How mobile services simplify back-end integration

The challenges of back-end integration significantly increase the cost of mobile app development, according to Stephanie Woerner, a research scientist at MIT Sloan CISR. Privacy concerns, data security concerns and data transaction concerns -- to name a few -- all demand diverse expertise and resources. "[The back end] makes the cost of an app much higher but, at the same time, it gives you the chance of really having an engaging app," Woerner added.

Indeed, applications with a solid back end are far more likely to have a more sophisticated and user-friendly front end, according to Sravish Sridhar, founder and CEO of MBaaS provider Kinvey. "I've seen tremendous complexity emerge in applications. Apps are getting more interesting, more engaging, a whole lot more complex in terms of the back-end services that it connects to."

In this video, four mobile experts discuss the challenges of back-end integration, predict its impacts on mobile development and explore MBaaS as a possible solution.

"The whole principal of Backend as a Service is kind of a new area that people are starting to think and talk about a lot," said David Kean, CEO of bigtincan, a content distribution company that specializes in mobile. He went on to say that the jury was still out on where exactly MBaaS would apply for enterprise customers.

In Sridhar's opinion, trust is the primary roadblock to enterprises adoption. After all, it is a new space with new providers that haven't proven their staying power. While MBaaS has proven to save time and money, it demands a leap of faith that some companies are not yet willing to make. "They have to learn the platform. They have to get comfortable with it. They have to know that it's secure and they have to know that the company that's providing the platform is going to stay for the long term."

Of course, there is a significant downside to handling the back end in-house. Not only is it more expensive, the risks of an incomplete or unstable back end are far greater. "If the mobile integration aspect isn't complete, then the whole transformative process that the industry is trying to address is lost," said Vikki Kolbe, a consultant with Hurwitz & Associates. Perhaps many enterprises will decide that, given the alternative, that leap of faith to MBaaS is one worth taking.

About the author:
Caroline de Lacvivier was the associate site editor for SearchCloudApplications.

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