IBM will be competing with a raft of new mobile device management providers as well as traditional enterprise players like SAP that have moved aggressively in the mobile space. Big Blue said its research identifies the market opportunity at $22 billion today and likely to grow to $36 billion by 2015.
IBM said its new Mobile Foundation spans application development, integration, security and management and builds on computer services giant’s expertise in cloud computing and back-end systems. Specifically, the company said clients will be able to connect mobile applications more easily to cloud and back-end systems with IBM WebSphere Cast Iron, described as a “a crucial element” of Mobile Foundation.
On the app dev front, IBM Worklight now features a new set of development and integration tools designed to let clients develop mobile applications and their supporting infrastructures for a variety of platforms just once and run them on any mobile platform – including Apple iOS and Google Android, and RIM Blackberry.
IBM also said it’s providing new resources at its developerWorks site for free. This includes the technical skill building needed to start building secure mobile solutions ranging from simple applications to integrated web-based and native architectures.
BYOD and a CIO survey
Mobile Foundation also has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) angle. New software from IBM Endpoint Manger is designed to help companies develop a single solution to effectively manage and secures all endpoints. This would include, for example, giving IT the ability to wipe enterprise data and applications from endpoints when needed. IBM said these unified capabilities extend from servers and laptops, to smartphones and tablets.
An IBM survey of more than 700 CIOs shows one of the reasons why enterprise mobility is taking off. In the survey, over three quarters of the CIOs said they are embracing a mobile strategy because a flexible workplace delivers a 20% improvement in employee productivity. The CIOs said they are significantly reducing the cost of doing business by decreasing dependence on email, improving social collaboration and adopting cloud technologies to reach mobile workers.