App strategy hinges on overall user experience

With mobile devices being used in virtually every aspect of life, it should come as no surprise that there are also applications being made to support these processes. This trend can become overwhelming for both the user and developers. Not only are software builders expected to live up to a certain standard of criteria, but they must do so for each device an employee may wish to use. While there are many programs already published in popular app stores, many are not created with businesses in mind, forcing organizations to comb through the options or create their own. Although it would make sense to go with HTML5 development to suit all users, most app builders are choosing native coding for their products.

App development has traditionally been a challenging process, but with device fragmentation and multiple coding approaches available, it's becoming even more complex. InformationWeek contributor Thomas Claburn noted that while the Web was predicted to be the prominent platform for apps, consumers are interested in the capabilities of their own operating systems. Due to this development, app builders have had no choice but to respond by accommodating the native capacity for touch-based engagement and use of unique device features within the program. Consumers most often spend time on social networking programs and gaming apps, which have not been perfected in HTML5, but are well on their way. If developers can produce a strong showing in these areas, the Web may have a chance to bounce back in the mobile market.

"The Web evolved to accommodate the keyboard-and-mouse-based interaction of desktop computers before being retrofitted for mobile," Claburn wrote. "And though mobile-oriented JavaScript frameworks have addressed these issues, the Web's desktop legacy still gets in the way."

Managing the complex app environment
With so many programs on the market, it can be difficult to find which are trustworthy and which don't have the features that users need in the workplace. However, businesses have turned to creating their own through Web software rather than relying solely on mobile capabilities. According to recent Citrix research, 20 percent of enterprise apps are based in Web or HTML5 form in comparison to only 6 percent that are mobile. This shows that although mobile software is popular among the general population, it's not as viable in enterprise processes. The main reason for this comes from the lack of security measures in many third-party apps and the inability to meet specific user needs.

As more mobile endpoints enter business operations, it will become more complicated to ensure that all users receive the same experience, especially if the developers are creating native applications. Network World contributor Rand Morimoto noted that smartphones and tablets are being used more heavily for complex computing processes like running business software and editing work files directly from the device. With these functions becoming more sophisticated, applications must support user needs and ensure that all staff can use their hardware effectively.

"[E]nterprises are continuing to implement endpoint management solutions, but a shift this year is moving away from the lockdown management of endpoints to the enablement of endpoints as valuable end-user devices," Morimoto wrote. "Organizations are no longer blocking access to content, but working to contain and protect sensitive business information, effectively providing employees the access to information that they want and need to access in a safe and secure manner."

Application development entails numerous considerations that were never needed before. With the fragmentation of the mobile environment, IT must ensure that all device needs are met and that they create a product that will benefit business profitability.


GrapeCity Developer Tools
comments powered by Disqus