By Byron Acohido
Results a of asurveytaken last month of nearly 300 global IT professionals and developers worldwide, conducted by mobile platform company Kaazing, found that web apps are red hot.
Some 86% respondents consider real-time web and data communication to be a priority for them in 2013, with 81% saying they will apply that priority to their mobile strategy.
Within the next 12 months respondents plan to enable two-way, real-time web applications for monitoring, push notifications, collaboration, eCommerce, live chat, extending enterprise applications to web and remote employee solutions.
Countries outside of the U.S. also ranked online gaming and real-time voting as top applications.
Quixotically, IT pros believe security is both a benefit and the top concern associated with this rush to embrace web apps for commercial pursuits. USA TODAY asked Kaazing CEO Jonas Jacobi to explain.
Q:What's driving this emphasis on development apps that monitor and push information to users in real time?
Jacobi:The demand has always been there but the technology has not - until now. While consumers used to be satisfied with "instant" information taking three to four seconds to arrive to their devices, that delivery time can now be shortened to milliseconds with modern Web architectures. This is important for a variety of reasons. For example, you can easily make split-second decision to take a detour to avoid a traffic jam, or receiving real-time financial data, you can make better and more timely business decisions.
Q:What exposure does this trend create for businesses that presumably are demanding these new apps?
Jacobi:of the challenges is security and how new standards might expose businesses to vulnerabilities in their existing infrastructure. Traditional (defenses) were designed with a static and stale web in mind. With the explosive demand for mobile devices in combination with the emphasis on live, real-time, distribution of data these solutions are now getting in the way of developers.
Q:What can or should businesses be doing to address this?
Jacobi:. Don't take for granted that solutions of the past will continue to protect your business. There is a saying in our industry that states that you can't get fired buying blue (e.g. IBM). Today that is the reverse. In order to keep up with the times, businesses need to research the best available solutions to address this new demand for real-time web and mobile communication. Businesses looking to upgrade to real-time solutions should look for technology companies that have built in security features and security integration points to protect them from hackers. Ultimately, new technologies don't only provide better security they also provide a much higher return on investment and total cost of ownership than traditional legacy solutions.
Q:Very succinctly, what are the privacy concerns for individuals?
Jacobi:The primary privacy concern for all of us is what information our devices are sending and who is receiving it.
Q:What can or should individuals do?
Jacobi:We need to realize that this privacy issue is a general problem and not specifically a real-time Web distribution issue. Individuals need to be carful with what the share online whether is on a static traditional site or a real-time-enabled site, and read their terms of service that describe their policies.
Jacobi:Real-time communication can dramatically improve our lives. With real-time communication, we can experience immediate, guaranteed delivery of messages even if our mobile applications are running in the background. We will always have access to important information the instant it becomes available. These new technologies can even dramatically improve mobile battery life compared to old technologies, In short: don't be afraid of change of embracing real-time Web communication. The demand has always been there but the technology has not - until now.