Developing a mobile application may not seem like a big deal, particularly if you have a development team. Place your app development project in a priority spot on the IT schedule, then get the project launched. Simple, right?
However, unless your company has an in-house development team that focuses specifically on mobile, you should consider outsourcing your mobile app development.
Bringing in outside developers when you already have an in-house development team may feel like a waste of money. However, there two major reasons why web and desktop development are very different from mobile development—and, accordingly, require a specialized skillset.
- Manageable IT Workload
This article explains how these two advantages of hiring a firm that specializes in mobile development actually save money for your company and result in a better app.
App Developers Understand Complexities of Mobile Development
App development is akin to specialized medical practice. You wouldn’t visit a podiatrist for a heart condition. Similarly, you can’t expect your in-house developers to understand the complexities of a mobile application development project.
Since each type of development is unique in its functionality and purpose, there are certain developers that are suited for your project.
There are three areas where the expertise and experience of a dedicated mobile team creates a better opportunity for the success of your app– functional design, usability, and cross-platform functionality.
1. Design: A common mistake of first-time mobile developers is to try to put too much functionality into an app. Experienced mobile development partners help you define the exact functionalities that belong in an app.
2. Usability: Experienced development teams understand the best design patterns for user experience. Mobile applications aren’t just downsized web or desktop applications. User interaction with a mobile app is a completely different than with desktop or web applications, and implementing complicated gestures that are suited for them can ruin a mobile experience. For example, mobile apps require user interaction with a user's fingers rather than clicks on a website.
3. Cross-Platform Functionality: Expert developers ensure that your app works for your audience, regardless of the mobile platform they operate on (Apple, Android, Blackberry). An experienced development team understands what works and what doesn’t on each platform, avoiding the risk of having an internal team develop a functionality that you discover doesn’t translate across platforms during the development process.
Experienced App Developers Have Best Tools, Insight
The challenge of mobile application development for internal developers goes beyond functional and usability design. Even if your mobile app design is simple, and the functionality straightforward, your team will still have to learn new skills, tools, and languages when developing an application, all of which take time.
As you are outlining your expectations of an application, these professionals work to understand the best, most user-friendly way to achieve your goals. Simply put, while your internal team may struggle to understand what is possible with mobile app development, a mobile partner will already know. Specifically, a dedicated mobile partner possesses the tools and knowledge necessary to create your mobile application. They program in these languages daily, know where efficiencies exist for certain frameworks, and can identify when and where they will need to build custom features.
Mobile development partners also know the right questions to ask of your company during the development and design processes.
- What does the platform profile of your audience look like? Are they mostly on iPhones or Androids? Is there an even mixture?
- What are the logistics of your application? Will it change often? What is your company’s commitment to updates?
- Are you willing to dedicate time or money to fixing, patching, or updating multiple platform versions?
These questions guide their recommendations on the development path of your app.
App Development Teams Keep Your IT on Track
Using a development partner allows your internal teams to focus on other business-critical applications and solutions. Managing and organizing your company's data alone is a full-time job for your IT department and many IT teams are already overburdened with the amount of work the company needs to be completed. Asking your internal team to create a mobile app isn’t a productive use of their time.
Since most mobile apps are developed and managed outside of a typical company's IT ecosystem, when you hire an expert partner to help with development, there is likely no need to provide them with specialized information as to how your systems run or conduct lengthy consultant onboarding.
When you use a developer, you also remove the learning curve associated with an unfamiliar development system and toolset. Replacing a standard 6-week development project system with a 6-week mobile application project can cause several weeks of onboarding and learning for your team before any work can begin.
In addition, using inexperienced in-house developers can result in a much simpler and less elegant solution, because developers would only know enough to get the job done, instead of producing a comprehensive and quality deliverable.
Mobile Development Expertise Save Time and Money
The two most important reasons for bringing in the expertise of a mobile development firm are the same two things that every company strives to do - save time and money. Outsourcing mobile application development to an expert provider results in a highly usable and functional mobile application and allows your internal development teams to be more focused and productive on their existing duties.
About the Author
Brian Dainis is the founder and CEO of Curotec. He has worked with hundreds of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms. Brian’s passion is using technology to solve high-impact business problems, which is what led him to found Curotec.To learn more about Brian, follow him on LinkedIn or visit his personal website.