Integrating new systems and software into existing architecture is understandably complicated.
When it comes to enterprise apps, particularly when personal devices are used, there are numerous complications. A custom enterprise application is typically developed to integrate any external software a business already uses, but the complications arise when moving data around and ensuring secure connections.
The initial challenge of integrating enterprise mobility into a company is the sharing of data. The majority of data that needs to be used isn’t public, it’s often locked down to only be accessible inside the office. Understandably, companies are nervous to open up their core system, such as a CRM or ERP, publically, so its best practice to create an API.
API: Application Program Interface, a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications. It specifies how software components should interact with each other.
An API is quite simply the system that allows data to be exchanged between the mobile devices and a central system. By duplicating the relevant data from the core services onto a separate web server and allowing the mobile devices to connect to just the web server solves numerous issues. It significantly reduces the security risk as it limits the exposure for attacks. It provides a platform for easy scalability and makes sharing of real-time data simpler.
Having an API first strategy is becoming increasingly important as more information needs to be processed and more devices and systems need to communicate with each other.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, recently published his mandate on APIs.
“All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions. Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.”
A solid API strategy allows businesses to adapt quickly to changes, and allow new software and systems such as your enterprise app, to be updated frequently and in real time.
Businesses implementing enterprise mobility generally require their data to be as real-time as possible, this requires data going in both directions between the core system and the mobile devices. The core system or infrastructure you already have in place may not be designed for lots of short continuous data exchanges. Having an API in place means that instead of all your mobile devices syncing with your core system, which will undoubtedly cause lots of issues, they simply sync with the relevant data on the webserver. The webserver then syncs with the core system in pre-defined intervals.
Building an API foundation future-proofs your business for further development. Having that central strategy in place ensures businesses have the core frame work to tackle any mobile projects with quick and simple integration.
A business faces numerous challenges when implementing Enterprise Mobility in addition to securing sensitive data. Download our free whitepaper to get the solutions you need to achieve enterprise success.