Last week I met with a team of developers at a major bank and took them through Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI). They were very interested in learning how VMI would let them take advantage of all mobile sensor capabilities – location services, GPS, proximity, movement and angular rotation, NFC, camera and more. So they took turns using Nubo, observing the look and feel of both out-of-the box enterprise apps and consumer apps, as I explained how we developed our UX over IP remote display protocol to perform on par with native mobile apps. One lead developer paused and then asked: “So if we ran all our apps within a VMI platform, could that also be our MADP (Mobile Application Development Platform) going forward?” “Actually yes”, I explained. This sparked a conversation about how running a standard native development environment from the server that is compatible with all devices can actually revolutionize the development of enterprise apps.
It highlighted some perhaps understated benefits of using Nubo’s VMI solution: VMI can actually be a replacement for MADP solutions for developing and distributing B2C, B2B and B2E mobile apps, and make app development simpler, faster and more secure. This is true not just for banks and other financial institutions, but also for any large enterprises developing and providing mobile apps to customers and enterprise apps for mobile employees.
VMI can actually be a replacement for MADP solutions for developing and distributing B2C, B2B and B2E mobile apps and make app development simpler, faster and more secure.
But how exactly does this work and what are the advantages?
- Speaking the Same Language – A Dream for Organizations and App Developers
VMI involves running apps from a remote mobile platform, and the mobile OS used is Android SDK, the most popular mobile platform adopted by most corporations. This serves as a native development environment that works on a wide variety of devices. This aids both enterprises and developers in a number of ways:
- Businesses Save Training Time and Resources: Businesses save substantial time and resources training developers on niche MADP platforms which are developed to work for specific apps as opposed to being adaptable across many organizations.
- Finding Qualified Developers Just got Easier: Using a standard platform like Android SDK for enterprise apps means organizations can dip into a much larger talent pool and find qualified developers with less time and difficulty.
- Increases Career Opportunities for Developers: Imagine being a TV journalist from Finland and applying for a job at the Boston Herald, only with one problem… you don’t speak English! Many developers move on to new challenges every few years, so their ability to work effectively with platforms is a very important selling point when being recruited for new positions. Being versed in Android SDK requires minimal training, and developers can transfer their skills and knowledge easily from one organization to another. They become empowered by mastering the platform which is most in-demand and helps open up a wide spectrum of career opportunities.
- All Apps Run on One Central Remote Platform
In many cases when an organization develops MADP tools to provide various clients with mobile apps, each client has a separate version for different devices and OSs. This fragments the landscape for software developers when it’s time to roll out a new app version. It’s not readily clear which client has which version of the platform and where plug-ins and other necessary updates need to applied.
With VMI, all of the apps are centrally managed from one remote platform. This helps to get a grip on version control and eliminates the guess work, saving time and stress for your development team.
- A Safer Playground for Developers
From a security perspective, mobile apps virtualized from a remote mobile platform leave zero digital footprint on devices. When developing native mobile applications or web-based and HTML apps, measures must be taken to prevent storing local data. Even when these precautions are taken, coding errors can occur and result in local data on devices.
VMI renders many app security issues a moot point as all of this data stays on the secured and remote enterprise server. This remote environment also means that data is always transferred through secured channels. More details on VMI data security can be found in our Security White Paper.
- Employees Receive Native Mobile UX, increasing BYOD Productivity
Because VMI architecture is able to run native mobile apps from the server, mobile users receive the user experience they’ve grown accustomed to with apps they use on their personal smartphones and tablets.
Many of the other platforms for app development are either not fully native or not native at all. They range from HTML5, web-based apps to hybrid apps. While native apps have their own standardized SDK (software development kit), development tools and user interface elements, web-based apps cannot offer this consistency. As a result, the user interface, functionality and overall performance fall well short of native apps. Compromised UX leads to lower uptake by employees of your enterprise apps, less BYOD productivity, and more employees being steered towards unapproved solutions aka Shadow IT.
Running native mobile applications from the data center holds obvious advantages to banking clients for example, who need to perform financial transactions as quickly and easily as possible. It also plays a huge factor in realizing enterprise mobility objectives, as BYOD employees adopt mobile work applications much more so if they translate well to the mobile form factor and enable them to seamlessly access and collaborate financial documents and reports.
You can see exactly how apps look and perform on Nubo for yourself by downloading a free trial.