Analysts Confirm Offline Support is a Crucial Consideration for Enterprise Apps

With the rising interest in enterprise mobile apps and enterprise mobility in general, it is interesting to see that analyst’s reports such as ‘The Offline Mobile Challenge’ are being published for IT decision makers (see the report) .

The interest for organisations of all sizes is understandable with the promise of enterprise mobility being so considerable (as well as platform providers of types putting their marketing machines into overdrive)

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So should we all be concerned?

Here at MobileCaddy we understand all about the offline issue having been building fully offline capable mobile apps for the Salesforce.com platform since 2009. And it is our experience that really bears out these types of reports.

Offline seems so simple. We often think about offline as the ability to read data. But this is really just smoke and mirrors in terms of offline capability. And when applications are being over-simplified by stakeholders this is often what is meant. What we see when discussing mobile applications is that it is lack of education of the challenges, often because mobile apps are understood to be desktop apps that are just being viewed on a mobile device.

Under scoping by developers can also be an issue which is also down to lack of education or experience but also importantly, by the lack of resources and time being allocated to the development process. This is also true of the design process. As I have spoken about before design is a new area of concern for enterprise developers, particularly with the Salesforce.com platform where the UI, logic and interactions are mostly prescribed and controlled by the platform itself.

Is offline really the crucial consideration?

Well we could really be in danger of over simplifying and under scoping here. To nip this in the bud straight away I want to state that offline is NOT the actual requirement. It maybe a feature, but what we really must start thinking about is ‘Mobile App Uptime’ (as I previously posted about here) which can be summed up as “the percentage of time the app functions, any time, anywhere, as designed”.

In the very high majority of the use cases this means offline is non negotiable. However it is only one part of delivering robustness (read confidence) for the application, which itself is only one part of delivering robustness in terms of overall enterprise mobility.

To solve this MobileCaddy has taken the view that organisations need a single solution that ensure apps are built to an exacting standard suitable for business critical apps (see more here on MORE(s) Design), a set of deployment, management and monitoring tools and finally a controlled way to enhance these applications both from the development perspective as well as for deployment.

If you’d like to learn more about how this is achieved click below to arrange a demo of the whole solution in just 20 minutes.

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