IBM goes after enterprise mobility projects

The new offerings in the Mobile Foundation portfolio include software for cross-platform development, mobile management

IBM took steps on Monday to help enterprises go mobile, introducing a set of software and services called Mobile Foundation.

The portfolio includes offerings derived from IBM's January acquisition of Worklight, a vendor of cross-platform mobile application development tools. But the introductions on Monday also extended to management products for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and, not surprisingly from IBM, strategy and deployment services.

Mobile Foundation was introduced at IBM's Impact2012 conference in Las Vegas. IBM said it was zeroing in on the growing market for enterprise mobile capabilities, citing its own survey of 700 CIOs that found three-quarters of them were embracing mobile technology to make work in their companies more flexible. The popularity of smartphones and tablets for doing work has brought more mobile devices into enterprises and raised concerns about supporting and securing them.

For developers, IBM is introducing IBM Worklight, a set of development and integration tools that allow developers to write applications and other mobile software just one time for deployment across Apple iOS, Google Android and Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform. To go along with those tools, the company is offering resources through its DeveloperWorks site.

For administrators, IBM is rolling out software from IBM Endpoint Manager for managing all types of endpoints on a network and making them secure. The software spans servers to mobile devices and can carry out critical tasks such as wiping the data and applications off a mobile device when those resources could be at risk, IBM said.

IBM also added ways for enterprises to bring their current data and services to mobile devices. New capabilities in IBM DataPower appliances are designed to help IT departments quickly bring their existing resources to mobile devices. WebSphere Cast Iron, based on technology the company acquired through its 2010 buyout of hybrid cloud software vendor Cast Iron, can help enterprises link mobile applications to clouds and other back-end infrastructure, according to IBM.

The company also announced that service offerings, including IBM Quick Win Pilot, can now help enterprises plan and carry out a mobile strategy. Through Quick Win Pilot, companies will be able to do a 10-week pilot of IBM Mobile technology to observe the results, the company said.

All the mobile offerings set out on Monday are available now. Pricing information was not immediately available.

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