A closer look at the mobile cloud
MOBILE| Oct. 30, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
By Roelof Louw, cloud computing expert at T-Systems in South Africa
The proliferation of mobile devices and applications has changed the way we buy and use business today.
And interestingly, it is employees that are driving this trend, not IT.
Cloud Computing is also directly impacted by the above trend and according to Juniper Research more than 240 million business customers will access cloud computing services via mobile devices by 2015.
The mobile cloud is set to become an important cog in the cloud computing engine, particularly with the explosion of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets that make simplified accessibility to information a major business consideration.
This said, the mobile cloud also comes with its own particular set of challenges that companies should be aware of from the get-go to ensure that they are fully abreast of what it takes to adopt the mobile counterpart of the information strata.
Demystify the mobile cloud
Mobile cloud computing is not mobile computing. Mobility in the cloud is fundamentally a hosted, centralised offering that runs mobile enterprise extensions and services in a virtualised environment.
Like its cloud computing counterpart, the mobile cloud is made available through various structures including the pay-per-service or pay-per-use model and is aligned to industry best practices for the provisioning of these services.
These devices are managed - particularly within the context of the private cloud - securely by a hosted environment that is governed by industry standards and up-to-date security solutions.
Also, it offers a flexible, shared service that delivers critical benefits such as saving costs on physical infrastructure implementation and
Importantly, it also allows for greener IT practices as these numerous mobile devices are now able to access corporate information residing on the cloud remotely.
It therefore takes the spirit and known benefits of cloud computing and adds a layer of mobility to it which extends IT services and accessibility to both corporate workers and private users across the globe. Indeed, it allows for device proliferation in an environment that is secure and managed.
Familiarise yourself with the challenges
However, with the mobility also comes a set of challenges and questions. How do you manage accessibility to your corporate intellectual property within the cloud while at the same time ensuring that the privacy of these mobile devices is not infringed upon?
At the heart of the above is security and policy orchestration which is also a hot topic in discussions on general cloud computing challenges.
For one, companies should establish a clear mobile cloud policy which can be based on available best practices and guidelines. The orchestration component of this policy will ensure that regulatory, governance and information protection criteria are met which pertain to both corporate (cloud) and personal information (residing on the device).
These policies must be mandated to ensure that information residing within the organisation and on devices are effectively accessed, managed and protected.
Without effective security and management, mobile cloud computing will not enjoy adoption and the resultant benefits it promises to deliver.
Private or public?
Whilst they do function as relatively removed offerings, the private and public cloud will always be connected, one way or another. The same goes for the mobile cloud.
As some stage, service providers will have to integrate the private and public cloud to ensure accessibility to all information residing within the cloud. Quite obviously, this raises a security challenge to the private cloud offering; however, with strong integration and management mechanisms in place this can be overcome by a cloud computing expert.
The mobile cloud is not going anywhere, it might be a way off for some but as with cloud computing it will be driven by the consumer.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
MTN recognised at Nedbank Sustainable Business AwardsMTN and Fenix International have been recognised at the Nedbank Sustainable Business Awards for a solar charging solution that’s improving the lives of communities without access to electricity and financial services in Uganda and Rwanda. Read More
Global Smartphone shipments reach 317m in Q3 2014Analyst firm Juniper Research estimates that the number of smartphone shipments reached 316.6m in Q3 2014, representing 13.1% year on year growth and 5.5% quarter on quarter growth. Read More
Tablets improving workplace productivityDell today announced the results of its 2014 International Tablet survey of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) indicating that current implementations of tablets in the workplace are good for business. Read More
MTN Foundation holds breast cancer screening in EnuguIn a drive to create renewed awareness about Breast Cancer, MTN Foundation (MTNF), the corporate social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria, has taken its free breast cancer screening to residents of the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Read More
MTN Uganda receives US$100 000 towards community projectsMTN Group today recognised employees in Uganda for their selflessness and dedication towards improving the lives of ordinary people, including the blind, as part of this year’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign, a popular employee volunteer initiative in MTN markets. Read More
Airtel partners with UNESCO for youth IT training in GabonBharti Airtel has unveiled a new training programme to impart new technological skills to thousands of youth in Gabon in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Read More
Samsung donates 3,000 smartphones in support of the fight against EbolaSamsung Electronics Co will donate 3,000 smartphones, worth about USD 1 million, to support the ongoing fight against Ebola. Read More
Tigo gives customers free 250MB data on Alcatel smartphonesTigo Ghana is giving away free 250MB data and 60 minutes' talk time per month for a year to customers who purchase the latest Alcatel Pixi 2 handset. Read More
Huawei joins Vodafone to bolster E-learning in refugee campHuawei has come out in support of an initiative to supply over 18,000 refugee students in Africa’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, with tablet PCs for education. Read More
SA author writes acclaimed novel using BlackBerry smartphoneA South African businessman and author has written an entire novel using his smartphone. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.