Mobile Backend as a Service: An App Solution for Multiple Industries

By Chris Nerney

As enterprises increasingly adopt “mobile first” strategies, it is critical that mobile developers are given the necessary tools to build customized applications that are user-friendly to employees, partners and customers.

But enterprise mobile apps must be connected to backend resources to enable full interoperability with network and IT infrastructure. Traditionally, developers have had to rely on the application programming interfaces (APIs) from each particular backend service when integrating mobile apps with enterprise resources. However, this piecemeal approach to backend integration can slow the development process.

One solution that has emerged is mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), a computing model framework that allows developers to quickly and easily connect mobile apps to cloud-based backend services. Research firm Gartner forecast that 80 percent of mobile apps would use backend services based in the cloud by 2016, according to AnyPresence. This should be no surprise, given that the cloud offers flexibility along with unlimited processing power and storage capacity, making it an ideal platform for mobile app development and deployment.

MBaaS offers unified APIs and software developer kits (SDKs) that let developers bypass the cumbersome work of backend integration, which under traditional mobile app development methods can be 80 percent of the job. By converging backend services such as push notifications, identity management, security, data storage, geolocation, mobile transactions and many more onto a cloud-based infrastructure, developers can:

  1. Accelerate the mobile development process, and
  2. Focus more of their time on apps design and development, and less on integration of backend services

That latter benefit of MBaaS, along with the ability to unify backend services on the cloud’s open environment, holds big advantages for developers building industry-specific mobile applications. For example:

Financial Services Apps

Financial services enterprises need mobile apps that are highly secure and able to instantly access customer data in the cloud to complete transactions, check credit, make mobile payments, provide customer service and more. Mobile financial apps must also be highly scalable and able to run on dozens, or even hundreds, of consumer device platforms. In addition, they must meet numerous regulatory and compliance requirements. Cloud-based MBaaS allows developers to focus on the frontend functionality and security essential to financial apps, while backend services share integrated security features such as encryption, SSL validation and multiple factor authentication.

Healthcare Apps

Developers of mobile apps for healthcare face equally stringent privacy and security mandates to protect confidential patient medical information transmitted between providers and accessed by patients. In addition, they must ensure that both their enterprise’s backend infrastructure and the healthcare apps they design are able to exchange data with physicians, other healthcare systems and payers under interoperability guidelines established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Entertainment Apps

Entertainment companies rely on detailed knowledge of individual consumer tastes and preferences. Developers in this sector can leverage the mobile backend as a service model to connect unified backend services such as analytics, social networking, and browsing or purchasing histories to their apps. This allows them to focus on producing a superior user experience that increases loyalty, content sharing and brand awareness.

Every industry has specific requirements for their mobile apps. The MBaaS model provides a comprehensive set of integrated backend services and resources that can be customized to any industry’s needs and free up mobile developers to focus on frontend functionality and user experience.

Written By

Chris Nerney

Freelance Writer

Chris Nerney writes about enterprise technology, healthcare finance and IT, and science for a number of websites and enterprises. Chris has written extensively about big data and analytics, mobile technology, cloud computing, the healthcare revenue cycle, value-based care, data centers,…

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