One Cloud for All in 2015: The Trend in Native Cloud Apps

December 15, 2014 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

cloud-apps_insideAccording to Gartner (the Stamford, Connecticut-based research company), a key cloud computing trend in 2015 will be the development of native cloud applications. These apps will be usable on any computer or mobile device, regardless of operating system and will overcome limitations imposed by OS-based applications. If your company is implementing a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy or planning to do so, there is every reason to consider the advantages of native cloud apps.

The Evolution of Native Cloud Apps

With BYOD models becoming more and more commonplace in the workplace, the majority of corporations are choosing to assist, rather than resist the trend for employees to conduct company business on their own personal devices.  While this movement brings many advantages, one challenge that companies face is the sheer quantity of different operating systems that must be supported.

It’s largely agreed that BYOD strategies are more effective when employers don’t restrict the range of operating systems or devices permitted. At the same time, providing different apps native to individual operating systems (IOS, Android, Windows Mobile and others) is a costly way to support employees’ technology requirements. Hence, software vendors are fast moving to provide cloud apps that can run on any mobile device. Technologies such as jQuery Mobile and HTML5 provide developers with the capabilities to create highly functional and dynamic applications that reside in the cloud.

Advantages and Benefits

The jury is still out when it comes to determining whether native cloud or native device apps offer the best solution for mobile business use. However, cloud apps do have a few clear advantages. The first advantage, as already mentioned, is the cost of development. Some others include:

Interface Uniformity – Some mobile users might use two or three different mobile devices in the course of their work. A native cloud app provides a user interface that looks, feels and operates the same way regardless of whether it’s being used on an iPhone, an Android tablet or a Windows laptop computer.

No Download Required – Because users connect to the Internet to access cloud apps, there is no need for any software downloads. This makes the apps easy for users to access and also for enterprises to manage.

Data Security – One of the disadvantages of native device apps is the fact that data gets stored on the devices themselves. With data security and privacy being a top concern for any company implementing BYOD, native cloud apps can provide greater peace of mind. Like the apps themselves, the data resides in the cloud and is accessed remotely via the Internet. This reduces the risk of data compromise when a mobile device is lost, stolen or falls into the hands of an unauthorized user.

Business Continuity – In addition to being more secure, cloud-native apps have the benefit of being continuously available, since redundancy is built into service providers’ data centers. If a system outage occurs, app users can continue working without interruption.

Room for Improvement

The reality is that as yet, cloud-native apps are not a definitive, one-size-fits-all solution. Apps native to individual operating systems will certainly not disappear overnight. However, with development and deployment cost being a major factor in favor of cloud-native apps, Gartner’s prediction should come as no surprise. Furthermore, there is no doubt that cloud vendors and service providers will continue to refine and improve their mobile cloud apps over the course of 2015. After all, the biggest spoils will go to innovators who ease the way for corporations implementing BYOD strategies. Without doubt, the advances in cloud-native applications are something for every CIO to keep an eye on the first few months of 2015.

 

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