The process of digitalisation and the 4th Industrial Revolution was taking place during the last decade. More and more businesses were adopting digital, online, and mobile business models. A new generation of digital-first businesses has emerged. All this received a boost in 2020 due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The virtualisation process which was gradually unfolding suddenly became a matter of survival. Just having a site was no longer sufficient. The business moved online and shifted to mobile. Consumers fueled the transition, wanting access to everything from their phones remotely. Now having a digital business model, supported by apps, became a necessity.
Today the Apple App Store holds some 2 million apps and counting. Google Play has some 2.9 million apps available for download. Statista reports that the number of app downloads in 2020 was a staggering 218 billion.
Whatever your line of business, chances are that you may be considering app development for your company. Prior to jumping on the app train, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:
Does Your Business Need An App?
True – apps are hype. Apps are great for online stores. Apps can shift services online. Apps can even help you with your social media marketing efforts. However apps are not suitable for all businesses, or better said – apps are not suitable to all business models. Prior to starting app development, carefully study your business model. Analyse your customer behavior and preferences. Draw out your custom user interface (UI) and give detail of your customer user experience (UX). If these work for your customers, then app development should be the way to go.
In House Or Outsourced?
While true that small businesses usually do not have IT departments, and may even have no IT employees, some medium-sized businesses and certainly all large ones are quite well stacked. For the first bunch, all is clear. However, for the latter, the question of whether to develop your apps in-house or to outsource app development needs to be answered. For this, it is reasonable to consider ROI for app development either way. Supporting all the expertise needed, especially for hybrid apps, usually proves unreasonable. Most enterprises turn to specialised app development companies. The external experience will not only be beneficial, as providing an outside fresh look at your business flow. It will also bring invaluable know-how on ways to feature your app, better UI and/or UX solutions, as well as a wide selection of useful best-in-class peer solutions. You cannot beat that with in-house talent.
Global Or Local
Having chosen outsourced app development now you have to consider hiring a company from across the world or a local one. Actually, most enterprises turn to locales such as: for example, if your business is Melbourne based, chances are that you will select an app development company from Melbourne. One may argue that global, say IOS app developers, are just as good and sometimes better than IOS developers from Melbourne. The truth is that app developers from Melbourne are important for the security and speed of your future app, and certainly, facilitate communication and understanding of local needs (not mentioning that they are also usually much much better than globalists).
Prior to outsourcing your app development, you will need to have your legal experts prepare the legal framework for the outsourcing. The copyrights of the app developed for you, need to be yours. Further, as the new app could well turn into your key competitive advantage, you will need to have a non-disclosure agreement in place, which should protect your competitive advantage.
Choosing The Right One
As apps are in high demand, naturally app development companies are many. Having Chosen to outsource the job, now it is important to carefully select the most appropriate app development company for your business. Here is what you need to do:
- Check Its Specialisation
Like all companies, app development companies specialise in one field or another. They may be online store-focused, or a strong game developer, or a data-driven company, amongst many. The list is long. This specialisation is important in order for you to truly benefit from outsourcing your app development.
Choosing the specialised app developer will bring you tons of expert advice, useful suggestions, seamless add-on features (like payments, data analytics, social media, etc.). You need to find an app development company that meets the needs of your future app.
- Check Its Portfolio
Each app development company should have a readily accessible list of many former clients and their projects. Browse through them, download some, try out the UX, elaborate on the design, scan the reviews. This will give you a good idea of the capabilities of your future developer.
- Check Their Platform Expertise
Whichever platform you have chosen for your app – be it native IOS, Android, or hybrid, your app development company needs to be an expert. Check which of their previously developed apps are available on either platform. Review the number of downloads and respective ranking.
- Check Integration Capabilities
Your app will not be stand-alone software. It needs to be integrated with your in-house applications. It is also possible that your app will need to be integrated with other APIs or software from third parties. In this way, your contractors will not need to code everything themselves.
Hence you need to make sure that your app developer-elect will have adequate capabilities for app integration across the board.
- Determine Maintenance Terms
Even if you hire Google as an app developer, chances that they will get it all perfect in the first round are null. Hence you need to determine the maintenance availability, terms, and price of your app developer. This is important not only for bug fixes but also for the future development of better-upgraded versions of the app.
There you have it. You are now ready to embark on the road to app development and turning your business into an online and mobile powerhouse. Come and join the fun.