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There’s no doubt that mobile computing represents a huge opportunity for the channel in terms of developing applications.
The reason for this is that developing these applications requires skillsets that are in short supply, while demand for these applications is skyrocketing.

For example, GlobalLogic, a provider of application development services, has built a practice around mobile computing that includes both building new applications while also modernizing existing legacy applications.

According to GlobalLogic president Shashank Sumant, mobile application development projects require a design-driven approach to application development that most developers still don’t fully appreciate. Traditional development, he says, is based on engineering driving design. In the world of mobile computing, design is now driving the engineering decisions.

As a result, solution providers developing mobile applications need access to a new generation of tools that can be used to develop applications more nimbly, but also allow them to roll out those applications simultaneously on multiple platforms. The simple fact of the matter, says Sumant, is customers are not sure what platforms will eventually become dominant in the mobile computing space so they want to hedge their bets by supporting them all.

For that reason GlobalLogic this week announced it has signed an agreement with Appcelerator, a provider of mobile application development tools, under which it will standardize development of mobile computing applications on the Appcelerator Titanium platform.

Sandeep Johri, chief operating officer (COO) for Appcelerator, says the company is seeing a surge in the number of companies developing applications that have chosen to standardize on Appcelerator Titanium. The reason for this, says Johri, that they need a tool set that not only allows them to write an application once and deploy it on multiple platforms, they need to work with both native system code and HTLM5. The reality of mobile application development is that solution providers are going to have to have applications that run both natively and on the Web. That capability says Johri, is what has already attracted 1.7 million developers to an Appcelerator Titanium platform.

In the near future, Johri says that Appcelerator will soon extend the Titanium platform, which is based on the open source Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) out to SAP and other enterprise applications.

While the channel as a whole has tended to shy away from application development, the rise of mobile computing is creating a unique moment in time for solution providers. Customers are anxious to extend their applications out to any number of mobile computing platforms. They have come to recognize that as time goes on, more people will probably be using some form a mobile computing device to interact with their applications. At the same, however not only don’t they have the internal skills to accomplish those goals; they frequently don’t have enough development talent on hand to take the task on.

Perhaps more importantly, that application development work will give solution providers unique insights to the IT infrastructure needs of the customer. And that information from the perspective of channel is priceless.