Did you know approximately 30% of mobile users save their password in the notes apps on the phone? And 264 mobile thefts were reported every day in 2012? These are just a few statistics I highlighted last week in my Putting Mobile Applications and Data Security In Perspective post.
We'll continue our discussion on mobile security by breaking the subject into three main categories, starting today with securing data at rest on the mobile device. Over the next two weeks we'll cover securing application access to data and communication between a mobile device and a server.
Today, many organizations are rushing to build mobile applications and mobile websites to gain a competitive advantage within their industry. The rate and speed at which applications are being pushed into the marketplace is phenomenal and is only increasing with the explosion of mobile devices. Over the next few weeks we'll explore why traditional businesses have been forced to think outside of the box to leverage mobile devices in innovative and creative ways. Importantly, we'll discuss the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D) to work and mobile application security.
Building traditional business applications versus building native mobile applications requires a change in a developer's mindset. Developers need to take into account how best to provide information to their end-users in real-time in order for business decisions to be made on the move from anywhere in world without compromising security and access to the information.
While most organizations should be considering developing a mobile application, others are rushing to deliver applications quickly, on a limited budget with few internal resources, ultimately overlooking critical security considerations. Users are increasingly demanding secure mobile applications and understandably, organizations are hesitant because it usually means more time and money required to build secure mobile applications. However, there needs to be a happy medium to accommodate the very real security concerns of customers while still trying to gain a competitive advantage quickly for organizations.
Is “going mobile” on your company’s radar? If not, it should be because the mobile revolution is growing at an extraordinary pace. The number of smartphone users is rapidly rising – 42% a year, globally, according to research from Morgan Stanley. At this rate more and more consumers will rely on their smartphones and tablets to access company websites. So what’s the problem? Traditional desktop websites do not translate well on a mobile device. They force users to pinch, scroll and zoom just to navigate a page. The result leads to a frustrating user experience and a potential lost sale. In a recent Google survey, 61% of respondents said that if a site isn't mobile-friendly they’ll take their attention, and wallets, elsewhere.
Today, the mobile movement is impacting the way organizations conduct business and more recently, affecting eCommerce sales. Mobile eCommerce is essentially traditional eCommerce but enables wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets to make business transactions anytime, anywhere. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and massive sales of tablets as of late, mobile eCommerce is of the utmost importance.
According to eMarketer, in 2012 consumers spent $25 billion on purchases made from phones and tablets; an increase of 81% from the year before and 11% of the total eCommerce sales. By the end of 2013, the number of purchases made on portable devices is expected to reach 15%. Even more impressive is that by 2016, mobile eCommerce will account for over 27% or $87 billion of all eCommerce sales. Now that’s impressive.
When you are faced with the mission to modernize your legacy business applications, there may seem like countless options to choose from. This assignment can be very intimidating, so take a deep breath and let's explore your options.
Legacy Applications – Asset or Curse?
First, we must set the stage by placing a value on your legacy system. The questions below will help you decide if your legacy system is an Asset or a Curse. I've given you a hint on a couple of the questions!
Question 1: If your legacy system runs today’s business, then it’s an asset... assuming you like the business you’re in, of course!
Question 2: For reference, Leno took over the Tonight Show in 1991 when the AS/400 was a toddler. If your legacy applications are that old, they have stood the test of time and adapted to transitions in business. Then again, they may also now be limiting business or you wouldn't be reading this blog!
Question 3: The Iron Lady was first elected in 1979, when the System 38 was new. Both earned a lot of respect, but I don’t think we want either of them running things at this point.
Question 4: Reliability is great, but it also often means that legacy applications can be taken for granted and forgotten, especially around the time of budget planning.
Question 5: Your legacy system grew along with your business. At this point, it is probably as unique as your own business offerings, which makes it an asset. However, question 5 also reminds me of a story involving one of our customers in the insurance industry. Let’s call them “Legacy Insurance.” Before our project started, we interviewed independent insurance brokers. When we asked one broker why he dealt with Legacy Insurance, he explained: “Well, some insurance companies offer brokers access to online quotes, access to view their clients and policies, to renew policies, or even the ability to log and review claims. Some of them even offer mobile services to us and our insured. And . . . if we don’t need any of that stuff, then Legacy Insurance is a really good fit.” I almost let out a laugh.
Question 6: One of the nice things about a well-written legacy system is that your data is well protected, but is it so well protected that business information and transactions are not readily available to internal resources, field agents, partners and customers? If so, that’s not data protection, that’s fear.
Question 7: Your system is RPG II and has internally described files? Curse!
The 3rd annual iPulse Survey, organized by LANSA, ran during November and December 2012 and was promoted to the global IBM i community via email, social media and publicized by leading industry media organization - IT Jungle.
This year’s survey attracted just over 1,370 participants worldwide, which is around 8.5% down on the previous year. This represented a drop of 150 participants, whereas the previous drop from 2010 to 2011 was 182 participants, representing a 10% fall in responses.
The survey reached further afield in 2012 with responses from 80 countries, which is a 12.5% increase on last year. The Americas represented just over half of the survey responses with 51%, a third of the responses were from EMEA and the remainder from the Asia/Pacific region.
The survey was taken by a cross-section of people whose job roles were as follows:
- Business Management – 43% (up from 22%)
- Developer/Analyst – 42% (up from 40%)
- Project Management – 3% (down from 17%)
- Operations – 10% (down from 13%)
- Other (vendor, journalist, consultant, etc) – 2% (down from 8%)
While in 2011 we observed a demographic shift in Business Management - going from 36% to 22%, this year we almost see a complete reversal, with responses from Business Management increasing to 43%. However, in 2012 we see a dramatic drop in Project Management – reducing from a 17% response rate to just 3%. Year-on-year the responses from Developers/Analysts remain pretty constant, with just a 2-point increase.
Each year we ask 5 key questions, the results of which follow: