A few years ago, mobile app development was something that large corporations indulged in to take their customer interactions to the next level. Times have changed since then, and today businesses big, small and everything in between are looking into developing their own smartphone application to help serve their customers better. App development is not a space to enter into lightly however, especially for those executives who may not be familiar with the process and the technology. While the benefits are enormous and the potential huge, app development is a serious commitment as well, in terms of both finance and the fact that it is space you enter for the long haul.
Two approaches can be taken towards the process of app development. One, is to build your app in-house, and the other is to outsource it to a development firm. We assess both options today, and examine their potential benefits and drawbacks.
The pros and cons of in-house and outsourced app creation
Complete control — Since you are developing the app under your very roof, you can control the process every step of the way, and micro-manage every move.
Management of resources — You can decide how much of your work force you want to dedicate to app development if you are conducting it in-house. If you have a light workload, or a strong financial period, more efforts and capital can be diverted towards the process, or vice versa.
No clash of culture — How you want to conduct your business is completely in your control, so there are no differences in ideology, approach or any such factors.
Cost — Establishing a team that is capable of executing a full-fledged app on a multitude of platforms can prove to be very expensive. The initial expenditure in particular is always high.
Time — It also takes a fair amount of time to set up an in-house app development structure. Hiring the right people, the right amount of people, and putting the infrastructure in place all take time, and when the competition has early-mover advantage, time lost can prove damaging.
You not only require coders to write the app, but they need to be proficient in a variety of languages because each platform requires a different programming language. Furthermore, all licenses and software required also need to be purchased, and addition members such as testers and designers may also need to be hired or consulted with for a quality product
Maintaining staff – The development and publishing of an app is just the beginning, after that it needs to be improved upon constantly, which means retaining a full-strength app development team.
Outsourced Mobile App Development
Cost — It is generally more cost effective to hire a third-party to develop your app, especially if you look overseas and conduct a thorough search. App developers have already acquired the licensing, software and other infrastructural requirements, and have a team of coders at hand.
Time — Since the outsourced company’s only focus is app development, they are sure to have a team of app developers, with sub-divisions based on platform, phases of development (design user experience, user interface etc.) and type of app. This results in timely work and limited drawbacks, all of which saves time.
Quality — As long as you do your research, and examine the firm’s past work, you can ensure that the quality of the output will be of a high standard.
Options – You need not risk everything on one endeavor with an outside developer. The process can be phased with goal-oriented payment structures and KRA-led contracts that ensure that neither party sells the other short.
Communication — Setting up meetings and having progress ratified and approved can prove time consuming. While high speed internet and video conferencing technologies have mitigated this problem to a great degree, factors such as time-difference and language barriers may be an issue when dealing with an overseas developer.
Control — Micro managing the process is a lot more difficult with a third party involved. Each and every small step cannot be held for approval without costing a lot of time, and an element of trust needs to be present for the work to progress rapidly.
Risk — Hiring an external resource is a leap into the unknown. Clashes of ideologies, priorities of the firm, and various other factors can cause problems. This is why any external app development firm needs to be thoroughly vetted before agreements are signed.
Both approaches do offer unique incentives and challenges, and as a business leader, you need to recognize which one is more suitable for your organization and make a decision based on your firm’s needs, resources, and priorities.
At Extentia, we believe in customizing our iOS, Android, and Windows app development solutions to suit our clients’ specific needs. Our proven track record stands testimony to the fact that we are the go-to partners for mobile app development services for clients across 5 continents. If you are one of those businesses that do not have a full-fledged in-house app development team, contact us to know how we can build you a custom app that breaks the clutter and delivers high returns on your investment.
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