Tablet or smartphone? Why this choice is concerning some CIOs

A major benefit of cloud is that apps can be accessed from the likes of tablets and smartphones but what are the implications for companies?

Over the past year much has been said about cloud and mobility. In fact according to analyst firm Forrester the cloud and mobile will converge in 2013. The analysts said that more mobile apps are connecting to cloud-based services, as well as almost every SaaS application having a mobile client. These two points make for an important trend according to the analyst firm. The mobile device is increasingly relying on the cloud for cost-efficient and available processing power that may not be available on the end-user device.

But if that is an important trend what does it really mean to organisations? According to Neil Florio, director at mobile device management vendor Fiberlink, cloud and mobility are perfectly aligned and "feed on each other since it’s the most effective and long term sustainable way to operate within the fait accompli consumerisation trend."

“For example, the much-discussed consumerisation of IT is a permanent trend in the business world and the cloud is the long term dominant model to deliver any technology to a person who is also an employee,” he says.

“Most consumer mobile apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and foursquare are already cloud-based and since mobility is being driven more and more by consumerisation, it's highly likely that enterprise mobility applications as well as management tools will be also be driven toward a SaaS delivery experience.”

Consumerisation is clearly a trend that affects the adoption of cloud and the need for mobility products and services that rely on the cloud to help the end user carry out their job function. According to a survey of over 300 UK IT decision makers carried out by information security and risk management company Integralis last year, 76 percent plan to adopt mobile business apps in the next 12 months. Another survey, this time from Vanson Bourne on behalf of Progress Software, found that 95 per cent of senior business leaders believed that increased mobility would lead to a greater adoption of collaborative tools, such as cloud computing within their organisation.

It's highly likely that enterprise mobility applications as well as management tools will be also be driven toward a SaaS delivery experience

More and more organisations are increasingly adopting both cloud and mobility in their infrastructure. Steve Butcher, senior director for EALA mobility and embedded group at Avanade says that mobility is what is driving cloud adoption in the enterprise.

“Cloud truly comes into its own in ensuring that the end-user has a reliable, easy to use and accessible interface from anywhere,” he says. “It enables that flexible work style that our customers are asking us about through the use of iPads, slates and tablets.”

Brent Lees, senior product marketing manager at Riverbed Technology believes that he concept of 'cloud mobility' as a separate entity is a slight misnomer.

“Joining them together is more a case of bringing two separate concepts, with very tangible benefits, together,” he says.

What this means is that the benefits and issues most commonly associated with both need to be foremost in the mind of any IT department looking to implement this policy. Concerns over performance, security and scalability need to be addressed, if organisations are to reap the benefits of increased collaboration and efficiency.

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