API Development

HomeKit, Moto360 and Doing Like the Natives Do: This Week in Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility

1. Is Homekit the Missing Link for Enterprise IoT?

HomeKit made a big splash at WWDC this year, and since then much ink has been spilled speculating on what it means for the enterprise and for our daily lives. Sanjay Poonen of VMWare wrote on VentureBeat that HomeKit is the first big step toward a real, live IoT and spent some time imagining, “how this HomeKit revolution will migrate into the ‘Smart Office’ and ultimately the ‘Smart Employee.’” Meanwhile, Christopher Mims at the Wall Street Journal is a little more skeptical. As he put it, “Homes already have interfaces that are remarkably robust. Imagine, for example, how revolutionary the light switch would seem if until now we’d all been forced to control our lights through our smartphones.” As with mobile apps, success for the Internet of Things will depend on components that are both purpose-built and choreographed to work together in harmony. A tall order.

2. Moto 360: Watch Out, Apple

Google debuted the Moto 360 smartwatch at Google I/O this week. Apple’s most recent developer conference, on the other hand, didn’t feature any hardware and instead focused on software changes like HomeKit and Swift. So why did Google decide to tout its new wearable at I/O? Google’s primary audience at I/O is Android developers, and the company wanted to get them excited about what they could build on top of the new smartwatch. We think it’s a sign of things to come, as smart “things” like Glass and the Moto 360 push past early adopter circles and play a central role in the enterprise mobility of the future.

3. Ignore The Third Platform at Your Peril

IDC’s chief research officer, Crawford Del Prete, recently spoke to Vala Afshar on the subject of the Third Platform, which he defines as, “IT that is built on mobile devices, cloud services, social networks and big data analytics.” Contrast this with the First Platform, which included mainframe computers and terminals, and the Second Platform which featured local area networks, Internet and client/server interactions. He predicted that companies who aren’t built on the Third Platform and delivering technology through it are in big trouble. Prioritizing this new paradigm will position organizations for sustainable growth. Amen to that, we say.

4. A Reality Check for IT Security

Over at InformationWeek, Tal Klein argues that companies have a lot of thinking to do around security policies as they relate to mobile, BYOD and the cloud. The three, he says, are fundamentally interconnected and must be treated as such when IT policies are developed. Instead of focusing on “blacklisting” software or devices in the enterprise, it’s time to wise up to the realities of today’s blurred consumer-enterprise technology spheres. From where we sit, this point doesn’t just apply to security. It also points to the need for enterprises to build apps that their employees actually want to use. Proactive development rather than reactive firefighting is the right approach to enterprise IT in today’s mobile-dominated world.

5. Going Native

The tug-of-war between web apps and native is over, at least according to Danny Crichton at TechCrunch. Users want more consistency and integration from their apps, an inevitable result of what has been until now a very open and fragmented world. Google is leading the charge by opening up the Gmail API to developers, allowing them to build native apps on the popular email program. Crichton paints a dichotomy between generic web apps that work across devices and elegant, experience-focused native apps. While it’s important to understand these differences, Crichton’s characterization of the pitfalls of native app development isn’t quite right in our book. Developers don’t actually need to “choose to go native and compete on a platform, or hope for the best by targeting the center.” In fact, today’s cross-platform development capabilities (like, ahem, those included in our Platform) allow companies to maximize code reuse and minimize developer resources across devices and form factors. The good news is that developers really can have the best of both worlds when it comes to building great native apps across lots of different platforms.