The debate over native versus HTML5 often takes a deep technical dive. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed choosing HTML5 for Facebook’s mobile app was the biggest strategic mistake for the company, proponents of each camp have argued the technical merits of each approach ad nauseam. To be fair, the debate has evolved, so it is now well recognized there is a place for both technologies. However, it is still not obvious when to use which.

Let me offer my perspective…

It is clear well-designed, fully native apps can provide a better user experience than HTML5 apps. HTML5 apps run in the browser, while their native counterparts run directly on the OS—closer to the metal—giving them a performance advantage.

(Related: Native vs. HTML5: Who will win?)

So why not go native all the time? Isn’t the user experience king? Even in the enterprise, given the “consumerization” trend, shouldn’t the employee payroll app be as slick as, say, Angry Birds?


Too many IT organizations have fallen into this trap, and as a result, businesses cannot innovate fast enough. When we ask our enterprise customers what is the biggest problem they are facing with mobility, by far the most common response we hear is:

“Demand for mobile apps from the business units is far outstripping the capacity of our IT organization to deliver.”