Mobile devices will soon be driving cloud computing -- and vice versa. Here's why: It's very sensible to use a private cloud for security, management and other aspects of mobile applications. But getting there will require planning and investment by IT.
Some have already moved in this direction. In a December 2011 survey of 3,645 IT decision-makers in eight countries, a third of the respondents said that providing information access to multiple devices was their top reason for implementing cloud computing. The survey, fielded by researcher TNS and funded by service provider CSC, said that cutting costs was the third most popular reason for implementing cloud, with only 17 percent of respondents choosing that option.
[ InfoWorld's David Linthicum says the answer to IT's mobile dilemma is in the cloud. | In the data center today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive." ]
Richard Peltz, senior vice president and CIO of Marcus & Millichap , a brokerage sales firm, is in the process of purchasing a content management system (CMS) developed by SiteCore; it will be implemented in Marcus & Millichap's private cloud, which is based on VMware software.
"The nice part of this is that we get automatic rendering of content to all mobile devices, removing or eliminating the need to write device-specific apps" for iPhone or Android devices, among others, Peltz explains. After the CMS is fully implemented, "it will allow all of our content to be managed by end users or departments or business units," he says.
By integrating CMS access for mobile devices into its private cloud, Marcus & Millichap will in essence be creating a mobile cloud.
Eric Miller, senior vice president and CIO at Erie Insurance, says that Erie thinks mobile first for all of its apps and then ports them to PCs when possible and when it makes sense.
"You are performing a balancing act with respect to which devices to support," he says. Erie uses Web analytics to track which devices are accessing the corporate website. "As the first step, we go after the top one, two, or three types of mobile devices. Then we create apps that are more adaptable to those devices."