IT Management

The primary mobile target is the BlackBerry, though IBM recently added the iPhone. With the introduction of Domino 8.5 on 64-bit Linux, IBM will completely shift Domino away from z/OS to Linux and eventually discontinue Domino on z/OS, Murray reports.

Viterra also uses Notes and has just started a pilot using Lotus Notes Connections. This is social networking software specifically designed for organizations that want to tap their collective knowledge and that of partners and customers. It does so by dynamically building new connections between people, the expertise they have, and the tasks they’re executing.

“It has mobile connection capability,” says Brooks. “We will use it for social networking.”

IBM has several Notes/Domino products that address mobility, including Notes Traveler and Lotus Sametime, a collaboration tool. IBM also has bolstered its mobile vendor relationships with CommonTime, Nokia, Motorola, and RIM to facilitate Notes/Domino mobile access.

Also, in recent announcements, IBM revealed that:

• Verizon will provide its 85 million U.S. subscribers with access to IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino offerings.

• Orange expects to deliver Big Blue’s collaboration software for mobile devices to its 113 million customers across Europe.

• Samsung has agreed to support IBM software to enable its Smartphone users to manage Lotus Notes email, calendars, and address books on the go.

Verizon and Orange agreed to certify support for IBM Lotus Notes Traveler software, which IBM says is designed to wirelessly replicate Lotus Notes email, calendaring, and personal information management on select Smartphones.

Security

The biggest challenge to mobility is one over which the mainframe data center has the least control—lost or stolen devices. Despite the most stringent corporate policies, users invariably will access critical, often confidential data through mobile devices, where it sits exposed to the world.

Consider the prospect that important, often confidential, corporate data on mobile devices will be inadvertently dropped at little league games or left in airport restrooms.

“Many of the mobile devices aren’t even password protected,” says Higgins, the GlassHouse Technologies consultant. “Most lack encryption.”

Unfortunately, the data sitting on a lost mobile device isn’t protected by your investment in RACF or CA Top Secret. Expect to see more effort to password protect and encrypt these devices. Beyond that, organizations will have to rely on policies, user education, and risk management.

“There always are a set of trade-offs involved,” says Higgins. “You will have to make a business-level risk decision, not just an IT decision.”

For now, security remains an unresolved issue. Nevertheless, driven by a new generation of workers, partners and customers, mobility will become the way of computing. Stationary desktops and terminals will give way to mobile devices. As the primary repository of the organization’s logic, rules, and data, the mainframe will have to accommodate them.

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