The consumerisation of IT is a growing phenomenon whereby employees are buying their own devices for personal and work use. While this ‘bring your own device’ approach offers opportunities as well as potential risks, there is a general consensus across the IT industry that this trend is something that most businesses will be unable to prevent and should therefore embrace. Many organisations are already adopting the ‘BYOD’ scheme including retailer John Lewis and the UK Government to name but two. An increasingly popular way of making cost savings, the consumerisation of IT does not need to be an over-complicated process. Businesses are able to easily re-use trusted core back-end applications and have them connect to new mobile device applications, rather than start from scratch, to facilitate this new workplace trend.
Using modern application environments such as Visual Studio or Eclipse, a developer can build a mobile-based application on a variety of technical platforms; calling into tried and tested COBOL systems can facilitate efficient data delivery from the mainframe or server directly to the user on their device of choice.
With modern developments in tooling for mobile applications, developers can now use the best of both worlds – combining modern tooling for rich, interactive interface design and efficient, high performance and secure data delivery with COBOL. A large majority of organisations will already be using COBOL to power their IT infrastructures so the investment has already been made. The benefits of this method mean that organisations can simply extend that investment to deliver data to employees using their own devices.
COBOL based applications are in a unique position today. Organisations can securely deliver COBOL-driven, business data to an employee’s mobile device, with minimal cost and risk. By ensuring the valuable core services are accessible to the new BYOD fraternity, it validates the initiative by providing renewed business value through new channels. Ironically, for many existing (and more modern) enterprise applications, the option of connecting service to device is not easily available.