Imagine this situation – You are at a conference and strike up a conversation with an important prospect that can be a potential business opportunity for your company. You have warmed your way through the talk and are about to take the person’s contact details down on your iPad when tragedy strikes…. Your internet connectivity signal dies on you….
Flustered? Angry? Concerned? All three maybe?
This is because you know that the prospect will not hang around to repeat the details for you to feed in when your internet connectivity comes back on again. He or she will simply walk away, leaving with a probable lost client account. This deal breaker (for no fault of yours) can impact your business at multiple levels –
In the cut throat world of sales and marketing, it means a huge loss to the organization and setback to business objectives. How you wish in such situations for your app to function even when there is zero internet connectivity on your smart device or iPad.
From a consumer point of view, losing your Wi-Fi or mobile data connectivity will not have that much of an impact. All it might mean are a few minutes of not chatting with friends, or interrupted download. But for a business enterprise, the ramifications are far more intense, as we have seen in the above example. Be it sales, CRM, ERP, business continuity strategy, field service data, or inventory tracking, it is necessary for the team to have constant access to these mission critical mobile apps, irrespective of the status of internet connectivity.
This is precisely where offline mobile apps come into the picture.
One of the most common implementation of offline apps is that the mobile app software as well as the mobile data is stored on the mobile ecosystem. Whenever the user comes back online, the data is synchronized with an online or cloud storage. In office or at home, this capability might not make much of a difference, but it offers tremendous value the moment you step into an ‘Internet-dead’ zone (hospitals, airports, basement level hotel conferences etc.). Your insights and analysis services will continue churning out relevant results that matter and decision making will not stop being intelligent just because internet service is down.
What an offline mobile app does is that it ensures that you get to use the app no matter if there is an internet connection present or not. Imagine in case of a natural disaster, a CTO or business continuity manager needs to have access to business continuity plan, so that he/she can help in the process of resuming work, and aligning the IT infrastructure after disaster has struck.
With multiple stakeholders and touchpoints, business hasn’t remained as confined as it was probably 20 years back. Important functions are often outsourced and vendors are enlisted for specialist work. This exposes the business to multiple external parties in today’s connected times. Also, a key member of the organization, such as a sales manager or field executive needs to access or capture data, irrespective of what is the connectivity strength in the local area. This calls for the need for Offline apps for android mobile. From an operations point of view, we can look at the example of an oil and gas, or chemical company that takes the operations people to places where internet connectivity is not even heard of. Here, people will still need access to workflow approvals, CRM, project management apps, support ops, and analyzing of data extracted from mobile.
Some key reasons why enterprises will choose to have offline capabilities to their enterprise apps include –
However, how much is our readiness to embrace offline support on our apps is a matter of concern. Across the world, the same worrying sentiments are echoed by industry experts as well as CTOs. Forrester Research had published a report on this theme that outlines the criticality of providing suitable offline apps that ensure that the show runs as usual. The eye-opening report sees what offline apps mean for enterprise stakeholders and tries to assess their level of preparedness when implementing offline capabilities on their enterprise mobile apps.
The report summarizes that app developers cannot take for granted that users will get uninterrupted internet connectivity at all places and all times. Thus, they need to build in offline support systems on nearly every mobile application. It also goes on to state that offline support is something that is scoped incorrectly almost every single time, and priced high by developers, and is made to look very simple by stakeholders – which is not the case.
Got your interest piqued about offline apps? Then read on for an in-depth look.
Developers have two choices here for developing offline apps for android mobile
Our take – the 1st option presents a smarter choice as it is not only efficient in performance but is also budget friendly
Offline apps for android mobile and other OS can be classified into two types at a very high level –
Offline apps needs to execute certain typical characteristics or functions.
When you classify the type of app needed for your business, you can check how well it aligns to these functionalities and security guidelines. These features bring down data transmission costs and keep the RoI optimal to justify its development and deployment at the organizational level. It is interesting to note that the number of mission critical functions packed into a mobile app will be directly proportional to the success of the offline app.
A major reason why corporate adoption of offline support for mobile data has been appalling is the concern for security of the enterprise data stored locally on the device. Because the data is kept locally on the device, there is a myth that such data cannot be secure. Experts feel that this is absolutely not true. Offline apps can be as secure as online app – provided a considerable thought process has gone into how the app needs to be designed and deployed, and how well it has followed best practices.
When you have mission critical data stored on an offline app, the app’s maturity will be denoted by how well it implements these features –
If we factor in all these best practices, then there is absolutely no reason why enterprise offline apps can be as secure as its online counterparts.
How well is your business geared up for offline capabilities? Leave in a comment and let us know.