May 10th, 2012

Talking Mobile Strategy at the Forrester Forums

Forrester ForumsLast week Layer 7 sponsored Forrester’s CIO and Enterprise Architecture forums in Las Vegas. These were great conferences with various tracks covering such lofty concepts as “business strategy” and “innovation”. But the track that was getting everyone talking – and driving attendance at the Layer 7 booth – was about mobile strategy.

CIOs have started to recognize that – with BYOD gaining strength – mobile is coming to business, like it or not. The many CIOs who came by our booth all seemed determined to address the issue head-on. For some, this will mean developing apps in-house; for others, enabling third-party app developers. In either case, the key to success will be publishing secure, robust APIs.

Publishing mobile APIs raises various questions for CIOs. Some of the questions we heard in Vegas are external corollaries of challenges we’ve been solving for years (“How do I expose a REST API when my data is delivered via SOAP services?”) Others are completely new (“What happens when someone with our app on their personal smartphone leaves the company?”)

These issues also arose during an interesting session called “Navigating the Mobile Shift.” At this session, after some input from Forrester analysts, everyone split into groups for brainstorming on problems (and solutions) in specific categories. When each group presented its findings, security and governance questions were at the top of every list.

These forum participants aren’t from mom-and-pop startups – they’re with large enterprises that have serious security, governance, performance and scalability concerns. Helping enterprises address these concerns for API-based integrations is Layer 7’s core business, so we’ll be eagerly following future developments in enterprise mobile enablement and BYOD.

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