In recent posts, we've taken an in-depth look at what makes mobile applications innovative with content taken from our free eBook, the CIO's Guide to Mobile Apps.
We've looked at:
But what about Cloud?
Mobile applications powered by the cloud
Cloud technology has been evolving at a rapid pace for the last ten years and organisations often fail to recognise the impact that the latest incarnation of cloud computing can bring to their mobile applications.
Cloud, DevOps, automation, everything detailed above makes it faster than ever to build applications at amazing levels of complexity. Adopting a cloud computing platform is quickly becoming essential for any organisation wanting to innovate at speed and at scale.
By implementing a cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure, organisations can build, scale and adapt their infrastructure to meet the demands of their users. Most importantly, the cloud enables innovation by reducing the friction to change, reducing cost and risk of failure.
It is no exaggeration to say that systems that would have taken years to build previously can be delivered in weeks or months; ideas that would have taken an impossible amount of compute power to even consider exploring can now be prototyped in days.
Building a modern mobile app
Modern mobile apps rely heavily on cloud services to provide everything from authentication and data services, through to push notifications and offline synchronisation. You can even make use of advanced AI capabilities which we discuss below.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings from Microsoft Azure makes building, scaling and maintaining infrastructure like this achievable at higher levels of efficiency than ever before.
PaaS platforms provide out-of-the-box or low-code solutions for many of these common services and do much of the heavy lifting regarding, failover, backup, availability and scalability. Every PaaS service has these essential services built-in. This is in stark contrast to IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solutions that are considerably more expensive to build, scale and maintain.
One of the benefits of using a cloud platform such as Azure is that it allows us to collect, process, centralise and analyse vast amounts of data. It has become something of a cliché to say that data is the most precious resource in the modern era, but there is a lot of truth to it, and modern mobile apps use this ability to tailor experiences to the user – based on who they are, what they do and what they want.
‘Intelligent Applications’ refers to a new wave of software, across cloud, mobile and other embedded devices, that sit atop your cloud infrastructure.
To deliver intelligent experiences for your users you must leverage the cloud to generate real insights from the data available. These insights can be harnessed through greater awareness of where the customer is and what they are trying to achieve or through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Today, data science and machine learning have largely solved the problem of finding complex patterns in huge amounts of data. When we start to re-frame our challenges into problems that can be solved by spotting patterns in data, we have a powerful new way in which to find the solutions.
For example, telco giants Three use an AI-driven chatbot built on the Azure platform to reduce the increasing demand on their call centres by providing an intelligent, conversational bot that supports customers in completing everyday tasks on their mobile device.
Companies like Microsoft are commoditising AI services, allowing developers to build intelligent applications with relative ease, deploying complex AI functionality out of the box, saving both time, resource and budget for your mobile app.
Azure’s Cognitive Services enable us to infuse your mobile app with the intelligence to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret your user needs and inform better decision making through natural communication methods. Sentiment analysis, image recognition, video analytics, anomaly detection and text to speech are just a handful of the Cognitive Services, powered by prebuilt machine learning models, ready for use today.
Made available using APIs and SDKs, developers can access these intelligent services without having direct AI or data science skills or knowledge. These Cognitive Services have the potential to revolutionise the experiences your users have with you.
Some of our favourite cognitive services use cases include:
You can learn more about what makes a best in class mobile app by downloading our free eBook, the CIO's Guide to Mobile Apps here.