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Native or Hybrid – the Mobile App Developer’s Dilemma!

 The popularity for the EHS mobile apps have started gaining momentum in the recent years. The driving factors behind the skyrocketing demand is undoubtedly the requisition of features like real-time updates, easy data entry, and better insights on risk and incident management. Being the pioneers of cloud-based integrated EHS Management Software providers, ProcessMap geared up to join the “mobile first” bandwagon in the EHS industry.

 According to the recently published research from Verdantix, “57% of EHS professionals around the globe intend to leverage mobile apps as a means of improving EHS engagement, performance, and business value”. The report further qualifies, “Now, as EHS software adoption continues to ramp up, mobile apps are establishing a foundational role in proper EHS management and utilization of EHS technologies.” This research clarified the point that organization within the Environment, Health and Safety Management Software domain must consolidate upon their mobile technology planning. As the VP of Product Development for ProcessMap; I could also foresee the need of a well-etched and impactful mobile strategy to continue with our leadership journey.

Our decision – Go native!

While brainstorming on mobile app development for Safety and Incident Management Software it is important to anticipate its outcomes. What is the desired result expected from the app? It is here, we often dwindle in choosing between the native or the hybrid mobile app for a platform.

The two schools of thought regarding mobile app development – native and hybrid – each have a comprehensive list of weighted pros and cons and practically every company has to encounter this choice at the beginning of their mobile initiative. However, the limitations of a hybrid app over a native app was clearly evident right from the very beginning. Lack of offline support, sub-par user experience and slow application performance were directly related to absence of native UI elements, reliance on the built-in browser and exposure to third-party exploits. Moreover, limited or non-existent support for device's hardware elements and features like GPS, accelerometer, and convenient biometric authentication systems like Touch- and Face ID made it obvious that going native was the correct choice.

Switching to the native development paradigm empowered ProcessMAP to develop a comprehensive mobile application platform with support for on-device persistence with “offline first” approach, Push Notifications, dynamic data-driven business logic and intuitive UI/UX. Relying on the same architectural principles across mobile platforms (iOS, Android and UWP) helped ensure consistent and superior user experience while being agnostic to the underlying OS.

Native or Hybrid – the Mobile App Developer’s Dilemma_1

In the Verdantix survey of EHS leaders from across 31 countries and 21 industries, 84% of the 382 participants reported that the quality of a mobile application influences their EHS software selection process. Moreover, buyers see offline functionality, UI design, and breadth of process coverage as important factors in making mobile apps a very versatile tool for trailblazers in the field of Environment, Health and Safety Management Software.

Our mobile app journey is relatively young, but we are excited to have taken the right direction in offering a highly robust but extremely intuitive and easy to use native mobile app to our users. 

Sources:

Market Overview: EHS Mobile Apps”, Verdantix, May 2018

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