In today’s mobile first world, more companies have more employees doing work in remote locations. These employees are almost always equipped with smartphones and or tablet computers. Sometimes these mobile devices are owned by the company and issued to full time employees. Sometimes the employees themselves own these devices and work part time as contractors. Either way, mobile devices equipped with workforce management software are now critical tools for managing field based labor and getting work done.

If you’re an employer with a large field based workforce then you know first hand the challenge associated with scheduling labor, tracking time, communicating instructions, collecting data, capturing photos, and analyzing productivity. Thus, the most important question to ask yourself isn’t “if” you should adopt a mobile workforce management solution – rather it’s “how” you should go about it.

Generally speaking, there are two options any employer can chose from. You can deploy and manage “native applications” on each and every employee device – or you can deploy and manage a single “web application” to instantly enable every employee device.

Like most choices in life -- there are pros and cons with either approach.

The high level benefits to native applications are high-gloss presentation and full offline functionality; while the drawbacks are the relatively high cost of development and limited flexibility to manage change.

Web app benefits include lower costs, increased flexibility and the ability to support any and every mobile device under the sun. Drawbacks include limitations on design presentation and partial support for offline.

Ultimately, it’s the business requirements that should drive any decision to utilize a “native” or “web” architecture for delivering mobile applications.

If your objective is to build the next “Angry Birds” and delight consumers with a rich experience, then you should utilize a native architecture because of it's ability to create visual flare.

If, however, your objective is to maximize business productivity among mobile workers with minimal investment and maximum flexibility then it makes perfect sense to utilize a web application architecture.

Looking for a mobile workforce management software?
Check out Natural Insight!
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Husband and father. Software innovator, entrepreneur and marketer. My wife is my soul mate. My 3 kids are my greatest accomplishment. I love innovation and marketing. Also running, yoga, wine, Baltimore Ravens and Avalon, NJ. Sales and Marketing VP at Natural Insight. Founder & CEO of ZoomSafer. Co-founder of SMBLive. Marketing VP at Groove Networks and USinternetworking.