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Building the business with web application development: Jerry Rulli, Progress

Zafirah Salim | June 10, 2015
In this Q&A interview, Jerry Rulli, President of OpenEdge Business Unit at Progress, talks about his insights on the web application development market in the region, including its security issues and future trends; as well as how it can actually help businesses to foster growth.

Conversely, why are some enterprises holding back from embarking on application development? What sort of barriers are there?  

The need by users to get more access to business information that in the past was only accessible by certain people, based upon desktop applications. These days, the users are universal and finally people have realised that a lot of the core knowledge and information is in the data that is or in those back-office Systems of Record.

Apps today need to provide access to that data but in formats and applications and analytics that are meaningful to the specific user, role and device.

The biggest issue with regards to app development is time and resource. Organisations have limited resources in their IT departments and most of the time, these resources are focused on maintaining existing applications - they are not focused on the development of net new applications. Essentially, their budgets do not allow it.  That is the biggest barrier and the reason why new development tools that help them to exploit current applications are so critical to their success.

In what way can web application development help to build the business, and how can enterprises work towards achieving these benefits?

Building applications that have a unique user experience based on who the user is and what their role is in the organisation can help to achieve better growth because of better access to information that enables more solid business decisions making.

Enterprises that exploit the information that exists in their back-office business applications can out-perform their competition - if they are able to quickly and easily build applications that provide them with more informed business-decision making capabilities.

How has the proliferation of mobility impacted web application development, and what are your thoughts on the mass notion that mobile app developers are lacking investment in security?

Mobility has added another layer of complexity in terms of the way people want to be able to have access to their business applications. The biggest challenge lies in supporting the multitude of devices that change so rapidly and then ensuring that the access to the back-end business applications is secure.

The majority of "early adopters" building mobile apps has focused on net new applications and has not been as concerned with security. Going forward, as they develop applications that link- in to the back-end System of Records, they will find that security will become more important to them and to the business. 

Specifically, as they start to develop applications that will be mission critical and accessing Business Data that is confidential in nature, they will need to follow more strict security and encryption requirements. I do not necessarily think of it as a lack of investment as much as something that was not as critical based on the types of mobile applications they were building. As mobile app development becomes more "enterprise-class", this will change.


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