When it comes to developing an app, cost is often at the forefront of businesses’ minds. It’s no surprise, while apps offer powerful channels for engaging audiences, the cost to build a mobile app is often steep.
Clutch, a leading B2B IT ratings, reviews, and research firm based in Washington DC, recently surveyed 102 app development companies from around the world to better understand app development costs.
Final report is built on the survey data and analytical skills of app development experts, and can provide insight for any business seeking to develop an app using a professional software-house.
Paweł Josiek, Co-Owner and Vice President of Future Mind, spoke to Clutch about the data, the importance of marketing, how to choose reliable software house and how app development has changed over time.
Read the full report here.
Josiek recommended that prospective app development clients should keep three following things in mind when contacting a software development company.
Is an app the best route to your goals?
Businesses may think that just by building an app they will immediately boost their income, given the common thirst for mobile apps on today’s market. However, an app should be a targeted effort towards certain goals, not a shot in the dark..
We need to decide whether a mobile app is even necessary. “My general opinion is that mobile apps should be tools — something that users may use very often. If it’s unlikely, you’d better reconsider building a mobile app and focus on improving your mobile website. The development process is usually longer in comparison to web development. To make a generalised statement, the technology is still younger, more complex and challenging in terms of testing, distribution etc. The cost is higher mostly because of the number of platforms — if you want to develop iOS and Android app using native technologies, you need to actually create two separate apps.” — explained Josiek.
Of course, it is worthwhile to consider native mobile app’s possible benefits and perks: access to sensors, loading time, better user experience, easier monetisation, prestige, push communication opportunities, etc.
An honest app development company will help you decide if an app is the best choice for your business.
One significant problem when it comes to app development is the “If you build it, they will come” mentality. Users will not magically find your app. You must market it.
Yet, many businesses do not budget for this critical stage of the process
“I’ve seen a lot of start-ups develop mobile apps to break into the MVP [Minimum Viable Product] stage” said Josiek. “Then they suddenly realise that they are out of money, and they can’t start the marketing activities before their budget is consumed.”
This outcome is stressful for both the businesses and the developers.
“From our developers’ perspective, it’s sad when months of their hard work and commitment just go to trash” — continued Josiek.
Therefore, we like it very much when customers share their plans and market entering strategy with us. Viable plans and strategy boost the team’s motivation and sense of purpose. If you are building an app, be sure to thoughtfully plan out a marketing budget so your product does not go to waste once it’s built.
We have also asked for a few pieces of advice for customers who are seeking software houses. What should they keep in mind?
We have actually written about this on our blog. Here are the main hints:
1. Market presence and portfolio
Carefully review the portfolio. And check if projects presented there actually exist.
2. Check if there is a similar application in the software house’s portfolio
This can speed up the development and reduce potential risks on client’s side. There is no need to look for an identical app. Take a look at the app components like chat messenger, video conference technology, e-commerce modules (payments and the like).
3. References and testimonials
Ask for references. Good software house should have plenty of them.
4. Billing model and rates
It’s good to clarify this at the very beginning.
5. The approach to project management and communication
Ask about project management methodology tools (this will give you an idea of how are the projects run there).
6. Consulting and UX
Business reality changes rapidly. It’s good when a software house has good business analysts and UX designers on board. These people can advise you along the project.
7. Technologies used in project
Try to avoid solutions that make you dependent on a particular provider. Keep in mind that good software houses use widely available and proven open source solutions. As a result, any person specialised in a certain field will be able to continue their work, and you will avoid the risk associated with changing the service provider.
8. The scope of services
If you plan to develop a mobile app, web app, back end part, UX design, it’s usually better to outsource it all to one company. Needless to say, only if the software house in question specialises in all of these fields and has a rich portfolio which can prove that.
Read the whole article on how to choose a Software House.
Clutch’s full survey: app development cost.