Systems Integration Methodology
integration of mobile computing projects is a very complex task. Mobile
computing based on wireless networks draws
upon component products and resources from many divergent vendors. While simple
pilots based on handheld devices and packaged single task applications are
relatively straight forward, rolling out line-of-business applications that
interface with corporate backend systems across the entire enterprise is
relatively onerous undertaking. Traditional IT methodologies that
are often employed by systems houses do not necessarily address the unique needs of this
emerging area. We are suggesting the following deviations from standard methodology
in order to ensure success of such projects. These tasks are being
categorized in different phases of full life cycle of mobile computing
and the Vision Setting
Awareness : Look at early adopters and determine areas of application
within your own organization
Technology Awareness and
Automation Opportunities : Setting broad goals for mobility automation
Business Case Development : Look
at costs and benefits
Process Analysis and Reengineering
In depth business process
analysis : mobile computing inherently changes business processes.
Mobile workers work habits change as a result of empowering him/her with
tools to do his/her job in the field.
Reengineering (BPR) : Revised, modified and short-circuited business
processes lead to extensive productivity gains.
Developing Mobile Computing
Architecture: A new business and technology architecture must be
developed. This must be reviewed in the context of revised e-business
strategy that most organizations are engaged in.
Technology Design: After a technology architecture has been developed, a
detailed application and database design, including database scheme,
transaction/query design and user interface design must be developed.
Component Design :
Selecting products (devices, modems, servers, communications gateways e.g.
WAP server, wireless middleware. etc) must be completed.
Selection of Application
Development Tools: Consistent with in-house standards or open
platform-independent standards like Java.
Developing a Wireless Network
Strategy: Choice must be made for a private or public shared network. In
some cases, multiple networks must be supported because same network may not
have the footprint in all the regions that you are dealing with.
Selecting the Right Wireless
Network: If only one wireless network must be selected, the choice must
be made on the basis of coverage, cost, protocol, support by the application
server or gateway that is being selected.
Security Design: Security
is of paramount importance in mobile systems. It must be an important step
in mobile project methodology.
Selecting Right Technology
Partner, Systems Integrator our Wireless ASP as an Outsourcing Organization:
Since in-house expertise may not be available, a choice must be made whether
the project will be handled by internal staff or outsourced to a systems
integrator or outsourced to a wireless ASP.
Systems Design Assurance
by External Mobile Computing Experts and Auditors
Training of End Users :
However simple the user interface, we must institute proper training plan -
using on-line help, application manuals, web-based training, off-line
CD-based training or in-class instructions depending on the complexity of
the application. It is extremely important to train them with new devices
and on-going application maintenance, data synchronization and problem
Problem Determination and
Administration: Just like any other IT application and fixed networks,
we must have a problem determination tools recognized and procedures
established. we should find out how to extend existing help desk procedures
to deal with mobile workers, professionals, telecommuters and others. Fixed
line tools do not always work with notebooks, PDAs and other handheld
devices. All calls to the help desk should be recorded. We should have
specialists trained in wireless devices.
Wireless Network Problems : While
network service provider may be responsible for network problems, IT network
staff should coordinate with the wireless operator. Ownership of the problem
and responsibility to fix it must be identified.
Management of Mobile
Infrastructure: Suitable tools must be selected for software
distribution, file synchronization and virus control.
These steps should be
parts of a total development methodology for a mobile computing project.