In an industry full of enterprise mobility experts and addicts it is hard to stand out. But a quick Amazon search shows not only did today’s I.T. Rockstar, Nathan Clevenger, write a book on this topic but also has received a perfect 5 star review.
Currently, Nathan is CTO of ITR Mobility (creators of iFactr) and who better to ask about MEAPs, MCAPs, MADPs and everything in between.
MEAP vs MADP:
We started of by discussing what the difference is between MEAPs (Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms) and MADPs (Mobile Application Development Platform)
With Enterprise Mobility being only second to the government for acronyms, Nathan started off explaining MCAPs, which stands for Mobile Consumer Application Platform. He went on to explain that Gartner and some top mobile influencers are the reasons these terms change.
He gave me a history lesson explaining that MEAP was more enterprise and employee facing, while MCAP was of course more consumer end-user targeted. Therefore MADP was the one term that could contain both terms. So it turns out MEAP vs MADP vs MCAP
If you are making a cross platform mobile app for consumers you would use the terms MCAP or MADP, likewise if it were to be employee-only facing application then MEAP or MADP are appropriate.
Enterprise Mobility in 2014:
Next on the list was talking enterprise mobility comparing 2013 to 2014.
Nathan explains that in 2013 a shift occurred and enterprises’ focused on internal, employee facing, apps compared to consumer side mobile applications.
But when it comes to 2014 I asked him if he thought it was “The Year of the API” and he concurred. He went on with a story from his book, iPad in the Enterprise, talking about how APIs empower the end-users/consumers and help flourish loyalty.
When it comes to the best innovations in Enterprise Mobility Nathan lit up with one example right off the bat. He explained that enterprises are setting up Mobile Innovation Groups or Mobile Center of Excellence Committees that live outside IT in a separate nimble group. They work on weekly sprints, setting up app roadmaps and manage cost/time for projects. He went on mention one 40+ Billion enterprise whose mobile excellence team literally spied on the business from the inside. Seeing what projects the frontlines needed and getting the innovation flowing.
Nathan’s best advice for someone about to start an Enterprise App Project?
-Start Small: “Start small, could be something simple like an employee directory app then work up from there to mission critical apps” says Nathan.
-Rapid Innovation. Focus on the needs of your employees. Build small teams capable of processing user feedback and moving quickly to address any issues.
-Get it into User’s Hand Early. Let your early adopters use the application and provide feedback, which you build into the next release cycle.
While wrapping up the IT Rockstar interview I asked about iFactr and their trends. He mentioned a phrase that really struck a chord with me. “We are entering the Renaissance of Rugged Mobility” he says. He clarified explaining there have been some big changes in the rugged device world. First, Microsoft unleashed Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, which is not backward compatible, leaving the enterprise searching for the path forward for existing business critical line-of-business applications. Then on top of that, Android as an OS for rugged devices is growing steadily, but requires application rewrites. With all this confusion, CIOs are searching for the best path for their rugged modernization efforts, which the iFactr Modernization Framework addresses.
He says it will be very interesting to watch how it plays out, as Microsoft has owned the market for over a decade but now faces a lot of competition on multiple fronts.
Check Nathan out on Twitter, besides useful tweets – lets see if he writes another book.