In part III of this blog series, we will discuss how to realize your ROI by mobilizing the applications you have identified. Additionally, enterprises and organizations must understand the different scenarios that exist when approaching app development.
By this time you have hopefully identified which applications you need to mobilize and understand how much ROI will be realized. Additionally, you should understand how long it will take you to realize this ROI, whether it be for an enterprise or an app that is public facing.
The BYOD Challenge
The next step in realizing your Return on Investment is taking a look at what technology you are using today. You need to get a handle on what types of devices are being used by both your internal and external customers. The cost to go mobile is greatly decreased when everyone is using the same platform. However, with the global acceptance of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this has become more of an issue with regards to creating applications. While BYOD has saved organizations huge amounts of money, developing applications for each device type for internal and external customers can be quite costly.
In this scenario, you need to identify if the application(s) you are creating can be fitted to the variety of devices using mobile web or a hybrid app and must always be connected to the Internet, or if they need offline capabilities as well.
Choosing the Right Solution
Furthermore, The type of solution you need is dependent on the data you need to communicate. For apps that are data heavy, you must be prepared to use multiple threading technology. Both hybrid and mobile web apps are not the ideal solution for this, as customers have grown to become very impatient when gaining access to data. In this scenario you will most probably need a native app that can be used both online and off.
Lets take a look at the qualities of each to provide you with a better understanding of the types of apps, so you can choose.
• Mobile Web – This type of app solution is the least expensive but is single threaded so not recommended for apps that are data heavy. They require an internet connection to run. They are extremely popular due to the widespread use of web browsers and support of the HTML5 programming language.
• Native – The most expensive to develop on, it has become the solution of choice for most enterprises. It boasts multi-threading which makes it great for apps that are data heavy and can be run offline without an Internet connection. Because they are built for specific devices they have the ability to utilize hardware and software that is specific to those devices. Creating a native app for the Android platform can increase the costs of app development since a different version would need to be coded for each specific device.
• Hybrid – It is single threaded so heavy data apps aren’t recommended to use such a solution. The way this type of app is structured consists of two parts, web and native. These two parts are completely separate and communicate with each other via sending messages between each other in order to complete tasks. This type of app can work offline.
In any case, you should be analyzing how the app’s users go about dealing with data and create a mobile user experience that is as close as possible to their way of doing things. In doing so, you will be making it as seamless and adoptive experience as possible. For instance, if they are using a pen and paper to communicate data, you might want to create an app utilizing a pen-like stylus and handwriting recognition.
By not arriving to a strategy for developing your app to match your customers’ way of doing things, you may need to invest more money in redesigning or refining the architecture of your app.
Utilizing an App Prototype Strategy
When you are ready to roll out your app, it doesn’t need to be in a full fledged way. If you want to test the app waters with a prototype, there are a plethora of tools that exist on the market that will convert existing applications. There are also a number of third party services that empower you to convert existing technology into web or hybrid apps. This will allow organizations to quickly deploy the app to their internal and external customers, analyze their experience, refine the app as needed and re-release.
For more information regarding Mobilizing Enterprize Applications, download our Whitepaper: MOBILIZING ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS: OBSTACLES, BENEFITS, AND KEY CONSIDERATIONS