Mobile applications have swept across geographic boundaries, cultures, and enterprises faster than any previous technology innovation.
Consumers around the world use them to find their way when they travel by car and verify flight details when they travel by air. They check bank balances and sports scores, reserve theatre tickets and dining reservations, shop online, pay bills, download entertainment, and participate in dozens of other everyday activities—using convenient portable devices like smart phones and tablets.
The demand for this kind of convenience has spilled over into the world of work as well, and employees today expect to use their mobile devices to check email, participate in meetings, access files—even use enterprise applications, like ERP and CRM, that drive business processes.
The rapid growth of mobile technology promises to not only continue, but to accelerate. IDC reports that smart phone use will grow 55 percent in 2011. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 90 percent of all corporations will support applications on personal devices. And various analysts believe that the revenue from mobile transactions will top $1 trillion within the next four years.
This means that IT organisations are faced with a change of enormous magnitude. Mobile applications are radically altering the way businesses operate and how they interact with their employees and customers. The way applications are managed is going to have to change as well.
The challenge this poses for IT organisations can be summed up in a single word—performance. Application performance management is certainly not a new function for IT, but the systems and practices most organisations have in place are oriented to the hard-wired infrastructure. While IT organisations may be able to monitor and manage their legacy applications effectively, the solutions they’re using won’t be adequate for the new complexity mobility brings. They will need new techniques to confidently provide the same high levels of service for mobile applications that their traditional applications deliver—and to meet and exceed customer expectations.
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