If your organization is anything like mine, balancing your users’ enthusiasm for hot, new technologies with your sponsors’ budgets is an ongoing challenge. Mobile apps are no exception here. Users want a line of business application capabilities on their Smartphones, however business cases centered on convenience and cool technology don’t often get green-lighted.
I’m Chris Crawford
, responsible for our employee Social Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Search and intranet Portal here at Accenture. One of my architecture roles within Accenture’s internal IT department is guiding mobile development strategies for our internal use. To be clear, we have a lot of great thinking
at Accenture to help clients with their own mobile strategies. With this blog, I’m only talking about what we’re doing internally at Accenture.
I find I’m recommending to more project teams that they look first to meet their mobile needs with mobile-aware web pages. This is certainly not the “cool tech” answer that gets people excited, but there are many advantages for my situation:
- We have no standard handheld. Rather, we have every device, OS and version of OS imaginable.
- Nearly all our line of business apps are already deployed as web pages over https.
- We manage operations costs aggressively. Maintaining multiple versions of thick apps, at a time when new mobile OS versions come out at least once per year, is looking like an expensive proposition.
- I get to leverage my existing team skills to develop the capabilities.
- We avoid deployment issues for new (or updated) applications.
Of course, there are down-sides to this approach.
- Web apps don’t have the sizzle of a thick app. They’re not as visible to the user (no push notifications) and usually not as rich.
- Access to hardware features: camera, GPS, storage, etc. can be hit-or-miss… usually miss.
- Offline? Out of luck.