From sales reps to managers and the C-suite, everyone expects access to data they need when they need it no matter where they are. This demand for mobile applications puts pressure on IT departments to deliver apps quickly and securely across the organization.
But developing apps for Apple or Android devices is challenging. Success requires a solid understanding of the built-in APIs on various platforms while still making sure the app is user-friendly, plus the ability to add requirements to connect to it SAP. What looks like a “simple” app can become very complicated, very quickly.
This article covers some things to keep in mind when developing a mobile application strategy for SAP (and why your best bet is to partner with an expert).
Web Apps vs. Native Apps
The first thing to consider when developing a mobile app is whether to build a mobile website (web app) or a native app, as both have their pros and cons.
If you’re going for platform independence, it’s possible to create some pretty incredible web apps that run on most of the latest mobile devices thanks to HTML 5 standards. The trade-off with this option, however, is that web-based apps can’t take full advantage of the bells and whistles of the mobile device they’re running on, meaning you miss out on local data storage and integration, user interface interaction, etc.
Additionally, user experience is likely to vary based on the user’s mobile device or web browser, making it more difficult to deliver a consistent user experience. Despite these challenges, web apps are still your best strategy if you’re looking to create a minimum viable product (MVP) mobile app.
Your other option is to create a native app. This will give your users the best experience by using all of the device’s capabilities. But—and yes, there is a but—it can be costly to develop, maintain, and secure custom apps for every mobile platform. Speaking of mobile platforms, the next big consideration with a project like this one is to answer the question: Apple or Android?
Apple iOS vs. Android
If you’ve decided that creating a native app is the best strategy for your organization, you’ll need to think about which platforms to target, especially if you have a tight budget. There are significant differences in costs, quality, management, and user experience when it comes to Apple iOS and Android.
Apple’s software development kit guarantees that an iOS app will run similarly on all Apple devices, from iPhones to iPads. Android’s open-source platform, on the other hand, allows each mobile device manufacturer to create multiple devices with varied technical specifications. While this can offer users the flexibility they’re looking for, it also leads to a fragmented environment for developers. You’ll need to consider release, hardware, user experience, and distribution channel fragmentation when developing your mobile apps for Android devices.
And that’s not the only thing you’ll need to keep top of mind when creating native mobile apps for SAP.
With every state enacting security breach laws that require disclosures when personal information is compromised, the security of your SAP app needs to be a priority. Not only will data breaches lead to damage to your company’s reputation, but also a dent in your bottom line thanks to hefty fines.
Android’s numerous app distribution channels have different degrees of submission security checks, which can increase the chances of malware-implanted apps ending up on the device. Android devices usually run older versions of the operating system, as well, which often become a target for hackers trying to exploit security vulnerabilities.
Obviously, these scenarios are possible on Apple devices as well, but the uniform nature of iOS helps to reduce these risks.
Consider Partnering with an SAP Expert
These are just a few of the many things to consider when developing a mobile app strategy for SAP. You’ll also need to think about performance, reliability, other connections, and more, and the consequences for mistakes can be pretty steep. Of course, one way to successfully develop an interactive and intuitive mobile application for your organization is to partner with someone who’s been down this road before.
Bringing on an expert third-party SAP consultant allows you to take advantage of their experience with projects like yours, not to mention their outside perspective when it comes to following best practices and avoiding common pitfalls. So if you’re ready to harness the power of a senior-level, US-based SAP consulting team for your mobile SAP app, we’ve got you covered. Our consultants are familiar with an array of mobile platforms and how to best leverage them with various SAP setups.
Contact us today to get started with our professionals.