Mobile vs Cloud-Native – If you want to develop a dedicated mobile app for your organization, you will have to make many decisions. One of the first decisions on your agenda is whether to go for a mobile or cloud-native application. How do you choose right?
The best way to make the right decision is to discover the use cases and differences between mobile and cloud-native applications. Below you can find a mobile vs. cloud-native comparison to decide on the best platform for your new business software.
What Is A Mobile App?
A mobile app is a software application. However, one thing differentiates these apps from other software on the market. These apps are specifically developed for a particular group of handheld devices, including smartphones and tablets.
These devices have unique hardware and OS capabilities, which mobile app developers leverage to include specific features. Mobile apps can be native or web-based apps. Native apps are available only for one platform, while web apps are available across platforms.
What Is A Cloud-Native App?
Unlike mobile apps, which are developed for specific mobile platforms such as Android and iOS, cloud-native apps are built on cloud-based technologies. They are developed from scratch to use public cloud services and infrastructures, such as Azure and AWS.
Cloud-native apps are built according to the newest software architecture and engineering practices. The process includes using container engines, orchestrators, and robust integration.
These apps are accessible on any device since the final app is SaaS (software as a service). That means you can access the app from any device you want, and it will still look the same and come with all the features.
What About The Development?
When choosing which technologies to use to build a business application from scratch, you need to consider the development process, the features you’ll need, and what capabilities you want your application to have.
Generally speaking, developing simple mobile apps can be quite a straightforward activity. For instance, you can use one of the best mobile app-building platforms to have your app up and running in no time. Those platforms run in the cloud, so you don’t have to download or install them to build your app.
However, you will need time to develop an app from scratch. The situation is the same for companies with an internal team of developers and those that need to outsource app development projects.
Although there are some solutions, such as the Docker registry by JFrog, to help developers speed up build, test, and feedback time, coding applications still takes time. Whether you decide to have a custom mobile app or a cloud-native app, you can count that you’ll have to wait for the final release for at least a few weeks.
Common Use Cases
Finally, you need to factor in the use cases of specific software solutions. While mobile apps and their cloud-native counterparts share some everyday use cases, several use cases are unique to both options.
Enterprise Mobile Apps
Collaboration is one of the most common mobile app use cases in an enterprise environment. Collaboration comes in many shapes and sizes.
Some custom-built apps serve as communication hubs, while others enable video conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration on documentation.
Next, we have mobile apps developed to support and streamline project management. These apps can come with various features, such as scheduling, approvals, sign-ins, sign-offs, requests, appointment management, and many other functionalities.
Mobile apps can help organizations stand on top of asset management and sale quotes. They can streamline activities for the sales department or serve as catalogs.
Enterprise Cloud-Native Apps
Enterprise cloud-native apps have many use cases as well. They are commonly used for enterprise resource planning, project management, backups, syncing, accounting, payment processing, automation, and many other business activities.
Building cloud-native apps from scratch is a serious task. Why? Because it involves working with cloud technologies. It requires specialized knowledge and expertise as some new constructs, such as software containers, microservices, and APIs, are brand new. Many junior developers are yet to become familiar with using them.
Conclusion: Mobile vs Cloud-Native
Both mobile and cloud-native apps have very different use cases. Now that you know their differences, you can make an informed choice.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to come to the right decision. Always establish your business goals, analyze the market, see what the competition is doing, and keep your team of developers in the loop. These are the best practices for choosing the right platform for your app.