Native apps vs browser based HRMS: an objective comparison

Native apps and browser-based HRMS can both offer a variety of advantages to employees, managers and HR users. Which one should you choose when selecting mobile HRMS? The answer may be that “it depends”, so here is what should you bear in mind when choosing between these two options.

1. Usage patterns of employees

An HRMS serves a number of internal customers with different expectations. Do you have a traveling workforce who are used to doing transactions remotely and rarely come into the office? Users in this category will benefit from native HRMS apps with simplified features and functionality.

Recommended reading: find HRMS with native apps and mobile compatibility using our completely up-to-date HRMS vendor directory

Do you have workers who use the HRMS on a limited basis such as during the performance review cycle or for basic self-service transactions? Infrequent users benefit from standardization so a browser-based HRMS that looks and performs the same whether on a computer or mobile device will be a better fit in these cases.

2. Complexity of transactions versus diversity of devices

Native apps typically perform better on data or content rich sites as they are optimized for speed. Will your managers be accessing reports with drilldowns and other real-time data? Native HRMS apps are well suited to refresh and update data for a positive user experience. A browser-based mobile HRMS can have a small time lag in accessing content since it’s bringing back a website so it may be noticed by heavy data users.

If you have a flexible bring your own device (BYOD) network environment, a browser-based system may be a better way of providing mobile HRMS functionality as most devices can accommodate a standard web page. You will not be challenged with testing a native app on various platforms and versions to ensure compatibility if you choose the browser-based HRMS option.

3. Size and variety of the transaction landscape

A number of native HRMS apps offer a large count of transactions and activities that can be done in the HRMS. As native apps are built from the ground up you may find that newer apps don’t have all transactions available or lesser used functionality is not yet built such as language capability. Browser based HRMS offer advantages if you are using a high level of HRMS features around the globe, you do not need to wait for something to make the product roadmap.

Native apps do have an advantage in that transactions are built in a better manner for today’s mobile devices. I have seen some web browser HRMS pages that were originally designed over 20 years ago in ERPs. They are mobile compatible but it is not the best user experience in the world

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski

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