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Mobility and DevOps Help Enterprise Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. The internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies dominate headlines today, but CIOs and their IT teams aren’t neglecting mobility either.

Whether it’s your field-services or sales organization, it’s important to engage your mobile workforce early in the enablement process in each function or organization teams. You can use them for feedback, gaining insights into how they intend to work with mobile apps, or even test early iterations of the mobile apps you build.

1. Enterprise Mobility for Digital Transformation

1.1 Enterprise Mobile Management

In order to take full advantage of the mobility, enterprises need to introduce enterprise mobility management(EMM) platform. The platform should ensure the ability for mobile device management(MDM), mobile application management(MAM), and mobile content management(MCM). It provides convenient management functions while ensuring security, and provides application and content protection for enterprise mobility. The common mobile management platforms like VMware AirWatch, Microsoft Intune, MobileIron EMM, etc. Here is the architecture for MobileIron:

1.2 Mobile Applications

1.2.1 Mobile apps for Supply

Supply chain professionals are finding mobile applications to be a necessary tool these days. In an industry focused on the transport of products and goods, mobile apps are giving supply chain professionals a new freedom from the confines of their desks.

Gone are the days of the costly, rugged devices that manage warehouse and transport operations over a decade ago. With improved technology and updated applications, these devices have become irrelevant, as supply chain and logistics professionals find these services right in the palm of their hands, and at a much lower price point. But the cost isn’t the only driver behind the increased popularity of mobile applications. Other benefits include:

  • Real-time updates: better control over inventory and operational processes
  • Portability
  • Precision monitoring
  • Speed: increased efficiency and productivity
  • With increased efficiency comes better customer service

1.2.2 Mobile apps for Logistic

The logistics industry has progressed by leaps and bounds widening its geographical circumference to the entire global arena. The right mobile application can make a world of difference for warehousing and logistics professionals who rely on smartphones or tablets to help them do their jobs.

In fact, the eCommerce and even the online retailers are largely dependent on the logistics company. Therefore, whether it is shipping the cargo through courier, the movers and the Packers, storing the necessary goods at a warehouse etc. The logistics company will hugely get benefited by online manufacturing industries as they would deliver the goods products right at the doorstep within quick time.

The mobile apps are just more than a boon; it helps in improving a number of activities like managing the inventory, keeping an eye on the warehouse, supervising the goods carrying vehicles and so on. So, let’s discuss the various aspects and see why the logistic company requires the support of mobile apps.

  • Monitor the Location of Vehicle
  • Helps in Managing your Fleet Appropriately
  • Online Booking of Cargo and Parcel
  • Tracing the Cargo through App
  • Get Rid of All Paper Work Formalities
  • Information about the Driver
  • Management of the Warehouse

1.2.3 Mobile apps for e-commerce

The development of e-commerce has changed the traditional sales model. Many traditional enterprises are actively shifting to B2B and B2C models. In China, mobile applications such as Taobao, TMall, JD, etc., and developed logistics also promote e-commerce. Provides natural power.

A lot of retail apps are now beating out mobile websites, according to a recent report by Criteo. It shows that retailers in North America that have both a mobile website and a mobile app generate 67 percent of their sales from mobile apps.

Another fascinating figure from the report is that a click on a mobile device precedes 26 percent of all desktop transactions. While some reports point to customer retention issues on mobile retail apps, Criteo cites a 13 percent increase in transactions completed on smartphones. They also cite a conversion rate that’s more than three times higher on shopping apps compared to the mobile web in North America.

1.2.4 Mobile apps for OA and employee communication

In today’s mobile-first world, corporate communication and mobile applications are inseparable. WeChat Work, one of the main digital corporate communication solutions in China, has gradually evolved into another multifunctional application running parallel to WeChat.

According to Tencent’s official numbers, released in May 2018, 80% of China’s top 500 companies have joined WeChat Work.

The total number of registered companies has reached 1.5 million, which translates to over 30 million active users.

Today’s WeChat Work has evolved into a multifunctional and efficient tool not only for corporate coordination but for a company’s wider daily administration.
Here are some of the main default features:

  • Company-Paid Call
  • Punch In/Out
  • Enterprise Mail
  • Report
  • Announcement
  • File Disk
  • Forum
  • Third-Party App

In China, DingTalk is another tool dedicated to corporate communication, and more and more companies are using the convenience and rich enterprise communication (chat/A&V call) capabilities, high office automation integration and the integration of the three parties, the specific functions are as follows:

  • Organization Contacts
  • Organized Contact List
  • Privacy Mode
  • External Contacts
  • Message and Read Status
  • Group management
  • Watermark Feature
  • Streamline Mode
  • Categorize Messages
  • Group Announcements
  • Urgent Message
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Task Assignment
  • Calendar Management
  • VoIP Calling
  • Video Conference
  • Smart Attendance
  • Approval
  • Report
  • Check-in/out
  • Ding Drive


1.3 Mobile App Architecture

Normally, the most commonly used three-layer application architecture is similar, the top-level application layer, the middle business logic layer and the bottom core data and third-party libraries layer. The business logic module usually development by MVP(Model–View–Presenter) mode.

Microservices – also known as the microservice architecture – is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled services, which implement business capabilities. In a microservices architecture, services are fine-grained and the protocols are lightweight. The benefit of decomposing an application into different smaller services is that it improves modularity. This makes the application easier to understand, develop, test, and become more resilient to architecture erosion. It parallelizes development by enabling small autonomous teams to develop, deploy and scale their respective services independently. It also allows the architecture of an individual service to emerge through continuous refactoring. Microservices-based architectures enable continuous delivery and deployment.

Regarding the properties of microservices, and an official definition is missing as well. Some of the defining characteristics that are frequently cited include:

  1. Services in a microservice architecture are often processes that communicate over a network to fulfill a goal using technology-agnostic protocols such as HTTP. However, services might also use other kinds of inter-process communication mechanisms such as shared memory.
  2. Services in a microservice architecture are independently deployable.
  3. The services are easy to replace.
  4. Services are organized around capabilities, e.g., user interface front-end, recommendation, logistics, billing, etc.
  5. Services can be implemented using different programming languages, databases, hardware and software environment, depending on what fits best.
  6. Services are small in size, messaging enabled, bounded by contexts, autonomously developed, independently deployable, decentralized and built and released with automated processes.

A microservices-based architecture:

  1. Naturally enforces a modular structure.
  2. Lends itself to a continuous delivery software development process. A change to a small part of the application only requires rebuilding and redeploying only one or a small number of services.
  3. Adheres to principles such as fine-grained interfaces (to independently deployable services), business-driven development (e.g. domain-driven design), cloud application architectures, polyglot programming and persistence, lightweight container deployment, decentralized continuous delivery, and DevOps with holistic service monitoring.

Here is the example:

1.4 Cross-Platform Framework for Mobile Apps

According to the current mainstream mobile operating systems iOS and Android, the mobile application development framework can be roughly divided into the following categories:
1. Pure Web HTML5
2. Hybrid (Native+Web), Cross-Platform Framework optional
3. Native (Cross-Platform Framework)
4. Fully Native

In general, the use of the Web and cross-platform framework can improve the efficiency of development, but since the addition of the middle layer control, it may also have performance and function impact, compared to pure native development.

1.5 Unified Design Standard Platform

There are many companies build a centralized design platform serves as a reference for designers & developers, providing concise and clear direction. Intentional design creates an authoritative brand voice, and make it as a framework for consistency across a spectrum of applications, which will provide all design elements & infrastructure are modular and adapt to any screen.

The App Design Principles:

  1. Purposeful: We believe in clear, accessible design that focuses customers on the content on the page instead of user interface elements.
  2. Inclusive: We engage a broad set of customers by crafting experiences that are welcoming, accessible, and language-flexible.
  3. Cohesive: We aspire to maintain a unified experience where each system flows seamlessly into the next.
  4. Intuitive: We optimize our designs to create informative, impactful experiences that make our customers feel confident and inspired.
  5. Brand Consistency: We are dedicated to maintaining the pride and dedication to craftsmanship that our brand communicates so that our customers can rely on our voice just as much as our products.

2. DevOps for Enterprise Digital Transformation

2.1 DevOps and Agile Process

Software is critical to all organizations, but producing great applications and services that meet business needs requires modern development and delivery processes. This is especially important in today’s digital economy, where strategic software development fuels innovation and boosts competitive advantage.

With the shift to digital initiatives, the line between development and IT on one side and the business on the other is blurring. It’s increasingly difficult to unravel the dependencies. For many traditional industries, how to integrate Vendor’s resources for software system development and project management is also facing a challenge.

The connection among agile, DevOps, and business outcomes centers on the continuous feedback loop running through live customer experiences to requirements engineering. This shows how well software delivery is performing and supporting the business itself.

To further reap the benefits of agile and DevOps, organizations must also leverage the responsiveness and flexibility offered by cloud, containers, and other new code design and delivery architectures. This requires making a smooth shift-left of all activities—such as continuous testing—and finer granularity of iteration across the whole of the software delivery and ops cycle. So we introduced DevOps Platform from code management to deploy as described below.

2.2 DevOps Platform and Project Management

DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops). The goal of DevOps is to shorten the systems development life cycle while also delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives. The DevOps approach is to include automation and event monitoring at all steps of the software build.

The common DevOps Platform like GitHub+Jenkis, Microsoft Azure DevOps(previous Microsoft VSTS), the Azure DevOps running as a Cloud Services provides development collaboration tools including high-performance pipelines, free private Git repositories, configurable Kanban boards, and extensive automated and cloud-based load testing.

As DevOps is intended to be a cross-functional mode of working, rather than a single DevOps tool, there are sets (or “toolchains”) of multiple tools. Such DevOps tools are expected to fit into one or more of these categories, reflective of key aspects of the development and delivery process:

  1. Code – code development and review, source code management tools, code merging
  2. Build – continuous integration tools, build status
  3. Test – continuous testing tools that provide feedback on business risks
  4. Package – artifact repository, application pre-deployment staging
  5. Release – change management, release approvals, release automation
  6. Configure – infrastructure configuration and management, Infrastructure as Code tools
  7. Monitor – applications performance monitoring, end-user experience

As an agile project management platform, in addition to following agile specifications and processes, Azure DevOps also provides online collaboration capabilities, which provide a communication channel for traditional enterprise project parties and Vendor partners. Contains management of requirements, iterative planning, tasks assignment, Kanban system, test cases maintenance and bugs tracking, etc.

3. Future Mobility & DevOps

As long as the development of mobile 5G and the commercialization rollout, which will bring the continuous improvement of mobile network performance. Enterprise mobility can better leverage of this advantage, better empowering in IoT, AR, Wearable device, Real-time BI, and play a bigger role in Industry 4.0 and Marketing 4.0, with more and more mature agile and DevOps application development processes, enterprise mobility and DevOps will help companies realize their business dreams and missions earlier.

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