CIO Symmetry

May 4 2010   7:28PM GMT

Cross-browser compatibility empowers users, business

Kristen Caretta Kristen Caretta Profile: Kristen Caretta

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) market share has gone down again. The once-king of Web browsers now accounts for less than 60% of the market, and users are opting for multiple browsers and devices (such as the iPad) in their personal and corporate lives. So is standardizing on one corporate browser limiting users — and your business?

Many internal websites or legacy systems’ websites are still very much IE-only, and while it would cost money to upgrade them, there are a number of business justifications that make cross-browser compatibility a worthwhile investment.

Cross-browser compatibility for Web apps help you get more value out of your applications. IT managers can deploy Web apps to more devices if they can be accessed from more browsers, increasing productivity and efficiency.

Plus, not taking cross-browser compatibility into consideration now will stifle future plans for growth and innovation. For example, many hospitals are considering tablet computers, but not as many will be able to use them if their internally and externally hosted SaaS applications are compatible with only IE. If they wanted to mobilize their workforce with iPads, they couldn’t. Instead, they’d be forced to try to get their software running on the older-model Microsoft Windows tablets.

It only makes sense to ensure that your Web apps work on all modern browsers, and not just IE, right? The flexibility of not being tethered to a single device or platform is empowering for users and IT departments, alike — and it should be part of your initial strategy. Why? Because IT — not IE — should shape your strategic priorities.

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