How to Choose the Right Platform to Initiate Mobility

With over 2 billion mobile devices sold every year, there’s a lot of incentive for organizations to introduce new and unique devices.  While Apple and Android devices dominate today’s market and new competitors on the horizon, there’s definitely a need to take a multi-channel approach to support a variety of devices.

The Enterprise Mobility market is standing tall at the $220 billion mark and enterprises that lead the frontline in embracing mobility are making tech history.  The reason for success of such organizations is that they seek answers to the right questions. They envision and they initiate.

To engage in the ever-changing customer landscape, you need to develop an application that can be supported on a variety of platforms.  Moreover, the app needs to ensure a consistent user experience across all platforms being used.

Apple continues its domination in the US market share with close to 45% and Android closely follows hot pursuit with 30% which means the trend for enterprises to reach out to a maximum number of people through mobility is likely to continue.  The tech ecosystem has evolved as well. With wearable tech now heavily infiltrating the tech market, building the right application on the right platform is a must. Applications must now offer the same functions, features and data across multiple types of technology.

If you happen to choose the wrong mobile platform, you can unnecessarily drive up your development and maintenance costs.  You could not only weaken the value of your app to your end users, you could also end up putting stress on the existing support system since it will be unable to maintain the extra data and service requests from mobile devices.

It’s absolutely necessary to choose which platform is the right one for you.  From Mobile Web applications, to Native, to Hybrid, there are a variety of options to choose from.  There is, however, only one platform that is suitable for your particular enterprise needs.   With benefits and drawbacks to both, you can figure out which one gives you the best results by weighing out the pros and cons.


Web App Benefits:

  • Contemporary browsers support widespread web languages such as HTML, CSS & JavaScript.
  • Web applications are universally used across multiple form factors and devices.
  • Offers easy integration of mobile into conventional web development processes.
  • There’s no need for installing anything and updates are quick and immediate.
  • Sensitive data can be wiped clean from the memory after the app is shut down.

Web App Drawbacks:

  • With web apps, there is restricted access to local device software and hardware.
  • There’s a limited scope of completing tasks since local caching is available for a very restricted offline use.
  • The computing power curbs the browser’s runtime engine.
  • Not all browsers offer the latest versions of HTML, CSS & JavaScript.

Native Benefits:

  • Native apps offer strict integration with the device’s hardware allowing increased performance and more use of hardware features.
  • Difficult tasks that are computational-heavy can easily be completed on the device.
  • Offline access is easily available.
  • Native apps are downloadable through app stores.

Native Drawbacks:

  • Expect additional investments like app stores, app-specific support, updates and adding extensions.
  • Experts that are skilled in device-specific languages are not only hard to find but expensive to train.
  • Native apps require testing every time a new device or operating software is made available.
  • There’s a tradeoff for native device features over budget constraints.

Hybrid Benefits:

  • Multiple web languages can be utilized to create an entire app.
  • The code can be reused for a variety of platforms.
  • There’s access available to frequently used Native Application Program Interfaces (APIs) such as local device hardware and services.
  • Performance is heightened for specific use processes, for instance mobile.
  • Offline access is offered.

  • For Hybrid apps, the code is unavailable for Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) tools.
  • Hybrid apps are limited to manual download from the app store.
  • Frameworks are bound to the vendor that provides the MEAP product, which means there’s a chance of a “vendor lock-in” happening.
  • The developers working with hybrid apps need to be qualified in using a MEAP structure.

With the benefits and drawbacks listed, it will be easily evident to you which platform is more suitable for your organization’s day-to-day processes.  Keeping the end-user in mind, if you focus on quality and creating the best possible user experience, opting for native applications would prove a lot more efficient.  As users get familiarized with a particular platform, it is important to satisfy user preferences – something that’s hard to achieve with Hybrid frameworks.

Businesses see the potential in implementing mobility, specifically mobile applications, in improving day-to-day business and IT processes.  Business strategies, therefore, must reflect a mobile-centric approach where the enterprise actively seeks for ways to integrate (or replace) traditional methods with more mobile-friendly initiatives.

CIOs and IT managers need to highlight important business issues with developing enterprise mobile applications.  The issues can vary from workforce mobilization to BYOD policies to assessing the current technical stack available.   The right mobile app development platform can mean the difference between maximizing the return on investment and significant financial losses.

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    Jason Frost

    Manager, Customer Success

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