It’s an “appy” world we live in — not just to improve our personal lives but also to reach new levels of business efficiency. An analysis by Okta found the number of software apps deployed by large firms across all industries worldwide has increased 68% over the past four years, reaching an average of 129 apps per company by the end of 2018.
While business apps are experiencing explosive growth, there is a disconnect between the apps being created and the tools employees need. In fact, 90% of C-suite executives believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology, but only about half (53%) of staff say the same, according to PwC Research.
Businesses want to deliver the technology employees need to thrive, so why are they coming up short? Even after overcoming common cultural resistance to change, businesses must contend with developing apps that are reliable, consistent, secure and — most of all — user-friendly.
This is no easy feat when you consider:
Bottom line: the way we work is evolving and the technology we use needs to change with it.
The rise of the PWA
Businesses need to rethink not only what apps they deploy, but how they deploy them to create digital experiences that are consistent, reliable, portable, and easy-to-use. Progressive web apps (PWAs) are well-positioned to do just that by bridging the gap between desktop and mobile development to deliver greater functionality and usability across modern browsers and devices.
Traditionally, organizations have relied on native mobile apps and web apps to deliver new tools to employees. The downside is native mobile apps require multiple builds across platforms and have high abandonment rates and traditional web apps lack the functionality to make them feel app-like (i.e. installable, accessible when offline).
PWAs relieve limitations of native mobile apps and traditional web apps by combining the best of both. Offering a consistent and responsive experience across all devices, PWAs unlock the potential of advanced features and deliver the intelligent experiences users expect.
Today, major technology leaders like Microsoft, Slack, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are all deploying PWAs. Microsoft is also turning its Outlook.com and Outlook for the Web mail services into PWAs (further validating the potential power of PWAs). And Google continues to double-down on their potential. In addition to releasing PWAs for Google Photos and YouTube Music last year, the company recently made Google Drive available for installation as a PWA.
The benefits of PWAs
Businesses looking to deliver apps that support and inspire their workforce should consider the following benefits of PWAs:
To deliver these benefits to end-users, support for PWAs is on the rise. Chrome, Firefox for Android 58+, and Microsoft’s newly released Edge Chromium browser all offer full support for PWAs. Safari and Apple are not far behind as they continue to make strides to provide greater PWA support.
Innovative businesses are increasingly turning to PWAs to meet the rising expectations of today’s tech-savvy workforce while minimizing development and maintenance costs. By taking the best of native mobile apps and responsive websites, PWAs deliver the flexible experiences and advanced features today’s employees demand and require to work more efficiently — anywhere, on any device, at any time.
Visit the DockYard blog to stay up-to-date on the lastest PWA support and capabilities.
With over 15 years of development experience, Estelle DeBlois leads DockYard’s expert engineering team with a technology focus on Elixir/Phoenix, Ember.js, and React.js. DockYard is a full service, full stack digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development for clients such as Netflix and Apple.