3 Rules for Enterprise Mobile Apps
The time has (finally) come where you and your company have concluded that you need a mobile app. Being the smart marketer (or product manager) that you are, you’re already aware of the rich user experience that an app can provide to your customers, employees(colleagues), and maybe even clients. Now that you’re ready to get started, you’re probably asking yourself..
Where do I begin?
Well in today’s article we’re going to talk about JUST that. More specifically, 3 key considerations to take with you as you begin this process. But BEFORE we get into that, let’s first acknowledge the 2 different ways that you can approach this.
1) You can build a custom native or HTML5 application for every new idea, and retain a developer for the updates.
2) You can invest in a platform that will allow you to build multiple apps, across many operating systems and app architectures (mobile web, native, etc.) and re-use components across all of your apps.
The 1st approach requires less of an initial investment and commitment, but it can be troublesome if you plan on creating more than one app or make updates in the future. The 2nd requires more time and funding initially, but it is often a more affordable long-term strategy.
So then the question becomes: which is right for your enterprise?
This is a sticking point for many business and IT leaders (not just you). To make a tough decision a little easier, Appcelerator suggests the following 3 rules be taken into consideration when deciding to go with native, or a platform.
The Rule of Three
“You should choose Option #2, investing in an infrastructure-based, strategic approach, if:
You are going to build three or more applications
You are targeting three or more device classes or operating systems
You are going to be making three or more updates to an app in the course of a year
Benefits of Employing the Rule of Three
The Rule of Three is a long-term strategy that results in lasting benefits:
You do all the hard work up front. Yes, you must first make an initial investment to purchase and learn new software and methodologies, but this effort will save you time and money in the long run. You create a single code base with reusable frameworks and widgets, so you can build countless mobile apps without reinventing each component/framework each time, across all of the operating systems and architectures you require.
You deliver consistency. When your mobile app development takes place on a standardized platform, you are able to make changes to apps or backend data services that reflect across all devices and operating systems at once. Instead of having to make a change to an iOS app, and then separately make the same change to an Android app, you can do everything at once. This is simpler and more cost-effective for your business.
We employ the Rule of Three constantly with our clients, and they continue to see the benefits in action. For example, when we built a mobile app for NBC, it was targeted to four different devices – Android tablets, iOS tablets, iPhones and Android smartphones – and required multiple updates each year. NBC took the recommendations of the Rule of Three and opted for this infrastructure-based approach. Building the app for multiple devices on the Appcelerator Titanium platform resulted in: faster update cycles, cross-platform efficiency, scalable development and huge overall cost savings.”