long run. With the increasing pressure to support BYOD in the enterprise the need to create consistent cross platform enterprise apps will only increase. I think, there is great potential for hybrid apps to fill a substantial gap in enterprise mobility strategies. With hybrid apps, you can have a solid user experience (perhaps not as precisely tuned as a native app), but at a much lower TCO over the life of the app. Your hybrid app can leverage the device’s sensors and capabilities while also having the ease of development – leveraging common skills such as HTML5 and JavaScript. Ultimately, we’re not looking at a future where there will only be one way to deliver mobile apps, but a future where developers and enterprises will be able to choose the right framework best suited for their specific business needs. We’ve been working on hybrid mobile apps for a while, and in fact, we recently made HP Anywhere – an enterprise mobile platform available for enterprise developers to explore how to leverage HTML5 and Javascript in a hybrid platform to build and manage enterprise mobile apps. Feel free to check out the developer zone. http://bit.ly/dev_anywhere, where you can download the free IDE and explore HP Anywhere http://bit.ly/HP-Anywhere