“At some point, your growing business will need the development of its own mobile app. This blog explores outsourcing options for businesses who cannot spare the resources for in-house development.”
Whatever the size or nature of your business, at some point you will need an app. Business apps should be smooth-functioning, well-designed and bug-free. They should work the same whether the user is using Frontier online deals or mobile data. If you’re a tech start-up, you can deploy some resources to developing an app in-house. More often than not this can prove to be very costly, especially for smaller businesses. But what if you’re not a tech startup? If you run an unrelated business, like online retail or e-commerce, there are more hurdles. You may lack the resources as well as the expertise. You’ll likely find out developing an app in-house can be next to impossible.
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Outsourcing Mobile App Development
So you have assessed your business. You have decided you need an app but you do not have the necessary resources. You may also lack the technical expertise needed for mobile app development. What do you do? The easy answer is to outsource your mobile app development. But even in that decision, there are some options. When outsourcing, you can choose from:
- Boutique Developer Firms
- Big-Name Developer Firms
- Independent or Freelance Developers
- Developer Firms from Other Countries
Let’s have a look at the merits of each option.
Boutique Developer Firms
Boutique firms have mobile app development as a core competency. Unlike software developers, app development is a primary rather than a secondary service. They have a broad range when it comes to development quality. The final result depends a lot on the firm you choose. But you should know boutique firms usually have 3 common traits:
- They use agile methods when developing mobile apps
- They have specialized personnel with strong technical grounding to develop your app
- They place emphasis on the user experience and interface design
There are a few factors to consider when hiring a boutique firm for mobile app development. You need to check if their technical expertise is up to the mark. You need to know how much experience they have in mobile app development. Their ability to meet deadlines is a key concern. It depends on the complexity of your app and the needs of your business. You may even have to do extensive research. So much before hiring a boutique development firm for your mobile app development? A lot of homework, I know. But if you don’t do your due diligence you may end up in an outsourcing nightmare.
Big-Name Developer Firms
Big-Name developer firms are usually sister concerns or branches of larger multinational corporations. Most tech companies offer mobile app development as an added service. The obvious advantages of you hiring a big-name developer are:
- Strong strategy consultations
- Agile development methods (but not always)
- Vast technical knowledge and development resources
Yet, dealing with a big-name firm can also have a few disadvantages, like:
- Inflexibility, especially when it comes to smaller clients
- Less individual attention to each client
- Inability to adjust with changing time-sensitivity
But the main disadvantage of outsourcing mobile app development to a big firm is the cost. The bigger the firm you hire, the higher the likely cost of the project will be. If you’re a big business, with enough resources, then you should pick this option. If not, there are several other options available. Keep reading on.
Independent or Freelance Developers
So you’ve looked at small and big developer firms. But if cost is still a key concern for you, then consider looking for freelancers. Independent or freelance mobile app developers are in great demand. Especially when it comes to small business owners who are looking for means to cut costs. Most freelancers usually have strong technical skills. They also have full-time jobs and are usually freelancing as a side gig. This makes them much cheaper than the other options on this list. But, independent developers are also finicky. The end result could have problems with:
- UI/UX design quality
- User research
- Multi-platform specialization
- Insufficient resources on the freelancer’s part to meet the above issues
Freelancers tend to be temperamental but a good freelancer can give you the results you want. All at a fraction of what a developer firm would charge you.
Developer Firms from Other Countries
Are freelancers too laid back for you to deal with? Offshore development firms are an option when you are looking to cut costs. Offshore firms tend to be cheaper than the other firms you may encounter. But with saving, there are also some concerns you need to watch out for:
- Offshore firms may not meet the necessary design or technical standards
- Offshore firms tend to produce work of a lower quality than domestic firms
- You don’t have a guarantee about the delivery of the end product, and legal recourse can be a problem. Especially when the firm operates under offshore laws
- Offshore firms may also not take your security concerns as seriously
- There is usually a big culture gap, which can impair their market research and targeting
- Physical distances and time-zones can be a real communication problem for both parties
Off-the-Shelf options aren’t classified as traditional “outsourcing”. But they are still a solution worth mentioning. Usually, they can’t aren’t meant for customization to your specific needs. They are only out-of-the-box products that you can slap your own label on, and market them as your own. While a lack of flexibility can be an issue, off-the-shelf solutions can be helpful in:
- Maintenance costs are a key concern. Especially when maintenance comes with the service. Even better if the service has a maintenance coverage
- Quick and easy to deploy, saving you time, money and resources that would otherwise get tied down
- Lower development costs than hiring a firm or freelancer
- Usually rich in features, so you can offer a better experience to your users
Did you know over 50% of all global internet traffic is through mobile devices? This means your customers are most likely to interact with your business on a mobile device! It doesn’t matter if they’re on Frontier internet service or mobile data. Having a mobile app can fill this need. It can deliver better results than you would get with a mobile-responsive website. Invest in developing mobile apps, or outsource them to any of the above options. It’s time to take your business to the next digital level.