Advances in Web technologies are changing the way we work, connect, engage and make decisions in the enterprise. One trend that enterprises would do well to keep on their viewfinder is HTML5, a versatile framework that enables cross platform mobile Web application development. This is supported by a global development survey conducted by research firm Evans Data in early 2011, where over 58 percent of developers in Asia Pacific confirmed that they were already using HTML5 when developing applications.
Today, there is increasing expectation by employees to seek consumer-like IT experiences in their daily working environment, including the flexible use of their mobile devices. Enterprises must gear up for the shift in the single operating system (OS) world towards a multi-platform model. Strong contenders in this segment include - iOS, Android, Windows, and possibly QNX by Research in Motion (RIM).
Having the right applications that are built for cross-platform operations is essential. To ensure success, enterprises should consider adopting Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms (MEAP) that provides tools and middleware for mobile and multichannel application development. This view is confirmed by research firm Gartner which believes that more than 95 percent of organisations will be choosing MEAPs, or packaged mobile application vendors, as their primary mobile development platform in 2012.
Here are some thoughts on the move towards cross platform enterprise IT environment and options available to enterprises today:
Increasingly mixed operating system environment
The holy grail of "build once and run anywhere" is now possible. Next generation cross platform design tools such as RhoElements enable richer apps that can run in the emerging mixed OS environment. The technology platform must no longer be an issue. Applications must run seamlessly regardless of platform, architecture, screen size, screen resolution, or whether the devices are connected to a wi-fi or cellular network.
Greater cost efficiency
IT is expected to enable cutting-edge technology rollouts within their organisation. Yet, the department also faces the same imperatives of constant budgetary constraints. CIOs must look for ways to future-proof IT investments. A cross platform application development framework helps prepare an organisation for a mixed OS environment cost-effectively. Such platforms also allow for one application version to run on many types of devices and OS. As a result, there is significant reduction in application development, deployment, maintenance and management costs. Furthermore, a combination of cross platform applications, such as RhoMobile, combined with HTML5 applications can literally 'future-proof' applications and run them on any new devices or operating system. This will result in improved levels of returns on investments.
Improved application performance
The next-generation framework enables easier development of applications that automatically scale up or down to match the display needs of each device, significantly improving the user experience. Employers only need to train a user once, regardless of the device and OS that the application is deployed on. Application availability, both online and offline, adds to improved employee productivity. The framework also offers the ability to integrate with any enterprise backend system.
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