Mobile Apps: Should we be on Cloud?

Several industry analysts predict that mobile applications will be accessed and executed directly from the cloud through a mobile web browser interface. The predictions say there will be mobile applications running 12 times more from cloud in 2016, as compared to 2011.

The advantages of Cloud Computing being done on a connected network are tremendous. This inherits the properties of cloud of having data on demand and the service providers managing the access. For the applications, they are run on a remote server, which reduces your capital costs and also share the advantage of sharing the infrastructure which is scalable. It has always been a history that the early players in adapting to new technology benefit the most in terms of adding business value through innovation and market strategies in meeting their customer expectations.

Application providers for Home Security Systems and similar services which allow users to create location based social networks have adapted Mobile Cloud Computing. Any application need, that requires social networks without having the geographic bindings have the future of Mobile Cloud Computing, for examples: Gaming, entertainment, education, shopping and supply chain.

Whereas, mobile solution providers such as appMobi, have started to offer integrated mobile browsers that allow users to access applications directly from the websites of their publishers, eliminating the need to go to an application store. This is possible through a mobile web browser interface built using HTML5. One of the HTML5 features enable offline application cache on the user handset, so that user may continue to experience an uninterrupted application service, even though he is not connected to the network or despite fluctuations in network service delivery. This feature is a strong facilitator to adapt to such upcoming technologies.

The current statistics of selling the tablets, smartphones and other mobile phones support the fact that mobile users will expect for Applications On -Demand in near future. Moreover, with the advent of 4G, the first-release Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard, mobile networks, which are fundamental for supporting large-scale mobile cloud deployment; users will experience better service accessing their mobile applications in the cloud.

When you have an application such as Citrix, and you’re hosting it in the cloud, it opens the door to delivering a wide range of high-end business applications,” says Shara Evans, chief executive at communications consulting firm Market Clarity. “High quality, high bandwidth 4G networks are providing the horsepower for a range of real-world business applications on-the-go.”

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RadicalRooting™ is an in-house development of Stylus Systems Pvt. Ltd. that helps you look intently at your business’s pain points and spend time resolving them, before moving into the solution conceptualization stage. We have been the leaders in consulting and developing BI solutions for Mid-Sized businesses since 13 years with the latest in technology.

Part 2 -Learning Leading, Lagging and Coincident indicators

A brief overview with examples for leading, lagging and coincident indicators

Leading indicators should be good warnings-like a compass, so that one can steer towards the targeted goal. Lagging indicators are a measure of what has already happened, and they are normally used to simply validate the success or failure of the goal, not to cause it. Coincident indicators are like triggers which show up at the same time when the objective is met. Here are some leading,lagging and coincident indicators examples for a cruise.

Case: A boat starts from Dublin and is expected to reach Liverpool in 5 days

OBJECTIVE: To reach Liverpool in 5 days.

Lagging indicators
Timer: to record time taken to reach Liverpool
Travel log: provides information on the boat speed and the distance covered.

Leading indicators
Anemometer (wind indicator): provides information on wind speed and direction, thus adjustments can be made to sail to maximize speed.
Compass : provides information on the course being steered thus enabling the course to be plotted.
Radar: highlights obstructions en-route.

Coincident indicators
Sea level gauge: to find out depth of water. When this level reaches a certain threshold, the boat has reached ashore safely.

A word of caution needs to be said here: any indicator does not necessitate successful fulfillment of the objective being measured. Going by our previous definition a good indicator is that which can sufficiently warn (leading indicators), measure (lagging indicators) or be triggered (coincident indicators). For leading performance measures to play an effective role in the improvement process, there must be an association between the inputs that the leading performance measures are measuring and the desired lagging outputs. There needs to be a reasonable belief that the actions taken to improve the leading performance measure will be followed by an improvement in the associated lagging measures. For eg: the fuel tank gauge on a car’s dashboard indicates the level of fuel while driving the car and is a necessary leading indicator to reach the destination on time (time taken being a lagging indicator). Reading this gauge and taking steps to ensure that the fuel tank has enough fuel to go the distance ensures that the time taken to reach is minimum.

Using a good mix of leading, lagging and coincident indicators , we can ensure that all are initiatives and quarterly goals are being met with predictability and are helpful to measure success. I bet my next quarter is going to be different, at the least, more predictable.

Related posts

Learning Leading, Lagging and Coincident indicators from Kungfu Panda –Part I

Learning Leading, Lagging and Coincident indicators from Kungfu Panda

I’ve always thought of the key performance indicators ( KPI ) I put in place for my initiatives as good enough to measure success till one day, my CEO opened my eyes to see my ignorance. I was running almost 90% of all initiatives on lagging indicators and this was bad news for my appraisal. Really bad news. And to rub it in, he pointed me to the fact that most of these lagging indicators weren’t really going to show up the “harvest” until the next 3 quarters! When I asked him for a workaround to help me get more predictive on my analysis, he said that I needed to look for leading indicators to measure success. So what IS a leading indicator? A bit more explanation from him got me going around in circles, somewhat like this

This is a good bare-bones approach to identifying the leading and lagging indicators at each stage, but often we find it difficult to decipher either the milestones or performance metrics that add up to the final objective.

For eg: Let’s try to measure the objective of “reduce time-to-closure for a sales deal”. The sub-objectives or milestones that lead up to this event could be – reduce time to generate lead, reduce time to touch base with lead contact, reduce time to move lead to opportunity and reduce time to closure. In this case, it’s quite easy to find out the milestones and their respective measures, called lagging indicators, give some predictability on “deal closure”.

Let’s now measure the objective of “productivity improvement”. What would be the milestones leading to this event? We’ll have a hard time guessing this. Most executives are comfortable just measuring “productivity improvement” with a loosely connected metric such as “no. of billable hours” or “earned value”, but these are just lagging indicators for this event, and these do not ensure that the improvement is already happening

We need a better way to nail down leading and lagging indicators.

It’s at this time that Po- the supposed epitome of “awesomeness”, popularly known as the Kungfu Panda came to my aid.

If you’ve seen the movie Kungfu Panda you cannot help but feel amused and awestruck at the same time that a Panda his size could do the splits. I mean, look at him! His very size defiles the word “flexibility”. Ok, let me cut to the chase instead of this rambling over his “awesomeness”. In the movie Po’s taken through a strict regime by master Shifu. At first, there are these “milestones” that he needs to get through – the blades, the rings, the fire, the tumbling cistern, walking up the dragon temple, etc. but Po finds himself unsuccessful at every step. Going by our earlier sequence diagram, the performance metrics for each milestone is somewhat like the leading indicators for his becoming the Dragon Warrior, but each milestone’s success or failure is a lagging indicator for that milestone.

These are sequential steps that are supposed to lead up to making Po the Dragon Warrior. However, we notice that the choice of these leading indicators don’t help Po persevere towards the goal. There’s something about these milestones and indicators that obstructs Po from getting where he ought to get. With time, there is an interesting insight which master Shifu gains which is our key to understanding good leading indicators.

Po’s greatest stumbling block for becoming the Dragon Warrior is his body weight and over-eating habits. Most of them in the field of kungfu had exceptional flexibility of bones and muscles and Po was the odd one out. One day Po finds a bowl of momos that are located in a precarious place up the shelf. What is amazing is that in order to get his hands on the bowl of momos, Po does a center split perfectly balancing his entire weight with just his heels.

Shifu uses this “carrot” to teach him kungfu and he successfully trains Po to incorporate these skills into a makeshift yet effective kungfu style.

Po’s penchant for food is what is called a driver to the targeted goal. Po’s way of achieving the results is not via sequential, progressive milestones but by effective drivers. So in this case, the leading indicator would be the no. of times Po gets to eat the food from master Shifu’s bowl. The better this indicator the more close he is to becoming the Dragon Warrior.

So then a good leading indicator is not just the metric for the previous milestone event, but is the metric for the driver for the next milestone or objective.

In my next post, I’ll take up a real case and help you see the leading, lagging and coincident indicators through that example.