Mobile App Development Introduction
Custom Mobile Apps Are Rarely the Answer
You might think that large businesses and organizations would have no problem when it comes to having custom mobile apps developed for them. Well, here is a bit of surprising news. They struggle with some of the same things smaller entities face: High costs and long development times in particular. In a 2014 report by Kinvey, Inc., 56 percent of the enterprise executive surveyed said that it takes between seven month to one year or longer to develop one mobile app for their businesses.
How does a small to mid-sized entity overcome the mobile app dilemma that their larger brethren struggle to conquer? Until recently there was no good answer for them, but that has changed dramatically. Mobile apps as a service is now a real option, which changes the economics of mobile apps from a capital expense (CapEx) to an operating expense (OpEx). A good place to start is with our SMART CONNECT APPS.
Reasons Why You Should Launch a Mobile App – and Why You Shouldn’t
Recently I spotted an article on Entrepreneur magazine’s website that gave six reasons to have a mobile app and three reasons why you shouldn’t. In many ways it validated the things that we have been saying about the subject for some time now. You can read the article at the link below, but I would like to expand on a few of the more interesting points.
- A mobile app can help solve a business problem or optimize a workflow process. TRUE! One of the big advantages of a mobile app is its ability to enhance communication and the flow of information. Push notifications to users can accelerate and enhance that communication when compared to other methods. Gathering actionable information from users can help you serve their needs in ways that they see value.
- You need to be able to update your app quickly and easily. TRUE! Many businesses have websites that rarely get updated. The reason is that it is often a difficult, time-consuming process to do so. With mobile apps, the ability to add or change content and get it out to app users is even more critical. Users expect a mobile app to have value in real time, even if they are a repository of certain valuable static information.
- Clients appreciate it when you innovate. TRUE! If your clients are smartphone owners, they will appreciate you for taking the initiative to communicate with them in a way that they prefer. Taking that step is the innovation that builds on your existing relationship with your clients and shows them that you actually understand how they want to receive information.
- You probably don’t have the resources internally to manage the app. TRUE for custom apps! This would almost certainly be true if you had a custom app developed for you. You would likely end up in a dependency relationship with the app developer, resulting in substantial expense over time. An app that is provided as a hosted service changes all that if it is designed with the app owner in mind. It should make it easy to create and manage content as well as users and it should be simple to add new features. The service provider should also be updating the app to make sure it renders properly whenever browsers are updated by their providers.
The really good news is that our SMART CONNECT APPS are built entirely with the app owner in mind. We invite you to learn more about the many ways we can give you the mobile app you need at a very affordable monthly price.
Here’s a Look at What It Takes to Build a Mobile App
allBusiness.com has an article that lists twelve steps that it believes must be taken to build your first mobile app. Links to the two-part article are provided below. The article is written as if you are going to market the app when it is finished, whereas we discuss mobile apps here that will be used in your business. Nonetheless, the steps describe the development process fairly well in broad terms, and illustrate the complexity of such a project.
- Define Your Goal
- Start Sketching (sample app screens)
- Research (technical requirements)
- Create a Wireframe and Storyboard (initial design mock-ups)
- Define the Back End of Your Mobile App (server infrastructure, database structures, etc.)
- Test Your Prototype (potential user feedback on usability and value)
- Build the Back End of Your App (server platform, accounts with the app stores)
- Design the App “Skins” (final look and feel considerations)
- Test Again (Yes, Again)
- Revise and Continue to Build
- Refine Each Detail
- Release Time!
In reality, there is another step – ongoing app updating and improvement with new features. If you work with an app developer to create a custom mobile app for your business, there is a high probability that the cordial relationship at the beginning of the project could become contentious by the end of the project. The reasons include the difficulty of translating your vision in the precise terms that the developer needs to make it a reality, as well as “scope creep” – the addition of more features that often require foundational changes to the code by the time they are introduced into the project.
All of these issues are eliminated when your app is a SMART CONNECT APP. The complex development process is already completed for you and all you need to do is select the features and tools that make the app do what you need it to do. By standardizing the engine that runs the app and designing app form and functions that can be applied to a wide range of use cases, we make it easy to deliver your mobile app quickly and affordably – as a monthly service.
12-Step Guide – Part 1
12-Step Guide – Part 2