Threading the Mobile Needle with Service Gateways
It’s ridiculous, when you think about it…craziness. We expect our business and personal information to be available through a little device, our chosen smartphone, anytime, anywhere.
Likewise, organizations expect any system on the organization’s ‘backend’ to be available to any employee, partner or customer…on any device… on the ‘front end’, 24 x 7, with no excuses about bandwidth, memory, data access, operating system or security.
We’re asking the impossible, right?
A new kind of integration – service gateways
In Mobility integration is a major challenge for IT, Saurabh Sharma says:
Mobility integration is a multi-faceted problem: in addition to achieving seamless interaction between disparate applications, IT needs to provide a robust data security and governance framework for securing and managing data flow across a wide range of services, systems, and business processes. Then there is the need to provide a compelling user experience to different users through a wide range of access channels.
This is a whole new problem for technologists…no longer is it as simple as a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework that defines what comes and goes across the network. SOA is the gold standard for integrating the enterprise, but mobility requires something different. The answer to this problem has become service gateways…applications that allow mobile access to and from enterprise SOA-connected systems.
Even bigger than mobile
This trend is bigger than just mobility, as companies work to figure out how to share with partners, across cloud environments and whatever comes next (and trust me, something is always coming next). Interconnectivity is the new black and managing all of movement of data from anywhere to anywhere is extremely challenging.
And it isn’t just the sharing of data…business processes increasingly cross the enterprise firewall. Process handoffs and monitoring of human and machine activity has to take place regardless of location, device or time of day. As well, we’ve figured out that self-service is the only way to scale with our customers and partners, and getting that self-service to work means rock solid mobile connectivity.
It wouldn’t be fair to leave big data out of this…data needs to be managed so that what moves through the restrictions of a network and device is immediately consumable, dependable, and very fast. That means doing the crunching before or after the data is sent so that the amount that streams makes sense for performance and understanding.
Lastly, consider the Internet of Things…the near-term arrival of connected sensors that will explode the current needs for mobile computing from the current 2 billion users to another 50 billion sensors of every type. That will push the limits for the movement of data through the ‘needle’ of mobile devices and networks even higher.
Keeping it simple
Service gateways are the only answer we have. Gateways can manage things that applications had to be programmed to manage in the past, like security, throttling, transformation of data, routing and, most importantly, monitoring of interfaces. Mobile traffic isn’t as predictable and often comes in ‘bursts’, creating requirements for instant scalability. Service gateways can handle that, too.
If you’re struggling to understand mobile or dealing with problems in performance or other challenges, service gateways are a place to look. It just makes sense that the old ways of integrating won’t hold up without new technologies that address the problems of a highly mobile world.