Mobile PLM Native Apps Challenge

Mobile PLM Native Apps Challenge

Native Apps vs. HTML5 enabled web user experience? This is a dilemma for many developers these days.  People are spending more time using native apps comparing to mobile web optimized sites. However, enterprise software companies have an additional challenges to transform their product suites into set of native mobile apps. Multipleplatform development tax and application integration are probably two most critical on the way to “mobilize enterprise software”.  PLM product suites are famous by the level of complexity and needs to integrate.

I touched the topic of mobile app and web user experience earlier in my blog Mobile PLM: Apps vs. Mobile Browsers? Facebook was challenged by the mobile development strategy long time. The original Facebook plan was to develop multiple platform HTML5 based browser support. However it seems to me, Facebook is finally moving towards “platform dedicated development” by releasing Facebook app for iOS and even hardware platforms such as Facebook phone. I’ve been reading The Facebook Phone & The Triumph Of Native Apps Over HTML5 on Readwite mobile blog yesterday. It provides some interesting data points related to “mobile vs. HTML5 web” discussion. Here is the important passage from the article:

A new survey by Compuware APM confirms that users greatly prefer native apps to the mobile web. (Compuware APM summarizes the survey in this press release. The full survey is available here, though it requires fairly extensive registration.) For example, the survey’s key takeaway: 85% of mobile device users prefer apps over mobile websites. The primary reasons users prefer native apps over mobile websites are: Apps are considered more convenient; Apps are faster;  Apps are “easier to browse”.

What is my conclusion? You don’t need to be at your desk to do the work. This is a reality in a modern business environment. However, with PLM systems available today, you need your desktop/laptop computer to do your job in most of the situations. Most probably HTML5 based web interface will not solve the problem of usability and won’t satisfy modern customers demand. PLM vendors will have to rethink their strategies regarding mobile app development. Today, every PLM vendor did “something mobile”. This strategy won’t fly anymore, in my view. Vendors will have to provide a complete story for all enterprise users. The question is how to provide mobile applications to all people involved in product development and manufacturing. Re-phrasing Apple – if you have PLM task, we have PLM app for that. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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