Questions to Ask Your CIO About Progressive Web Apps

October 25, 2018

Sometimes it seems like the business and tech worlds run on buzzwords. Whether they’re coming from industry publications, overly-confident salespeople, or thought leaders, all the noise means it can be hard to tell which ideas are the real deal and which ones are fool’s gold. However, if you’ve been told you need to invest in a progressive web application, there’s more than a good chance you ought to listen up. Progressive web apps can offer huge advantages in terms of both functionality and usability for your web and mobile apps. In fact, the launch of a progressive web application can lead to as much as a 4x increase in conversion, year over year. But not every business is equally ready to take on this change. Here are some vital questions to ask your CIO to ensure that your company is prepared.

Are We Even Ready for a Progressive Web App?

The first step in deciding whether or not to adopt a progressive web app is to chart your own IT maturity. PWAs have huge rewards and can take a poorly functioning or underachieving website or app and turn it into an engaging destination for visitors. Questions include:

  • How experienced and capable is your IT team when it comes to delivering digital products?
  • If a vendor is used to support your digital strategy, how aware are they of this technology?
  • How tightly coupled are your marketing processes built into your current website?
  • Are their APIs that your website can leverage for content, marketing automation, and or other critical functionality?
  • How much experience does your company have with building cloud enabled technology on AWS or Azure?
  • Do you have a large or skilled enough team to allow members to focus on a single, specific roles, such as engineer, developer, or customer support?

If the answers to these questions are generally promising, then a progressive web app could be a great fit for your company. However, if your CIO is also the head of digital assets, tech support, and just making simple changes to your site is already a huge headache, then it might too large of a job to ask them to also oversee an entire progressive web app conversion, too. In that case, you can call Crafted and we can help.

What is Our Technology Architecture?

In general, there are three basic technology architectures we see at companies considering a switch to a progressive web application, and each one presents its own unique opportunities and challenges.

You have a legacy setup with your own servers and hardware

In this situation, a PWA will require a bit more effort. Much of the decision is based around what you’re wanting to use a progressive web application for. If it’s intended for the brochure website, a PWA will work just fine with a legacy system, as these don’t typically interact much with the internal systems of the business. However, if the progressive web app connects with key components like customer financials or account data, integrating the PWA is a future step on a roadmap that involves getting those databases modernized and into an open architecture with cloud computing.

We rely on third-party tools and Software as a Service (SaaS)

A company with lots of outside partners for their IT setup may be interested in a progressive web application, but they may be limited by the vendors’ products. Developing a strategy for your own progressive web app is going to be pointless if an essential third-party application can’t be integrated or doesn’t function after the upgrade. Be sure to reach out to your vendor team and find out whether they’re able to integrate with these important questions:

  • Is this service cloud-ready, with fully mature APIs ready to connect to a progressive web app?
  • How do I currently get data from the system?
  • Will a progressive web app have any known issues with your application or SaaS?
  • Have you integrated with progressive web apps before?

We have embraced the cloud and have a cloud strategy

If this is the case in your company, it’s all systems go! Cloud-based systems are agile, secure, and malleable. These architectures are designed for continuous integration and deployment, for rapid change and innovation. A web application ensures consistent function and service across all devices.

What Are the Minimum Quality Standards for Our Digital Products?

If your company has websites or applications, you likely have a set of company standards that apply to your current product. However, progressive web applications are their own standard, and they have their own requirements in order to function best. To make things easier, tech-titan Google has created an industry standard platform for the development of progressive web applications, including an extensive checklist. These are just some of the new features available with a progressive web application:

  • The site is encrypted over a secure SSL
  • The site and all relevant APIs are super fast
  • Ability to send push notifications even in a browser
  • The app can be added to the home screen and launch in full screen
  • You can take advantage of newer browser features like native payments and credential management

It’s entirely possible your site does not have these features. That’s okay. In fact, it’s why any progressive web app is best when it’s built new, from scratch. This will help to prevent any frustrating roadblocks in your current site and allow you to create something new that serves all your business needs.

You didn’t get where you are in business by following the herd. But deciding to pursue a progressive web app is just the first step. You need a partner that can create a tool that serves the needs you know, and finds resources you didn’t know you had. Crafted is a small and driven team of experts, working together to create the go-to solution for your website. Contact us today to learn how to get started on making your life easier.