For starters, a trend called bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, is making its rounds at companies across the country. BYOD policies let employees use personal devices for work. A recent survey of more than 335 IT professionals, sponsored by enterprise software vendor MokaFive, found that 88% of companies had some form of BYOD, whether sanctioned or not.
Genentech doesn't have a BYOD policyyet. The company is actively considering BYOD in its future. If this happens, then Lanzi will have to deal with a flood of devices beyond iPads and iPhones. This will be especially true in the tablet space with newcomers such as the newly released Google Nexus 7, the upcoming Microsoft Surface, and the rumored iPad Mini. HTML 5 Web apps, of course, can be accessible from any device with a Web browser.
Case Study: VMware Going "All In" with BYOD
It's also good timing that HTML 5 has matured nicely, having emerged from its heady "write once, debug everywhere" days. "From a feature perspective, HTML 5 Web apps are getting close to parity with iOS native apps," Lanzi says. "It makes a lot of sense to go down this road."
Clearly, HTML 5 is pulling CIOs toward it. On the push side, the bloom is off the native app rose. Here's another Lanzi tidbit: "A lot of our enterprise apps are breaking on iOS 6."
Despite all the signs pointing to HTML 5, Lanzi doesn't plan on moving completely to Web apps. If an iPad employee is storing lots of data locally and needs exhaustive offline capabilities, he says, Web apps obviously aren't the right choice. You'll also give up some mobile device management (MDM) capabilities when moving from native apps to Web apps.
"It's a two-edged sword," says Lanzi. "On one hand, you don't need MDM control as much because a Web app can be controlled on the server. On the other hand, we don't have the kind of remote wipe capabilities for Web apps that we do for native apps."
So goes the shifting landscape of iPads in the enterprise. In only two years, Lanzi has had to deal with a plethora of real-world issues: enterprise app stores, global iPad proliferation, iOS app development, user feedback, BYOD, and HTML 5.
While most people talk about iPads in the enterprise, Lanzi lives it.