Bill Bodin, Kony CTO, on the pace of enterprise app change and ‘laser-like’ customer focus
It is a story played out around the tech press almost ad infinitum; IBM employees leave the company, usually through ‘resource actions’, or layoffs to the rest of us. But this one is different: former IBM mobile chief technology officer Bill Bodin, with 27 years at Armonk under his belt, has joined mobile backend provider Kony to become their CTO.
Kony’s cross platform mobile application development solution, which offers developers and IT teams quick apps across iOS, Android, Windows, HTML5 and more, certainly has a glittering CV, receiving critical love from both Gartner and Forrester in recent months.
For Bodin (left), who started work at the end of April, the hunger for success is tangible. “I saw, in Kony, a laser-like focus on the customer and a commitment to solving the challenges our clients face every day in delivering mobile solutions,” he tells Enterprise AppsTech. “Kony is clearly aimed at providing, without compromise, an end to end product set that will not only accelerate development but also deliver cross platform, multi-channel apps in the process.”
The pace of mobile app delivery is increasing, and enterprise expectations are going up with it. This publication has long explored the change from shiny, polished yet time consuming enterprise apps, to the rough and ready rapid mobile app development (RMAD) equivalents, to a compromise between the two. Bodin, having been at the heart of this change, explains how Kony will fit in. “Enterprise clients want the capability to deliver multi-channel apps with minimal effort,” he says. “They also want the freedom to augment these applications with open source technologies, and seamlessly integrate any tooling into a continuous integration pipeline.
“In the quest for enterprises to become ‘digital’, there is no better way to reduce spend while increasing channel breadth, than to use tools which allow you to create an application and deliver it across all major mobile platforms, as well as the desktop,” Bodin says. “This includes the capability to have designers begin a project, tooling that project with user experience, graphics…even screen flow, then passing that project directly to the development team to complete the logic, which will connect the application to a system or systems of record.
“This reduces lifecycle churn and delivers results faster and with more fidelity than ever,” he adds.
Kony is certainly not the only company operating in this space; for example the likes of StarMobile, which takes existing legacy SAP applications and mobilises them without the need for coding experience, and Reddo Mobility, which ports virtualised Windows desktop apps to mobile through HTML5, are more about transforming existing apps and play more in RMAD.
Arguably Kony’s clearest rival, however, is mobile backend as a service (MBaaS) vendor Kinvey, although with the launch of Mobile Data Connect, which aims to quickly mobilise existing SAP systems, the lines appear to be blurring between the two. It was a similar story when Kony released the latest version of its MobileFabric product, which was described as ‘MBaaS meets MADP’.
Bodin’s view is unsurprising – “Kony has, in my opinion, the best integration between developer-grade rapid app development tools, combined with a comprehensive and scalable backend solution which work seamlessly together” – yet regarding the future, the new Kony CTO points towards greater partnerships following the deal in April with Cognizant, another sign of a consolidating market. He argues: “I expect our capabilities will attract, and that we will continue to actively cultivate, more partnerships which will bring our clients ever increasing value from our platform.”
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