The role of MBaaS
In an ideal world, a mobile app and the remainder of the technology stack would be brand new, built from the ground up, and allowing the architecture to be created from newly commissioned platforms and technologies. And, whilst some tech teams certainly are that lucky, this is often not the case - particularly when you look across an enterprise.
In most organisations, valuable existing data or business logic is routinely found on legacy platforms that were never meant to be made available outside of the LAN (or WAN) desktop environment. This poses a particular problem: how can an enterprise leverage the value of this existing data and logic when the user base - staff, for example - is no longer tethered to the desktop environment, and instead has become ever more mobile?
Fortunately, all of that invaluable data can be transformed into mobile-friendly web services, thanks to MBaaS. With the inclusion of that clever middleware bridge, or multi-tool Leatherman, existing data from your legacy system is first optimised for mobile and then served up to an information-hungry audience, wherever they are, in a format that enables a fast, seamless mobile user experience. Without that optimisation, the experience instead is slow, fragmented and in some instances - impossible.
It’s also important to note that ‘mobile’ user experience doesn’t just refer to the smartphone. Compatibility across platforms and devices is essential and there is an increasing uptake in MBaaS-hosted APIs that provide secure, robust and efficient data connections to web, IoT and many other data-dependant platforms.
The API ecosystem - be it for B2C, B2B or B2E - is expanding exponentially, powered by robust and highly scalable cloud-based MBaaS solutions. An example of this is in our work with the Met Office. We collaborated with them to engineer a highly scalable, purpose-built platform that allows their complex data to be served up wherever the public wants it.
Today that means a smartphone, but tomorrow it could be anything from your car to your home.
The power and the flexibility of MBaaS
Embrace a cloud-based MBaaS solution, and you get a range of powerful and flexible toys to play with. These include:
- Cost effective, secure, and high-performance data persistence solutions including incredibly low latency cache storage;
- An increasing selection of ‘Big Data’ database products with multiple geolocation options available for business critical resiliency and backup;
- Notification services for all of the mobile O/S providers and straightforward integration to a wide range of SaaS alternative providers;
- Exponentially expandable cloud compute capacity with autorecovery built in;
- Seamless, friction free integration with existing Single Sign-on authentication that will appease security departments when opening up sensitive data outside of local networks.
And this isn’t an exhaustive list.
In a nutshell, even if cloud-based MBaaS solutions don’t excite your stakeholders, they do have the power to make them very happy from a business perspective. Leveraging the immediate availability of both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), for example, means rapid prototyping and deployment of these services, reducing costs and going a long way to mitigating project risk.
The result is more efficient project delivery and - by extension - happier senior stakeholders.
There is also the notion of agility to consider. Even short, sharp projects can pivot in new directions as unforeseen change or different requirements surface during the development process. Cloud-based MBaaS platforms give the architect and engineers broad scope to rapidly adjust as the solution evolves.