The Case for Native Apps

By Michael Beckley, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Appian — June 29, 2014

Research shows that 55% of CIOs rank mobility at or near the top of their list of technology priorities, and 87% of CIOs believe more mobile than desktop apps will be created. But which platform(s) will CIOs choose to support? Native iOS, Android? HTML 5? What about those BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users that refuse to buy new devices? Many IT leaders believe that it’s just too expensive to support them all.
 
Enabling key business processes on leading mobile operating systems can be an expensive undertaking. This has caused some CIOs to limit mobile support for certain platforms, often stranding BYOD employees with the "wrong" handsets.
 
The fact is, custom-coding for each platform is cost-prohibitive. Research shows that it can cost $50K - $150K per app, per platform. However, a new model is emerging that solves this problem. Moving to a natively mobile strategy requiring just one application, deployed to multiple mobile platforms with no additional development effort, is the solution.
 
Native Advantages
Native mobile applications need to be developed from a shared, visual application model for mobile and web business applications that renders natively in all environments. This capability enables developers and business units to collaborate on new applications, and have those applications self-assembled with native components for all the desired platforms and devices.
 
This method of development not only saves time, but also increases flexibility and lowers costs for all concerned. Furthermore, this strategy enables key security features such as server-side authentication management, encrypted communications, the encryption of local data, passcodes for local applications, and SAML authentication support.
 
Cloud computing hastens this shift to next generation mobile application development—and the future of work. As companies become more comfortable with putting business processes and data in the cloud, (and all signs say they will), they can realize tremendous savings in managing enterprise platforms. 
 
Organizations can see ROI immediately because there are no significant up-front capital investments in hardware and software or costs associated with the maintenance and operation of these systems. Vendors can leverage the cloud to manage their own costs and speed deployment for enterprise customers.  
 
By moving to a mobile-based, write-once-deploy-anywhere strategy, executives will be able to fully tap the mobile revolution and experience how mobile devices can create new efficiencies to empower business transformation.

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