Trends in Enterprise Mobility Part 4: HTML5

Posted by Michael Runshe

Wed, Nov 28, 2012

Trends in Enterprise Mobility Part 4: HTML5The rise of HTML5 promises to bring about many changes to how enterprises approach teleworking. HTML5 necessitates innovative approaches to the world of business mobility, as the language requires a completely different approach to mobile enterprise applications. As an alternative to native software, HTML5 offers a cross-platform, cloud-based development kit that is as elegant and powerful as many native applications. This flexibility is enticing to programmers, and people on the vanguard of mobile application industries are using HTML5 to push the limits of what “mobility” means.

Some of the business advantages offered by HTML5 include:

  • Cross-platform support – HTML5 allows developers to use one batch of code that works for all platforms. This leads to less on-going maintenance and a much lower over-all cost.

  • Flexible and reliable storage options – HTML5 is able to store client-side data in a true SQL database instead of using cookies. For internal and external users, this means that HTML5 business websites will be able to offer the ability to work offline using a temporary cache, and a previously-visited site will be able to be loaded without being connected to the internet.

  • Mobile apps made using HTML5 will lead to more accessibility for business intelligence on mobile devices. Any device with an HTML5 compatible browser will have identical data collection and collation abilities. This is far more efficient than requiring your staff to purchase new, identical devices or attempting to develop multiple applications for a variety of hardware formats.

  • HTML5 incorporates GPS tracking into its applications. The implications for this built-in feature are huge, as it makes it easier to track consumer habits and develop useful strategies to expand business opportunities.

In comparison to standard HTML and CSS based applications, HTML5 offers a more interactive user experience. As users become more accustomed to touch screen interfaces in their personal lives, they will expect similar efficiency in business applications and sites. As a result of this increase in expectation, browser manufacturers consistently push to get more power and functionality from their applications through the implementation of HTML5. For commercial users, the surge in user base, coupled with the breakneck push for more functionality, can lead to issues of data security.

Some of these security issues include:

  • The new HTML5 features that make accessing and using multiple forms of media easier can also lead to some data leakage.

  • Geo-location services can obviously lead to real-world security issues. In fact, it is recommended that GPS services should only be used when they can markedly improve the user experience. And when it is implemented in your applications, the appropriate legal notifications must be in place to inform users.

  • HTML5 still has yet to be completely adapted by all mobile browsers, even though it is apparent that they all are moving toward full implementation. As is common with any new platform, adoption rate has varied wildly amongst competing businesses. However, a simple work-around for businesses is to select one of the more strongly supported browsers, such as Mozilla's Firefox, and then standardize its implementation on your employees devices.

HTML5 promises innovation in the mobile enterprise sector. As developers begin to implement more and more of its unique functionality, they would be wise to remain creative and flexible in approaching the new platform.

Next in our series, we explore trends in LTE.

Tags: Enterprise Mobility, Mobile Workforce Management, Developments in Field Service Management