What is platform-agnostic software, and why is it important?

What is platform-agnostic software, and why is it important?

In the world of Information Technology, ‘platform-agnostic’ software is that which demonstrates interoperability across operating platforms. It’s sometimes referred to as ‘tech-agnostic’, but ultimately, it’s about compatibility: the software should work on all mobile devices, laptops, desktops and virtual reality headsets.

Generally, platform-agnostic software incorporates recognised and common compliance standards or added coding that allows it to function in lots of different environments. This feature saves the user time and money, because the software does not require editing before it can be rolled on to a new platform.

For example, game engines allow developers to build games that can then be deployed to a huge number of platforms with the same codebase. This is how many of the most popular online video games work. This allows gamers to choose how to access them according to their personal preference (Xbox, Playstation, PC etc).  Without this capability, these games would be significantly less popular and profitable.

Unbiased tech adds value

The major advantage of platform-agnostic software lies in its inclusivity. The barriers to access are very few: it can be engaged with by a huge pool of users without demanding prior investment in the appropriate hardware.

For customers and developers, the benefits of such easy access are obvious. It would be hugely inconvenient for schools or companies to deliver virtual training using software which only worked with one brand of VR headset, however, if students and employees could choose how they wanted to access the content, the uptake would be far greater.

We saw these advantages first-hand when members of the Virti team travelled to Bahir Dar University Tibebe Ghion Specialised Hospital in northern Ethiopia. Their goal was to explore the feasibility of delivering medical training to Ethiopian doctors and students via the Virti platform. When assessing the most practical way of delivering the content to trainees, it became clear that, due to a lack of financial resources and tech equipment, platform-agnostic software - which could be accessed on any PC, laptop or smartphone (as well as on the limited number of headsets in the hospital itself) would be essential to the success of the project.

Read more about this exciting project here.

Enable collaboration without obstacles

Platform-agnostic software has the additional benefit of welcoming partnerships with new organisations. Reworking or redesigning systems ahead of new collaborations costs money and time, so avoid that pitfall by opting for the partnership-ready option.

Virti’s immersive reality training technology is built from a platform-agnostic codebase, meaning that it’s compatible for use on a wide array of devices. This functionality has always been a non-negotiable commitment from Virti, and was a major asset when we helped NHS hospitals to roll out specialised training modules at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctors and nurses were able to access bespoke, immersive training content on tablets, smartphones, headsets or PCs. In a short time frame, newly-qualified and returning clinicians learnt how to safely don and doff PPE, how to navigate unfamiliar ICU wards, and how to keep themselves and their colleagues safe from infection risk.

A must for future-oriented businesses

End-users of platform-agnostic software are able to exist in a ‘technology heaven’, free from the frustrations of incompatibility. They can strategically leverage different assets, technology partners and solutions, freely choosing the best option for their needs.

This ability is a must for businesses looking to expand and evolve over the coming months. For these organisations, it’s essential to invest in software which will support and adapt to this growth. Choosing malleable,  platform-agnostic software is the ‘safe’ bet, as scalability will be impossible without the opportunities and freedoms it enables.

If you’d like to explore examples of how Virti’s immersive training platform has supported businesses and organisations to grow and adapt to a changed business environment, please get in touch with a member of the team today .