As we tackled in the ins and outs of the mobile digital experience, this month, something was made terribly clear -- it's already here. Consumers are devouring mobile, employees are flocking to mobile apps and devices, and your company's ability to adapt, adopt and strategize for the mobile web, mobile apps and the overall mobile experience is critical.
Mobile App Development
When it comes to enterprise mobility, one area that requires a sound strategy is mobile application development. Mobile apps are everywhere and if companies aren't ahead of the curve, they'll risk putting their information in danger if employees use consumer-facing file sharing apps instead of more-secure business apps.
Though developing apps is much easier than it once was, deciding whether to go native, hybrid or web-based is still a difficult decision. Of course accessibility and security are issues, but so is speed and affordability. As a result, we're seeing more of a push towards building hybrid apps, which are written with web technologies that run inside a native app container. Unlike HTML5 or native apps, most of the assets required by the web page are stored inside the native app package on the device, rather than on the server, which can make it faster. However, native apps can ensure better security and offer more customization. And even though hybrid apps may become more popular, there aren't as many hybrid app development tools.
With a proliferation of mobile web browsers, it's even more challenging to develop an app that can be sure to deliver the same experience across a variety of platforms. Companies who have failed to leverage BYOD policies or who have chosen to ignore the mobile device debate will find it more challenging when they do decide to address issues of enterprise mobility.
Putting Strategy Before Development
In the end, it isn't so much about which type of mobile app you develop, but more about the reasons why you have chosen to develop an app in the first place and how it will be managed. What problem are you attempting to solve? What workflow issues are you hoping to streamline? And above all, how will it make your employees more productive, while empowering your customers to have better experiences? Answering these questions can help determine which platform to build upon and the outcomes you hope to achieve once it's deployed.