The data is clear. Mobile use is on the rise, and so is the percentage of people who make purchases using their mobile devices. In fact, a recent survey suggests that 32 % of the UK's smartphone users make monthly purchases on their cell phones. In order to have a shot at that portion of the market and open up a new revenue stream, businesses need to channel some of their budget and strategy into mobile app development.
Before making the move, however, they need to decide which direction to go. Should you keep the mobile app development in-house, or is it better to consider local, offshore or nearshore outsourcing for the job? For most businesses, outsourcing the task makes the most sense, and here's why.
Consumer-related data is a valuable resource for companies when they make decisions, and mobile apps can provide a gold mine of such information. The only way to retrieve it, however, is to design a mobile app that captures it. An experienced developer will possess the skillset to create such an app, ensuring that the business doesn't miss out.
In order to capture as much if the market as possible, a mobile app needs to work fluidly across all platforms, and the UX must be engaging and simple. If the app only runs smoothly on laptops, for example, a business stands to lose out on the entire consumer segment of smartphone users. Thorough testing by the developer will ensure the app works well across all devices.
Required Knowledge Base
The mobile market sees developments in technology almost on a daily basis. So, mobile app development requires in-depth, current knowledge of all of those technologies, as well as the related tools. Some businesses may have an in-house team to perform the basics. However, very few small to medium sized companies have the capital to invest in a development team with such a particular niche, or the resources to train existing employees.
Money and Time
To that end, outsourcing the project also saves in-house resources. The added overhead to hire a full-time in-house mobile app developer is certainly not attractive. Neither is the prospect of lost time and money due to having to remedy issues with an app created in-house by an existing staff that doesn't specialise in app development. The time and money saved on those scenarios alone would be significant, but there's more.
When the job is outsourced to a well-qualified, experienced company, the app can be ready and available sooner than it would be if a business had to take the time to hire and train staff for the project. That means the app can go live that much earlier, and the business will start to see an ROI much faster than it would have otherwise.
Once a mobile app has been successfully launched, it will require constant maintenance because it will need to be regularly updated. The security, cloud hosting and analytics will also need to be addressed. When a mobile app development project is outsourced, the company that creates the app can provide all of those services on the back end.
Factors to Consider
When choosing a company to develop a mobile app, a business owner of course needs to determine his budget, as well as review the experience and check the references of prospective developers. However, there are other considerations as well, including the following:
- Local, offshore, or nearshore outsourcing? Each has pros and cons.
- Development firm or freelancer?
- Do you need an NDA? Absolutely; from every developer on the project, and before it begins.
- What should the app do and look like? Can the developer deliver on that vision?
Outsourcing the development of a mobile app makes the most sense for businesses that don't already have a skilled in-house team that is experienced in the niche. The app developer can also provide ongoing support once the app goes live. It also saves time and money, and the app will be up and running sooner and more smoothly, which means a quicker ROI.
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.