Mobile Computing and its Business Implications

Introduction

Mobile computing is a new technology that is highly facilitated by growth and development of mobility. Mobility has turned to be a very popular phrase and speedily increasing part in current area of computing. An implausible evolution has appeared in the mobile devices development that includes laptops, smartphone, GPS navigation and PDA with different security, networking and computing technologies. Moreover, with the wireless technology development that include WIFI, Ad Hoc Network and WiMax, user might be surfing the internet more easily without cables limitations as experienced earlier. Therefore, the level of mobile devices acceptance among people as their initial entertainment and working has been increasing in their day to day lives (Qi & Gani, n.d.). This paper focuses on discussing the mobile computing technology, with clear evaluation of how this technology is being applied in business environment to enhance efficiency, development, and profitability in business.

Mobile Computing

Mobile computing is defined as a kind of human-computer interaction by which a computer is anticipated to be transported in regular usage. Mobile computing can be perceived as an assembly of three main concepts that include communication, software and hardware. The hardware concept is reliant on mobile devices that include laptop and smartphone, or their mobile constituents. The second, software concept in mobile computing is the many mobile applications in specific hardware devices that include anti-virus software, games stored remotely on some different server, and mobile browsers. Third, the communication problems includes infrastructure of data delivery, protocols and mobile networks in their use, which have to be transparent to the terminal users (Sharma & Bohra, 2015). Mobile computing according to Fischer and Smolnik (2013) regards computer portability where by the computing services process shifts to mobile devices. Mobile computing is thus indivisibility linked to the technology miniaturization and the availability of storage facilities and cloud processing that extendsthe aptitudes of lightweight mobile devices. Advances of this kind have permitted computing to be location-independent, denoting a steady transition from mainframes, laptops and personal computer to true mobile devices which are ever present. Mobile computing allows the personalization and localization of content, continuously offering the right information to the user at the right time (Fischer & Smolnik, 2013).

Mobile Computing technology permits transmission of video, audio and data via a computer or other wireless permitted device without having to be linked to a fixed physical network. Tablets and smartphone are extensively utilized across all forms of enterprises. Most businesses are creating applications to support two or more mobile operating system. Mobile application can be created for all forms of mobile operating system. The two main mobile devices requirements are there for effective application execution which is processing memory and power of device. There are two main problems with mobile application which include limited storage capacity and data security. The development of mobile application today needs to be integrated with cloud computing for powerful and better performance. With the utilization of cloud-computing concept, it is easier to create mobile computation (Desai, 2016).

Technology of mobile computing permits the utilization of computing devices that normally interacts in some manner with a central information system while absent from fixed, normal workplace. Technology of mobile computing permits the mobile employees to communicate, create, store, access, and process information, without being limited at one place. The real mobile computing power turns to be apparent when mobile communication, software, and hardware are optimally configured and utilized to attain a certain mobile task. Although numerous diverse applications exist, applications of mobile computing can usually be classified into two groups that include vertical and horizontal applications. Horizontal application contain broad-based entreaty which include software which carry out functions that include presentation, email, messaging, web browsing, to-do lists, word processing, contract management, and scheduling. Horizontal applications are normally standardized whereby they are integrated with the system software. Vertical applications on the other hand are industrial-specific and just contain appeal in the unique industry, for which the application was designed. Vertical applications are normally utilized in industries that include public safety and law enforcement, retailing, medical, utilities, shipping, and warehousing. Vertical applications are frequently transactional based and usually interfaced with an organizational database.

Mobile computing permits enhancements in the organizations’ operational efficiency, which integrated the technology into their static information systems. It permits the power of computing and information found inthe static information system to be designed around the optimal mobile workers work flow, rather than changing the work flow of mobile workers to attain the optimal computing configuration. The mobile computer is used by mobile workers at their current location, instead of having to travel to the office or to where the organization’s computers are situated. Thus, mobile computing can be used to enhance business efficiency in various ways that include lowering unnecessary travel, saving time, reducing time used on customer complaint, reducing waste, improving accuracy, cutting cycle time, permitting process reengineering , and  lowering rework (Zimmerman, 1999).

Mobile Cloud Computing

The advancement of the current computing power and technology brought about the emergency of mobile cloud computing. This is a novel mobile application paradigm, in which most of the data storage and processing related with the application are shifted from the mobile device to centralized, powerful computing platform that is situated in the cloud. The centralized applications are then retrieved via the mobile internet, by use of either a web browser or thin native client on the device. Nevertheless, this mobile cloud computing model still does not totally leverage the powerful commercialization, context and communications abilities of the mobile network. On the contrary, mobile cloud computing shapes on cloud computing principles, creating attributes that include everything as a service, software on premise and on demand access to the mobile domain, including payment as a service and network as a service, to maximize on demand aptitudes and permitting application to full mobile networking leverage and billing, without the requirement of specialist application server. Since its introduction, the mobile cloud computing technology has been drawing the entrepreneurs’attention as a profitable option of business, which lowers the mobile application running and development cost. The technology also attracts mobile users as a novel technology to attain rich experience of different mobile services at a reduced price. Mobile cloud computing also attracts the researchers’ attention as a promising green core IT solution (Prasad, Gyani & Murti, 2012).

Mobile cloud computing is regarded as one of the future trends in mobile technology, since it sums the benefits of the integration of both cloud computing and mobile computing, providing mobile users with optimal services. The mobile cloud computing supports applications that include mobile healthcare, mobile learning, and mobile commerce among others. Mobile commerce refers to a business commerce model that use mobile devices. Generally, the applications of mobile commerce fulfill a number of tasks, which need mobility such as, mobile ticketing, mobile transactions, mobile messaging, and mobile payments. This application however experiences a number of challenges that include high mobile device configurations complexity, low network bandwidth, as well as security issues. Thus, most applications of mobile commerce are integrated in the environment of cloud computing to address these problems (Kim, 2006).

Mobile learning (m-learning) is structured founded on electronic mobility and learning. Nevertheless, traditional applications of m-learning contain limitations with regards to high cost of network and devices, low rate of network transmission, and limited educational materials. To solve these limitations, cloud founded m-learning applications are employed, such that, using a cloud with the powerful ability of processing and large capacity of storage, offers learners services that are richer in terms of longer battery life, faster processing speed and data size (Prasad, Gyani & Murti, 2012). Mobile healthcare refers to medical application which is used to reduce the traditional medical treatment limitations that include medical errors, minute physical storage as well as privacy and security. Mobile healthcare offers convenient assistance to mobile users to access resources such as patient health records, quickly and easily. It also provides healthcare organizations and hospitals with different clouds on-demand services instead of owning standalone local servers applications. Other mobile application technologies in the market include mobile game that permits gaming, and mobile banking that permit various banking services via mobile devices that include account transactions, balance checking, or making payments (Prasad, Gyani & Murti, 2012).

Conclusion

Computer technology has been advancing to create more powerful computer hardware characterized by reduction in the physical size, but increase in functionalities and capacity. This continuous advancement of technology resulted to the development of mobile devices which permit users to perform tasks previously performed by personal computer anywhere and at any time. This has resulted to great change in the manner that people conduct their daily business operation. Mobile computing provides important advantages to any organization that consider integrating this technology to its fixed information system. However, this is without limitation in terms of storage size, battery life and security among other things. To address these challenges, the technology has yet provided advanced techniques where the cloud technology has been integrated to mobile computing to create cloud mobile computing. This has made it possible for mobile computing to be used to handle more advanced business operations, enhancing efficiency, accuracy and timely business operations in healthcare, retail services, and banks among others.


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