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IBM | Companies need a mobile-first strategy

Marie Wieck says it’s important to securely and flexibly integrate all the content so that users can have a consistent experience across mobiles and websites. (Marie Wieck says it’s important to securely and flexibly integrate all the content so that users can have a consistent experience across mobiles and websites.)Premium
Marie Wieck says it’s important to securely and flexibly integrate all the content so that users can have a consistent experience across mobiles and websites.
(Marie Wieck says it’s important to securely and flexibly integrate all the content so that users can have a consistent experience across mobiles and websites.)

IBM’s Marie Wieck on how companies need to embrace a mobile-first strategy to deliver services faster

Mumbai: Marie Wieck is general manager for the application and integration middleware business unit in IBM Software. One of the core brand leaders within the software group of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), she is responsible for software initiatives including the MobileFirst strategy. Wieck, who was in Mumbai to meet chief information officers, said in an interview that it’s imperative that companies embrace a mobile-first strategy to deliver services faster, become more responsive to customer needs and get an added revenue stream. But they also have to reinvent the business model to incorporate a mobile-first strategy. Edited excerpts:

The world has moved from mainframes to client-server desktop models, and now to the Internet (or cloud) and mobile devices.

What we are seeing is a new engagement by many people, which we describe as “systems of engagement" around mobile, social, big data (analysis of the mountains of data that individuals and companies generate) and cloud (services delivered on a network such as the Internet).

But we continue to see the importance and relevance of those back-end systems such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and data repositories that need to be integrated in the workplace in order to have both the business execution and style of interaction that many are now looking to achieve.

This gives rise to a new engagement model of a mobile-first capability, but the strategy needs support from business executives to succeed.

How should companies go about developing a mobile-first strategy?

Companies typically need, whether they are deploying business to consumer apps or business to business or employee apps, a cost-effective and timely way of delivering mobile apps and solutions. You don’t just want to flap a mobile app in front of your existing business processes, and expect it to work.

IBM’s development and integration tools enable clients to develop and run the apps on any mobile platform, including Apple Inc.’s iOS, Google Inc.’s Android or Research in Motion’s BlackBerry. Further, to help organizations manage the Bring Your Own Device trend, we provide a life cycle approach and a strategy that helps address mobile implementation across multiple devices with the scalability and form factors that are needed by clients who want their customers to have a consistent user experience.

What should companies keep in mind when doing so?

It’s important to securely and flexibly integrate all the content so that users can have a consistent experience across mobiles and websites. Companies should also be data driven and take advantage of analytics. And it is very important to adopt open standards to “future-proof" one’s business. Those embracing a mobile strategy can deliver services faster and be more responsive to customer needs, but a mobile strategy also has to have a connection with business operations to meet with success.

Any India-specific examples?

We have been working with ING Vysya Bank Ltd in India on their mobile banking application, taking advantage of our IBM Worklight technology. That is going into production, and it (the bank) has found our solution to be cost-effective since the solution supports all device types. (ING, which has fewer branches than bigger banks, wanted to adopt a mobile strategy to combat them, and was looking at an Israeli firm, Worklight, which IBM acquired in 2012.)

The solution provided a new set of capabilities for the bank. However, most of our customers do native application development on each individual platform—they write it for Apple, then separately for Android or BlackBerry. This also helps them upgrade the technology, and provide a seamless and consistent experience to the user.

How should companies look at analytics when implementing the mobile-first strategy?

We have integrated and released the capability to have analytics in our solutions in a way that clients will know how their customers are using their mobile apps—for instance, how much battery time is consumed or whether users have challenges with the layout of the screen.

Our capabilities allow to make the experience better with our insight and data analytics.

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