Native, web or hybrid software: which platform is best suited to your business?

By Krzysztof Szabelski, Head of Technology at Future Processing

For businesses that require software development, there are many considerations that can often impact the lasting success of the company. The choice of application type will depend on the organisation’s target market, its customers and partners, but ultimately is determined by what the software will be used for. Choosing the right type of application is quickly becoming a critical task for companies, especially in today’s fast-paced digital world.

The path companies will take when it comes to choosing its suitable software application will rarely be the same as another organisation. Each software type brings its own benefits and challenges, which is why it’s hugely important to understand the options available and gain the best return on investment. Partnering with a software development company can often help organisations to develop software with a clear goal in mind, ensuring that the software can easily be maintained and updated in the future.

What’s the difference?
There are three key types of software application: native, web and hybrid. Each application has its own benefits, varying in suitability for certain businesses. Native software is developed for use on specific platforms, using platform-specific programming languages. For example, Swift or Objective-C is used to write native iOS applications and Java is used to write native Android apps. This software is popular due to its ability to tap into wider device functionality such as cameras and microphones.

Although native software is the most prominent form of application, web and hybrid software is also widely used and each comes with its own specialties. Web software provides additional functionality and interactivity to an already informational website. This type of software is one which is accessible via a web browser, through a network such as the Internet, whilst hybrid software is installed in a similar way to native software. Although the installation process is similar between native and hybrid software, hybrid works differently due to its singular codebase management.

Choosing a suitable application
Many organisations can benefit from these three types of software application, but choosing the right one depends on what the company’s overall goal is. In some cases, native software can have an expensive development cost, making it ideal for large enterprises that acquire high development budgets. It also enables high performance as it can easily access device functionality and create a faster response rate, even if there are heavy graphics and details integrated.

If the aim of the organisation is to target a large number of users through multiple platforms, hybrid software would be the most effective. Allowing businesses to develop a unique solution, it is ideal for progressive startups and gives them more flexibility and control over the platform from the beginning. However, in comparison to native software, hybrid software is low performing and relies on the quality of the processes that run the code to increase performance level.

Web software gives businesses the ability to run on all browsers and devices such as laptops, mobile phones or TVs, making it an extremely accessible and compatible application. It also updates automatically so is always running at the highest specification and saves time spent on downloading updates. The performance of web software, however, depends on the strength of the internet connection, making it a considerable option if all employees within an organisation have access to reliable WiFi.

Working with a specialist software development company
Choosing and developing the right software is highly important, and often provides the framework for the running of a business. Specialist software development companies can help businesses differentiate themselves from competitors by implementing the most effective and efficient fix when something goes wrong within your application portfolio.

Software developers can provide expertise in methods to innovate businesses, as well as improve customer experience and make operations safer and more productive. Working with specialists can also save time and cost, particularly through minimum viable product packages (MVPs) which enable companies to launch a product faster, ensuring time and money can be spent elsewhere, optimising products and other elements of the business.

Making the right choice
For businesses to make the right choice, it’s vital to understand the differences between each software option. Native, web and hybrid applications each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the final decision will be based on the organisation’s needs. After confirming the software choice, businesses can consider working with a specialist software development company to bring the software to life. Not only will this ensure that the software can be launched efficiently and cost-effectively, but it will also bring outsourced expertise to the project.

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