Testing times for mobile app development

By Chris Livesey, VP of Borland Applications Management and Quality at Micro Focus


As mobile technology demands continue to accelerate, application developers and testers will struggle to keep pace without a shift in thinking when it comes to mobile quality, performance and development.

Creating effective apps for an increasingly competitive market depends on rigorous testing to minimise errors and failures. However, this is not as straightforward as it sounds as apps today may need to run smoothly across as many as 1,800 different device platforms. Developing apps for Android OS, for example, demands the consideration of over 130 different devices, running seven different platforms on two firmware sets.

The challenges for developers and testers in the new world of the mobile device app are daunting. Their products need to work smoothly across many existing device platforms while trying to predict the requirements of handsets currently in development – a sizable challenge for any organisation. Continue reading

Mission Impossible?

By Martin Scovell, CEO of MatsSoft


Delivering an improved customer experience. Reducing costs. Listen to some people and one could be forgiven for believing that the two are mutually exclusive. Fail to cut costs and the business is undermined. But fail to deliver great customer service, buyers will go elsewhere and there’s no business left. So which to choose? Continue reading

Could the ‘App Gap’ be harming your business?

By Gary Calcott, Technical Marketing Manager at Progress Software


Ten years ago if somebody asked you to picture a typical business meeting between a business leader, their employees, and perhaps some of the organisation’s customers, what would you have imagined? The chances are that you probably would have visualised a crowded, airless meeting room, with executives fighting tooth and nail to make their point heard.

Fast forward to today and ask the same question, and it’s unlikely you’ll see anything remotely similar in your mind’s eye. Indeed, the proliferation in the number of mobile devices, tablets and laptops means that employees and partners are far more likely to connect to a meeting from a variety of locations. Interestingly, they are also likely to connect through a range of different applications, incorporating everything from the humble telephone, to video conferencing and even VOIP services. Continue reading

Smartphones and tablets are rapidly transforming the paid search advertising industry

By Abigail Phillips

A recent study has revealed that smart mobile accounted for 14.8% of UK paid search in January 2012 and had risen to 24.4% of all paid clicks by last December, according to a report released today by management platform Marin Software.

Paid search clicks on smart mobile increased by 65% during 2012. This surge was fueled by consumers’ increasing use of smartphones and tablets to conduct research and shop online. Continue reading

How entrepreneurs can capitalise on a mobile society

By Stuart Kilroy, Director of Digital Motive


For much of the past decade marketers have been debating when will there be the year of the ‘mobile’. Well, the truth is that this year has already happened and many entrepreneurs have already embraced this culture.

Mobile technology is now ingrained within our society through smartphone usage penetration and data access still on the up. For those entrepreneurs and small businesses which are yet to embrace mobile technology, it is worth understanding how you can capitalise on this technology effectively and use it to truly benefit your business and customers. Continue reading

What exactly is ‘mobile’ and what do SMEs need to tackle first?

By Erica Ayotte, Social Media Manager at Constant Contact


You’ve probably heard that mobile is going to be big in 2013. You probably heard that about 2012 as well. But for all the attention that mobile has been getting for the past few years, there’s little information about what ‘mobile’ means from a tactical perspective, especially for small businesses.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, but these are the three key areas that SMEs should look to first when developing a plan to become mobile-enabled. Continue reading

Flexibility, efficiency, profitability – why mobile technology continues to delight

By Amber Hayward, Senior Marketing Manager for Intuit Pay


As the New Year gets underway in earnest, technology, business and consumer commentators alike are busy identifying their picks for the dominant industries of 2013.

One trend that all agree on is that 2013 will see an explosive growth in the value and importance of mobile technology, as it opens both new markets and new channels for profitability. Continue reading

Embracing the mobile revolution

By Lawrence Maynard, Digital Tactical Marketing Director, Pitney Bowes


Mobile technology looks set to begin its real domination of the web in 2013 thanks to the rise of smartphones and tablets, meaning SMEs can no longer afford to dig in their heels when it comes to implementing all things mobile. The web has become the key component of any digital strategy, with mobile formerly just seen as an extension of this. However, in order to grow, businesses need to fully embrace change and ensure a mobile-centric approach is established for all aspects of their business, from marketing and sales processes to employee mobility.

The move to mobile has mainly been driven by a change in consumer behaviour. According to Ofcom mobile penetration hit 58% in the UK in 2012, with 19% of all consumers owning a tablet. This rapid rise in adoption has led to a surge in digital-savvy consumers who use their mobile devices to make their lives more convenient, whether it is comparing prices, purchasing products directly or even scanning vouchers. Regardless of whether they’re interacting with a multinational company or a local store, consumers have very quickly gotten used to these mobile conveniences. This means that businesses need to maximise their use of mobile channels in order to capitalise on emerging shopping trends and capture the growing mobile audience. Continue reading

Securing IT Against Consumerisation

By Leon Ward, Field Product Manager, Sourcefire

With the rise of virtualisation, mobilisation and consumerisation, shoring a company’s security defences has never been more challenging. If we look at one area – the trend towards bring-your-own device (BYOD) – it is easy to understand the concern. Employees are increasingly using their personal devices to access corporate resources which is putting the corporate network at risk. It has also become exponentially difficult to protect against mobile malware threats – IT and security managers simply don’t have the visibility or the control to ensure their environment is adequately protected. Continue reading

It’s Not All Fun And (Olympic) ‘Games’ – SMBs Need To Take Device Security Seriously

An AVG survey of 1,000 US- and UK-based small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) conducted by GfK in 2011 shows that the adoption of mobile technology is a visible trend with one in five SMBs (19%) employing Android smartphones and an equal proportion using BlackBerry devices.

The survey called SMB Market Landscape Report 2011, reports that on average, employees are spending one day a week (20% of their time) working away from the office.

With the Olympics fast approaching, SMBs in and around London will be affected by the increase in traffic on public transport. Many have begun to think of ways to keep workers productive and remote and mobile working has become an increasingly attractive option. With people from all across the world coming to London, the Olympic Games can also potentially become a haven for criminal opportunists looking to steal mobile devices and data.

Whilst the majority of SMBs may have an Olympic travel strategy it is important that they also have an adequate IT security plan that will keep their data secure outside of the office. Despite numerous high-profile cases of hacking into corporate databases in recent years, only about six in 10 (58%) SMBs said they were worried about loss of company or customer information, social engineering or employee identity theft. SMBs seem to assume their larger competitors are more likely to be targeted by data thieves.

The SMB Market Landscape Report highlighted losses relating to security breaches including 22.1 million man-hours of labour responding to them. This equated to £1.18m spent on replacing damaged hardware and £2.19m in lost sales or revenue opportunities. Furthermore, stolen data can be used by criminals for financial gain or malicious intent and could result in a loss of reputation for the SMB.

There are ways to keep SMBs mobile workers secure and an antivirus solution should be the first point of implementation within the SMBs IT security strategy. Security software can be installed on devices such as the mobile phone, tablet or laptop easily and quickly and in the event of a stolen device, software can be installed that allow a user to lock, locate and wiped their devices to avoid further security threats.

In addition to using antivirus security software, AVG has created ten top tips for effective mobile working to help SMB employees stay protected during the Olympics:

1. Count the items you take out of your bag out and count them back in if you are working while on public transport — don’t forget your power cable or any other important item!

2. Think about where you are sitting and whether anyone can look over at your screen — this might sound like an obvious thing to point out, but thieves steal credit card PIN numbers by looking over peoples’ shoulders all the time, so be aware of the details you have on your screen.

3. As use of personal mobile Wi-Fi hotspots grows, users should not be tempted to connect with an apparently free wireless connection in a public place unless it is advertised by the web café owner etc. If you don’t know where your connection comes from, then you don’t know what you are connecting to.

4. Shut down your Bluetooth connection (unless you need it) when working in a public place. So-called ‘Bluejacking’ and ‘Bluesnarfing’ attacks are not the biggest information security risk around, but they are a consideration to be aware of.

5. If you have to use a “public” (or kiosk) computer then make sure that you never access your online banking details, make electronic purchases, or enter ANY personally identifiable information (including your address) on the machine. Be equally careful on your own laptop if using public Wi-Fi.

6. If your smartphone has Internet access, have you enabled filters and other onboard protection barriers? Similarly, turning off GPS capabilities can also limit location-trackers attempting to connect with your phone.

7. Don’t ask a stranger to “look after” your laptop while you use the restroom or go to the bar in a web café. Similarly, keep your laptop bag close to you throughout an evening event if you have to keep all your equipment with you.

8. Password protection should be enabled on your laptop and smartphone — and 12345678 or password or admin are not sensible passwords. Opt for an alphanumeric mix with special characters in upper and lower cases such as “puppyLove567$.”

9. Make a note of your smartphone manufacturer’s emergency phone line so you can call them to have your phone immobilised in the event of a loss.

10. Most important of all, make sure that you have a fully updated anti-virus suite installed and fully operational on your PC at all times. Protection should cover not only Internet security for web browsing, but also firewall technology, email defences and shields to guard against threats carried via Instant Messenger services.

By Mike Foreman, SVP of global sales at AVG