Is Scaling Mobile Internet Possible?

Whether or not you are a tech nerd like me, I hope you can agree that mobile and application services are the future of the internet. In most cases, there really is an app for that! Hundreds of new apps being created for Android and OS on a daily basis. Hundreds! So what separates the successful ones from the not-so-great ones? It all comes down the infrastructure of course!

Mobile and application service success relies on several factors, according to Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi:

  1. Building an end-to-end ecosystem of components.
  2. A platform that enables control points and helps the user become loyal to the service rather than the device.
  3. An ecosystem that enables a unique, in-house, and third-party application development environment.

That sure is a best-case scenerio, Dr. Eslambolchi! I know I would love to live in a world where web technologies that supply mobile internet services, utilize web-based software, and community-generated apps had that kind of support to encourage growth. Unfortunately, a common application service architecture across all devices and services doesn’t exist yet. Basically, this means that scaling mobile internet is possible but we are a long way from doing it efficiently.

So how can we scale mobile internet faster? I don’t have the answer. I do have some thoughts on the subject, though.

Some Thoughts on Mobile Internet Application & Services Solutions

  • There is a vast array of real-time information and web-processed data on the Internet. This means that service providers can (and ultimately will) become the gatekeepers of the enormous amounts of data that pass through their infrastructure. Those who control data and learn how to monetize it will be the big winners in this industry.
  • The mobile Internet will center on information gathering data from many sources, not just the traditional web. Mobile device usage continues to explode and we can expect these devices to begin behaving as an extension of PCs (if they aren’t already). They use the same databases and links, after all! Start thinking of your smartphone as a gateway device that offers unified access/control of your PC.
  • Personalization is the key to generating (huge) amounts of revenue for service providers. Why? The epic amount of data and meta-data needs to mean something to the user! How do we index, classify, and convert data into information that users need and want?
  • Everyone and everything will eventually have a digital presence or cyber-identity. This presence will most likely dynamically mimic the characteristics and behavior of that person (place or thing) as well and its relationships and interactions with others. Don’t think so? Social network data is already being mimicked and persevered; it’s only a matter of time before it is exploited.

Looking Forward

  • In order to scale mobile internet apps and services, we will need a framework that customizes each user’s choices while keeping the media-rich experience of the standard web in the background. This means that app and service providers must move toward being carrier-independent. How you can enable a diversity of functions on a common operator-enabled platform?
  • Emphasis will be placed on creating, using, and securely managing personal profiles so that they do not burden to the user. Automatic device discovery will continue to improve; so will linking nearby devices, making the capabilities of public devices and the devices of friends and colleagues available to the user. We will need to come up with a way to efficiently and easily manage multiple personae and profiles to help users keep family, work, and personal “stuff” separate.
  • A high-performance network and flexible service delivery infrastructure are critical to scaling mobile internet. We can expect user devices to become even more open. This will mean that the main challenge to scaling will be finding a balance between platform openness and usability.
  • Replicating the PC experience on mobile isn’t going to be good enough. We should take this a step further by applying the rich application/service platform and dynamic content infrastructure of the Internet in a way that leverages the benefits of mobility while mitigating its liabilities.

Wow! That is some really interesting stuff to think about! Here is my final “food for thought”: if we want to scale mobile internet in a real way, focus must be on supporting developers! They are the key to adopting emerging web technologies (and their solutions) rapidly so that they can be applied to the mobile internet. Can you imagine hardware and software that is truly adaptive? Aware of context and easily customized? Now that is a mass-market scaled mobile internet services and applications dream!

Image Credit: JD Hancock, Flickr

SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.