How to Plan a Mobile App Budget

Creating a budget for your mobile app is important because it helps you and your business stay on track. Not every app developer can evaluate each aspect of the app, especially the cost involved. This post gives you a brief overview of how you can prepare a proper budget for your app.

How to Identify the Purpose of the App?

One of the best places to plan the budget is to first identify the main purpose of your app. Let’s analyze some of the more obvious ones.

  1. You want to help your customers place an order at your store/website with an app. A good example of this would be Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Etsy.
  2. You have identified a unique money-making opportunity and you need an app to cash in on it. Examples include Uber, Airbnb, and Doordash.
  3. You want your clients to easily engage your customer service team members via an app. Examples include the McDonald’s App.

If you need a rough estimate on the development costs, talk to a professional app developer. You can also use our online calculator to get an idea about the costs.

How to Choose the Right Platform for App Development?

As a general rule, the more platforms you develop your app for, the costlier it will get. You can save costs by targeting the most relevant platforms for your target audience. For instance, there’s no use building an app on Android if your customers primarily use iOS. Moreover, it’s more complicated to develop on Android due to the level of optimization needed for each device.

If you’re running out of ideas, survey your customers to identify the devices they commonly use. It is also worth your while to check in with your competitors to see their target platforms.

Which is Better: In-House Development or Outsourcing?

The answer to this dilemma depends on your goals and specific circumstances. Outsourcing and in-house app development have their own pros and cons. For the most part, you should choose them based on your own unique requirements. In-house development makes it easier to closely coordinate with your team and give them instructions. Additionally, you can directly instruct your team about new features in real time.

It is worth noting that in-house development involves software licenses, salaries, employee benefits, and more. Your next best option is to hire an app development team on a project-by-project basis. This is an economical move since you won’t have to deal with salaries anymore, and finding appropriate software is no longer your hassle.

Of course, you won’t be able to closely coordinate every step of the development process and this is where project questionnaires come in. They let you quickly fill your new team in on project briefs. In fact, experienced app development teams like the one at NS804 will work closely with you to build your app. It helps to think of us as an extension of your in-house team.

How Costly Are the App’s Features?

It’s time to identify which features have to stay and which need to go. Run a comprehensive market survey of your potential customers along with their needs and pain points. You should have a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. For starters, most apps should cover the basics such as integration with third-party platforms, social networks, and in-app purchases.

Create an MVP to Cut Costs and Estimate Future Profits

If you’re working on a shoestring budget, consider building a minimum viable product (MVP) instead. There is no need to go into in-depth animation and complex UI/UX design. For now, it is important to get the app off the ground to gauge demand for it. Don’t sacrifice user experience! You’ll also get an idea about your projected profit and estimated income.

Building an app is an on-going process that requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. There’s usually no cookie-cutter approach to app building and no cut-and-paste template to work with. You’ll also need to set aside some budget for maintenance and regular updates.

If you’ve decided to build an app, then get in touch with the professionals at NS804.

 

Benefits of Agency App Development vs. Freelancers

If you’re reading this blog, you probably typed “app development: agency vs. freelancer” on a search engine.

You’ve got a brilliant idea for an app and are now dealing with the most frustrating conundrum ever: who should I even hire? Putting together the right team is the first step towards bringing your idea to life.

This can be done in three ways:

  • Hiring an in-house developer
  • Hiring a freelancer on a project-by-project basis
  • Partnering with an app development agency

As for the first option, you will have to probably teach the new recruit a thing or two before expecting them to deliver results. Hiring a person is much more expensive in the long run due to salary, employee benefits, and software licenses, besides.

The second option, freelances, can be a hit and miss. There are literally hundreds of thousands of freelancers you can choose from. This means you’ll frequently run into quality issues before settling with a good freelancer who meets your goals.

Agencies, for the most part, are well equipped with equal amounts of talent and equal amounts of tools. They have all the experience and expertise needed to work on a large scale project. But not all agencies are built equal, those raving reviews you see on BBB can be faked.

In this blog, we’ve conducted an in-depth comparison of agencies with freelancers, so you can make a more informed decision.

1) Commitment

Freelancers: They Won’t Stick Around Long

Our biggest pet peeve with freelancers is that they’re like bunnies, always hopping from one project to another. They are not legally bound to live up to their end of the bargain which allows them to refund your money and bail. This is definitely the case with freelancers who are just starting out and don’t have a reputation to manage.

Freelance mobile developers often get bored easy, find a better paying client, or go on a holiday. You leaving a 1 star review on their Upwork profile isn’t cause for worry to most freelancers. We’re not saying all of the freelancers are like this, but there’s enough out there to cause a major source of frustration.

Agency

Agencies are far less agile than freelancers since they actually have a reputation to stick to. Agencies are held accountable by regulatory bodies and laws more strictly than freelancers. They’re held to a high standard. This means they cannot skip your project, put it on hold, or ignore it after taking your money. Violating contractual obligations can have potential legal ramifications that could prove to be both damaging to their reputation and expensive.

2) Time

Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer is easier said than done. There are thousands of freelancers out there, each boasting having a long list of credentials and satisfied clients. When you do post a job requirement on Upwork or Guru, you will get bombarded with thousands of resume submissions. The worst part is that they’re all automatic, which means that their requests will keep on piling one after another.

Agency

Agencies are much easier to look up and maintain a more considerable profile on social media and search engines. The best part is that you can easily talk to them over different media, including phone, email, and live chat without wasting time.

Speaking of time, agencies stick to their committed deadlines from the start of the project to the end. They will make sure not to miss their project deadlines because it gives you the perfect excuse to ask in for refunds.

Being professionals at what they do, agencies know their strengths and weaknesses, which means they won’t take your project if they know they don’t have the expertise. Freelancers on the other hand will probably take on your project even if they don’t have the necessary tools and skills.

3) Cost of Development

Freelancers

When it comes to app development, there is a rule of thumb you would do best to learn: you get what you pay for. Most freelancers are looking for opportunity and as such, they will charge you much lower than an agency would. Paying less doesn’t mean your project is going to cost you less. If anything, a single freelancer will take more time to manage your project than if you had an entire team of developers working for you.

Think of it this way, a single freelance has to work on thousands of lines of code, constantly communicate back and forth with you, and make prompt revisions when asked to do so. This ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach means that your project will take a lot of time, and we’re not even discussing the errors and potential mishaps that will lead to additional costs on your end.

Agency

Agencies that specialize in app development will have more tools and robust team members who will stay focused on your task. They will not get distracted and usually have someone else to do the communication for them. Organizations have different experts at various departments to execute tasks in parallel, which reduces the development time.

When it comes to app development, time is money. The sooner you can get your app pushed into the market, the better for you.

If you ask them to speed up the development process, it’s easier for organizations to put one more member to speed things up. Asking a single freelancer to speed things up is a bad idea because this will usually come at the cost of too many errors and quality issues.

4) Maintenance and Support

Freelancers

As we mentioned earlier in the blog, freelancers simply do not have the incentive to stick around for the long haul. They’re like nomads – always on the move. This means that once your project is complete, it’s on its own. And we all know that even the most carefully optimized apps will run into the occasional performance-breaking bug that needs fixing.

If you hired a freelancer to work on your app, you will be forced to look for alternatives.

Agency

Professional agencies that specialize in app development provide ‘after-market’ support. This may come at a price depending on the level of support required. For instance, it may be free if you’re asking them to fix bugs in the old software. It may come with a fee included if you want to update the software based on new hardware and OS upgrades.

5) Stayingon Top of New Trends

Freelancers

Freelancers don’t usually have access to too many resources which prevents them from staying on top of technological trends. Android and iOS development is rapidly changing at a fast space and not being abreast of new trends is a surefire way of killing your app dead in the water.

Agencies

Most app development agencies depend on trends to boost their bottom line. Not to mention they usually have dedicated researchers who pick up on the latest trends and can offer contemporary solutions that freelancers can’t match. Agencies have access to advanced tools to keep up with the times.

To conclude, agencies offer far more robust and superior app development capabilities than freelancers can on their own – unless you’re asking them to develop Flappy Bird. But most functional apps aren’t Flappy Bird and require a ton of features with support.

Ready to hire skilled app developers for your new project? Get in touch with experts at NS804 for more information.

 

 

A Brief Look at iOS App Development Costs

One of the most frequently asked questions by business owners is: how much does it cost to make an iOS app? The answer: it varies from case to case.

Developing a mobile app is a tricky process. Data obtained by Clutch reveals that the average cost of app development in the US is around $75,000. The cost of iOS app development in countries like India and Ukraine is much lower than in the US. The same rule applies to Android app development.

The key deciding factor for app development cost is the size and scope of the project. App development is more than just programming. If you want to go the extra mile, you’ll need to invest in things like:

  • Animations
  • Custom solutions
  • Solving unexpected problems during app development

A properly-functioning iOS app will take two months to develop and cost around $5,000 to $500,000. A complex app with lots of features requires more than two months of development and about $240,000.

Enterprise software will typically fetch a price tag of around $140,000, with typical development times of 26 weeks.

Here’s a rough break down of the timeline:

  • Business analysis: 3 weeks
  • UX Design: 3 weeks
  • UI Design: 4 weeks
  • Back-end: 8 weeks
  • Front-end: 8 weeks
  • Testing and launch: 3 weeks
  • Support and maintenance: ongoing

Total time to launch: 26 weeks

You can get a rough idea about cost estimations with our online calculator here.

What are Marketing Costs for App Development?

Now that you’ve built your app, you need to know how to increase your user base and downloads. This is where app marketing comes in. You can do this bit yourself, but it’s probably better to hire an agency to do heavy lifting for you. The typical cost for marketing agencies goes anywhere from $25k to $50k and beyond, depending on the services they’re offering. For instance, if you want to hire an influencer to speak about your app, consider shelling out an additional $10k for extra exposure.

The marketing budget includes SEO, social media, PPC campaigns, traditional ads, content marketing, and word of mouth advertisement.

How to Hire an App Development Team?

By far the biggest factor that goes into the overall cost is the team you hire. Imagine hiring a contractor to renovate your house that has 10 rooms in it. Different contractors will quote different prices, which means you’ll have to do a fair bit of research along the way to get affordable estimates. It is also worth noting that hiring an offshore team from India or Ukraine is a lot cheaper than hiring a local team.

A typical team structure for app development includes a solution architect, a business analyst, a few developers (depending on the size of the app), a quality assurance specialist, UI and UX designer, and a project manager. And even if you do decide to skimp out on the budget for the user interface (such as animations and fancy colors), you must provide good user experience for success on the App Store.

Why is Backend Development Important for App Design?

You’ll need considerable backend development if you plan on launching a dynamic app with a market for millions of users who will exchange huge amounts of data in real-time. More so if the data is to be backed up on the cloud and synchronize with other platforms.

Think apps like SoundCloud, Facebook, Quora – all these underwent extensive time spent on designing a complex architecture before they were ready. Furthermore, such an app will require multiple languages for success, which means you’ll have to hire multiple teams of professionals!

Are There In-App Purchases?

Many organizations also include in-app purchases for extra content and features. In this case, many users don’t like escaping the relatively safe ecosystem of your app. This is why in-app purchases are so useful. The application has to be strong enough to store and process sensitive information like credit card numbers, SSN, addresses, etc.

Your costs will also increase depending on each payment option, such as PayPal, Google Pay, Stripe, 2Checkout, and more.

Which Devices Should My App Support?

Compatibility is arguably the most important factor when developing an app. The iOS app should be compatible with both the latest and previous vision of iPhone and iOS alike. This is why you should run an analysis on your target market to gauge demand for the app. An app that is compatible across various platforms will require a greater budget.

Are There Any Extra Costs?

All developers are not necessarily good designers. That is an extra cost that depends on the size of your app. Prepare to spend costs on hidden expenditures such as legal fees, server costs, startup fees, and more when you’re turning the app into a business.

Since running an app is an on-going process, you will need to provide regular updates to fix bugs, security loopholes, and add new features. This means added maintenance costs after development is done. As a general rule, the industry norm is to allocate about 20% of development costs towards maintenance.

So, if your app costs around $100,000 to develop, then you’ll need to pay about $20,000 every year to maintain it. If you’re dealing with legacy costs, then you’re looking at 50% of your original app development costs. This means $50,000 per year of support and maintenance!

If you’re ready to build your iOS app and want to know how much it costs, get in touch with our team ns804!

 

How Much Does it Cost to Build an Event App?

The event industry is evolving at the speed of light and one of the best ways to capitalize on its explosive growth is building event apps. Building an event app could be a bit expensive depending on the features you add. The typical price for an event app ranges from $5000 to over $500,000 but, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. To make things easier for you, we’re letting you get an estimate on the price of your event app here.

Over 85% of event planners will make use of event registration software to facilitate faster registrations. It’s all about giving audiences an unforgettable experience while maximizing the event ROI – the best of both worlds.

At least 75% of event professionals who don’t use event applications plan on adopting them sometime in the future. Your competition as an event professional will increase; the sooner you have an event app ready, the faster you’ll capture your target audience.

And before you get started on Facebook for your event planning needs, take note that it only serves as a valuable promotional tool to create awareness about the event. The actual registration, planning, coordination, and scheduling will be done through the event.

Problem is, it’s not easy to build a fully functioning event app. Even a ‘normal’ business app with fewer endpoints will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $140,000 depending on their features and functions. The risks and variables involved when planning and developing an event app are simply greater. There is a ton of information that has to be managed in real-time, requiring developers to exercise precision and accuracy – both of which take time and money.

Most event planners will incorporate the following set of features in their event app:

  • Information on the list of speakers
  • Constant news updates about the venue, etc
  • Report briefings
  • Accurate event scheduling
  • Interactive maps for the venue
  • In-depth information on event sponsors
  • Integration with social media tools
  • Ratings
  • … And much more

Depending on the event planner’s needs and budget, the event app may also come with messaging capabilities that allow participants to communicate with each other. Some speakers also like having the ability to ask attendees questions for constant feedback, which is best done with polls.

Every extra feature will add to the amount of time spent developing the app which, of course, adds to your total costs. Below are the main factors that will affect the cost of creating an event app.

Which Platform Should I Choose for My App in 2020?

What will you choose? A web-based platform or a mobile app? Or maybe both?

If you plan on porting the event app to various platforms, including iOS and Android, the development cost and time will increase based on your needs. For instance, the Android platform development efforts will take at least 200 to 3,100 hours. This may be expensive for some businesses especially if they plan on adding all the bells and whistles.

For the most part, event planners will likely settle with hybrid application development because it is far more affordable and allows at least 70% of the code to be reused on other platforms once it has been developed for one.

GPS Connectivity

Smartphone users are becoming increasingly dependent on GPS connectivity to guide them through busy roads and streets as they struggle to find their destination. This is why event apps must also incorporate map-based GPS services to help users. While users can just as easily swap out the app with a more dedicated tool like Google Maps or Apple Maps, doing so only adds to the hassle.

The best way to maximize user interactivity is to provide them with GPS connectivity built in the app. This obviously increases the development time needed to implement the new feature in the event app.

Event Agenda

Think of event agendas as the heart and soul of your event app. Event agendas are a great way to help your guests get to the event on time. This is an essential feature that your guests will use and depend on. Most events such as conferences and seminars are characterized by multiple breaks that often occur at the same time. Attendees need to know which ones they can attend and which ones they should cancel in case it conflicts with their schedule.

An event agenda gives your guests the ability to save sessions that they are interested in. It also gives them an easy way to view their favorite schedule. The last thing they want is to revisit an event or session that they already skipped before during their research.

Post-Event Surveys

Surveys help event planners measure the success of their event. Unfortunately, few event planners give due consideration to post-event surveys. In fact, at least 55% of event professionals believe they don’t properly measure the success of their events properly. This is where post-event surveys or feedback forms come in.

59% of event professionals listed down feedback surveys as the most important way to measure the success of their live event. All event planners want to know what features worked, what didn’t, and what went wrong. This is where post-event surveys come in. They let you collect honest feedback from guests who will be more than happy to voice their concerns and complaints if something goes wrong.

Once you have identified which areas of the app need improvement, you can start fixing themes right away. Most event professionals miss out on collecting this information because they send requests for surveys long after the event was held; at this point, fewer guests are willing to share their suggestions and feedback. To make your surveys quick and easy, give your guests the ability to send their reviews in real-time. It should ideally be done with a few taps instead of combing through long and drawn out questionnaires that waste their time. You can always add an optional section for longer reviews to let users share as much or as little of their feedback as they want to.

Social Features

No event app can survive without being well-connected with social media networks. This is the primary way to maximize user engagement and reach a large chunk of your target audience. Once again, users can always open another tab, window, or app to check their social media. But as mentioned above, most smartphone users would rather do this within the app to save time.

The best part about social media is that it is completely free of charge unless you are running ads. Adding social features to your event app will increase development costs and time. But this cost is definitely worth it since users will find it much easier to share information and post what they did at the event.

If possible, try adding support for multimedia features too such as photographs, videos, gifs, and more. Adding support for social media will increase your traffic as more users will download it out of curiosity.

API Interface Integrations

API interface platforms are extremely useful for event-based companies if they plan on selling tickets, merchandise, and collecting donations. APIs are responsible for point-to-point integration for the exchange of data, including payments. Once again, the idea is to provide access to users. This is best done by adding digital payment gateways so guests can purchase tickets without ever having to leave the app.

Adding this feature will obviously drive up the costs because of the extra number of additional hours and resources that your development team will put into API integration. The ideal event app should be compatible with most major payment processors including PayPal, Visa, bank transfers, and even cryptocurrency.

Offers and Discounts

Who doesn’t like having generous discounts that cut down the price by a significant margin? Most users love the instant gratification that comes with small discounts and the potential freebie. Instead of sending offers and promo campaigns into their inbox, you can send notifications directly through the event app. You’ll soon notice that customer loyalty will increase as users utilize more of your event services.

Conclusion

Can you make an event app at an affordable price while getting all your desired features? Yes, you can! The trick, however, is to find the right team to develop your apps at an affordable price that fits your budget.

If you are looking to create an event app for your business and wonder how much it will cost, then get in touch with our development team at NS804. We will offer you the best possible price while delivering superior event applications that will maximize your ROI.

 

8 Benefits of Enterprise Application Development

Businesses that develop mobile apps are becoming increasingly efficient. From payment banks to e-commerce businesses and health care, almost every single industry will improve its market value with the help of mobile applications. Success in today’s highly interconnected world is all about leveraging big data and existing business processes. Developing enterprise apps is one way to become more effective.

Below are 8 benefits of enterprise apps:

1. Enterprise Apps are Improving Worker Productivity

Any competitive business must invest in enterprise mobility if they want to increase sales, improve inventory, and incur fewer operational costs. Efficiency in all three areas can be improved by developing enterprise apps with data analytics.

Mobile developers also have the task of pairing analytical tools with the mobile app to maximize productivity. One particularly well known software application that to track important analytical data is Kumulos. It enables businesses to monitor the developmental life cycle of their app and make suitable adjustments throughout for maximum benefit.

2. Company Apps Empower Employees

A large number of companies have employees out there in the field, including delivery services, airport mechanics, and truck drivers. Subtle improvements in their everyday operations can drive up productivity and with it, profits. Enterprise apps give these workers access to real-time data and insights related to their processes.

This data is then fed back into the cloud in the form of business intelligence. This can be particularly helpful to the sales team because they can tap into a variety of available data, including press releases, finical reports, market analysis, research papers, and more. Bonus points if the application is powered with algorithms that can procedurally generate insightful information based on data from third party sites.

The best part is that most enterprise apps can be configured to integrate with important business processes. You will notice that the more users you have on the mobile app, the better your productivity. Enterprise apps maximize productivity by ensuring the following three:

  • Accessibility to work anytime and anywhere
  • Encourages work-life balance
  • Easier communication between different departments

3. Enterprise Apps Save Time

It is not easy to store or retrieve data from your laptop or desktop while you are away from them. Not to mention the fact that employees won’t stay on their desks all the time. Going back and forth between their computers and laptops increases the time that employees could have spent being more productive.

For example, in an organization of over 200 employees, it would take around 10 minutes for a worker to go back to their desk, retrieve data, and then share it with each other.  And while they do this, they are also shifting the attention of other employees from the job they were previously working on.

But using enterprise apps can save your employees’ time since they can just as easily retrieve the data or report from the cloud from their phones.

This also raises another important issue: employees will no longer have to fill up large and tedious forms that take up too much of their time. Instead, the enterprise app allows you to generate reports from drop down lists and menus that are much easier to use and generate. This makes it easier to process sales, generate invoices, and speed up marketing efforts.

4. It is Cost Effective

There are many operations in a single organization, and implementing technological tools for each department would be extremely difficult.

It doesn’t make sense to implement various tech tools for each department for two reasons, i) it would take time to teach employees how to use the tool ii) maintenance will eat up your profits. An enterprise app is a far more effective solution because it can be used by all departments at the same time.

Not only is this more cost effective, but it also lets you make decisions faster and more precisely.  The use of apps will also cut down on the use and dependence on paper. You can hire a cloud service to store and process the data, this is a far more effective solution than to spend money on hardware and other tools. Using agile cloud technology also means you won’t have to use expensive tools at the workplace.

5. Creating New Opportunities

One of the main benefits of enterprise apps is that key stakeholders and decision makers in your organization can know and respond to new opportunities at a moment’s notice. This allows your company to stay ahead of market trends, address reputation management problems, tackle supply chain problems – and a lot more from a single app that you control.

6. Developing Enterprise Apps is Cheaper

Developing a new app on Android and iOS has become significantly more affordable over the years. The best part is that you don’t have to hire a team of developers to build an app for you. The development and maintenance of enterprise apps can be sourced to an app development agency instead. Since they are generally more experienced at app development, app development agencies can build new apps in a shorter period of time using fewer resources.

The best part about app development is that you can always add or remove features based on popular demand and analytical surveys.

7. Improve Customer Experience and Satisfaction

Developing an enterprise app becomes all the more important if you want to improve customer experience. Good customer service depends on how fast your employees can respond to queries and feedback of customers. The speed of your response can play a big role in improving customer satisfaction.

Once again, this is not possible to do since employees are not always available at their desks and getting to and from the computer will delay their actions. Moreover, being able to make responses to customer queries on an enterprise app in an instant is the best way to improve customer engagement. The presence of instant support enriches the user experience and leads to higher revenue and sales.

8. Stay Ahead of the Competition

The cutthroat industry does not favor businesses that are slow to move and respond to changes. Enterprise apps are usually always on the bleeding edge of technology. They create a sense of belonging among employees since they can just as easily log in to their systems at the time of their choosing. This allows employees to optimize their talent pool in the most efficient way possible.

Businesses that don’t take advantage of enterprise apps will find themselves severely short-staffed. This may be true even though they may have more employees than their immediate competition. It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Conclusion

A large number of businesses are using or plan on using enterprise apps in the near future. Furthermore with Enterprise apps, you can provide a more comprehensive customer experience, increase productivity and make better decisions while pooling your entire talent pool together. NS804 can help you control and transform your systems rapidly. Our team of expert app developers can help with Android app development and iOS app development based on your specific requirements.

For more information, feel free to reach out to us by clicking the link here and leave your feedback.

The Risks And Benefits Of Offshore Software Development

The Risks And Benefits Of Offshore Software Development

We live in an age of burgeoning technology – in an age where rockets are re-useable, cars drive themselves, and watches keep track of our pulse, it’s easy to imagine that developing a mobile application by partnering with an offshore development team would be easy to manage.

With VoIP technologies like Google Hangouts, instant communication platforms like Slack, and project management tools like Trello, it would seem that we’ve reached a truly global era in business and the development of products.

And in many respects, this is true – plentiful and vast industries exist today either due to the existence of global production and supply industries, or rely on the global market that fuels today’s global economy for resources, customers, or both. Many of the rare earth metals that make phones, watches, laptops, or virtually any electronic device come from regions in Africa or Australia – without a global supply line, none of us would have phones – or be reading this blog, for that matter.

What I’m trying to convey is that we do live in the future – it just isn’t to the point where we can collaborate on the level that mobile app development requires, while communicating on a global scale.

The myth of offshore development

There’s plenty of misinformation about offshore development – the main one being the quality of code. A good developer is a good developer no matter where they are or what language they speak (but they’d better know their programming languages) – offshore developers aren’t bad at what they do.

While it’s very true that applications developed by offshore companies can lead to unsustainable codebases, low-grade products, or un-deployable platforms, developers in India or Ukraine can be just as experienced (or inexperienced) as developers in Japan or the US.

The problem isn’t people – it’s the communication of ideas.

Complicated ideas and concepts are difficult enough to understand when they are presented to us in person – just think of how many companies today struggle with disseminating and promoting company culture amongst their own employees – communicating the “feel” of a company’s mission is a challenging task.

And with the addition of different time zones, and distances measured in the thousands-of-miles, communicating the high-level, detailed concepts that are crucial to the decisions of app development can become a nightmare.

So if you’re in the UK, hire a UK development team – and if you’re in Bangladesh, hire a Bengali development team. The most important preliminary step to a successful app is a throughly-vetted development partner; a company that you can trust to deliver a full-fledged product, and trust to understand the mission of your app.

risk and reward of offshore mobile app development

Research the risk & reward of offshore development

The benefits of offshore development

There are benefits to making use of offshore development companies:

  1. Cost: Development companies almost universally charge based on an hourly rate. Developers in countries with a lower cost of living will report lower hourly rates than high-cost-of-living countries. While a developer’s rate in the US may range from $100 – $150, a developer in Asia would range from $20 – $50. If managed properly, this can lead to significant savings.
  2. Quality: “Quality” could just as easily be listed in the “risks” section of this blog. By hiring an offshore developer that lives in a country with a lower cost of living, you stand the chance of getting a high-quality product for a fraction of the cost of a highly-skilled developer in your country.
  3. Cultural insight: This is the most substantial benefit to hiring an offshore development team. If you are targeting a market in Sri Lanka, you should hire a development team from the region. The insight the team will bring to the design choices of your app will help your app feel familiar to your specific audience, and increase its chances of market penetration.

The risks of offshore development

Despite these benefits, there are many more opportunities for the risks associated with offshore development to take hold.

  1. Hidden costs: While offshore development does come with a lower hourly rate, this is more often than not negated by the fact that development will usually take twice as long. The main reason for this is…
  2. Communication: Couple language barriers with high-latency internet connections and having a verbal conversation with your team in a different country, and communication can become a real challenge. Communicating the technical aspects of an issue a developer is working on can be downright impossible sometimes. For systems that require integrated maintenance provided from your own IT department, clear and efficient communication is a necessity.
  3. Management: For many of the same reasons as communication, managing an offshore team can be an organizational nightmare. It is recommended to hire a project manager that is local to your offshore team, and will work to bridge the time difference your development team and your company will experience.
  4. Data privacy, security, and governmental regulation: As unfortunate as it is, it’s necessary to be wary of IP theft when dealing with offshore developers, which makes it especially vital to throughly research your development partner. If a developer in another country steals your intellectual property, there is very little recourse available to you. Security and privacy are two other pressing concerns when utilizing offshore codebases – some countries’ intelligence agencies will work with developers to include backdoor access in order to extract users’ personal data for means of cyber espionage. 

Hourly rate, time, and scale

These are the variables to the equation for determining the cost of your app; the more time it takes to develop, the cost rises… the higher the hourly rate, the cost rises… the larger the scale of your app, again, the cost rises.

hourly rate time and scale to develop a mobile app offshore

Consider hourly rate, time and scale

When comparing the cost of developing an app using an offshore developer versus an onshore developer, the key factor is time. While an offshore developer’s hourly rate will usually be lower than an onshore developer, developing an app with an offshore developer is a longer process – sometimes adding two or three times the amount of total hours to develop. This discrepancy in development length is usually exacerbated by communication issues and time-zone differences, and in turn, significantly reduces the savings of the lower hourly rate of offshore development. 

By increasing your time to market, your app’s chances of success will lower, and by increasing the chances of miscommunication, your app’s codebase has the possibility of being less robust than an app developed onshore – leading to the necessity of almost immediately updating your app as soon as it hits the App Store or Google Play.

With these factors in mind, the cost of developing an app offshore or onshore usually even out – and while either option comes with their own benefits, the risk of miscommunication is a factor every CTO or team lead should consider when deciding between offshore or onshore app development.

Why Custom POS Apps Are More Effective Than Legacy Systems

Virtually all restaurants use some type of point-of-sale (POS) system. Many systems are commercially available, but restaurant owners can also build their own POS apps for mobile devices.

The initial cost of developing an app is often offset by their long-term advantages over legacy systems like Aloha. Long terms benefits of POS apps for mobile devices include:

  • direct cost savings
  • customization
  • greater security
  • improved customer support

Costs

A custom POS app can incorporate the latest innovations in software technology, whereas legacy apps are primarily technology vendors.

Developing a new app allows you to invest in new technologies, features and security measures, while legacy POS systems primarily invest in services such as support contracts and upgrades. These services typically account for the majority of the cost of using a legacy system.

Although there is an upfront cost associated with custom apps, you actually own it once it’s developed. Legacy systems usually have an initial cost as well as a subscription fee that can cause the total cost of ownership for a commercial POS system to exceed the development cost of a custom app.

Developing an app specifically for the Android mobile operating system (OS) is less expensive than porting it over from another OS since Android has an open source.

Furthermore, a legacy POS system’s functionality doesn’t increase over time unless you pay for an upgrade, which may not provide any benefits for your business. You only pay for the features you need when you develop a custom app, allowing it to contribute to both the short and long-term financial success of your business.

Customization

Restaurants can vary greatly in their method of operation, from dedicated food service to businesses that provide other services such as cafes and nightclubs. This variety means that there is no single POS app that can meet the needs of every restaurant, which makes customization especially beneficial for these businesses.

Restaurants often require unique setups for their POS systems due to the range of possible hardware, menu configuration, and workflows. The increasing need to make changes in a POS system quickly also means that it’s more likely to be hosted on a cloud platform rather than a web browser’s backend. The right permissions on a cloud account allow you to manage your restaurant at any time and from any location so long as you have internet access.

Additionally, a cloud platform eliminates the need to update the POS system for each device individually. Changes to the system can be synchronized across multiple devices automatically, without the need for downtime that legacy systems typically require for updates.

The customizations needed in restaurant POS apps also include changes made by staff members, including…

  • changes in the specials
  • changes in item availability
  • end-of-day closeout
  • item modifiers

Customized apps can improve communications between the front and back-of-house operations by sending orders directly to the kitchen display while providing the appropriate notifications to the servers. This capability can lead to a one-house system, which is still quite rare for restaurants.

Additional customizations for POS apps include the ability for staff members and managers to provide guest experiences and other comments on individual orders.

Security

The primary security concern for POS systems is that they collect payment card information, so they need to comply with Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations. A PCI-compliant POS app is therefore essential for protecting the personal information of guests.

Legacy systems that reside on a desktop fall out of PCI compliance periodically due regulatory changes, and the time needed to update these systems can be substantial due to their large size. These are also more vulnerable to malware, storage limitations and frequently send unencrypted credit card data to a local server.

Custom POS apps can encrypt sensitive data before transmitting it over a secure network and storing the data on a cloud-based server, thus avoiding the risk of an on-site data breach without sacrificing convenience.

Blind closeouts are another security feature that you can obtain with a custom POS app, which requires employees to reconcile cash at the end of their shift without knowing the amount they should have.

A cloud-based approach also makes it easier to integrate a POS app with other systems such as online ordering, gift cards, and customer loyalty programs.

Support

Legacy POS apps typically lock you into their customer support system with contracts that are difficult to break. These contracts make it hard to switch apps because you don’t want to lose the money you’ve already spent on support, even if you’re not in love with the system.

On the other hand, a custom app makes technical support easier because the same team that developed the app often provides the support, including installation and services.

Get ROI by Developing an App

Among the many methods businesses employ to increase their revenue is the development of mobile apps. The funds invested in apps can generate a substantial return, but only if they are built correctly and with the right objectives in mind. Skilled programming, UI and UX design, and overall functionality are key to getting a solid ROI.

Define Your Objectives

The first step to creating a mobile app is to define your objectives. This should be more specific than just “to generate ROI.” What are you hoping to accomplish with the app? Do you want it to sell for profit? Build loyalty? Provide a valuable service? The answers to these questions will inform the type, functionality, and format of your mobile app.

Generating Revenue

If your goal is to develop an app that generates revenue all on its own, then it’s probably going to look more like a game or paid tool than an actual promotion of your brand. If this is what will work with your business model, then go with it, but keep in mind that these types of apps have to hold up really well if you expect customers to pay for them.

Promote Your Brand

Some apps can be used to advertise directly to users. You can make a useful or entertaining app, release it for free, and then utilize it as a platform for advertising products that users may find valuable based on certain parameters you set. When it’s designed well, this can be a powerful tool for increasing sales.

Build Customer Loyalty

One of the more indirect uses of a mobile app is to build customer loyalty. If users find that your app helps them with certain tasks, they will be more likely to remain loyal to your brand. For instance, an app that tracks when certain types of maintenance may be due on an automobile will be valuable for people who don’t normally pay much attention to that sort of thing.

Provide a Service

Apps can be used to provide services. This could be something as simple as allowing someone to track a package or check their bank balance, to name a couple examples. Other services may generate income directly with Cost Per Action (CPA) services. These charge a certain amount to access certain functions within the app.

Improve Efficiency

Not all apps are strictly for customers. You may design something that will improve the efficiency of business operations. For instance, an app that integrates with existing business software can improve mobility and decrease the time spent on certain tasks, thereby improving ROI.

Think Long-Term

Unless you intend to develop a paid app, there is little chance that you’ll be able to an immediate return from it. The benefits of developing an app usually come long-term in the form of increased customer loyalty and subsequent reach to more clientele. These reach into middle to long term ROI as they improve the user’s opinion of the brand and increase the odds that they’ll turn to you to satisfy relevant needs.

Simply put, while apps with this goal in mind do not generate revenue directly, they can increase revenue through attracting more customers and generating more sales of your products or services.

Solid Design

Of course, in order to be successful, your app needs to be well designed. A poorly optimized or clunky application that thwarts people’s very attempts to use it will not get far, resulting in a loss rather than an increase in revenue (long term or short term). Some keys to sound app design are:

  • Ease of use—the UI needs to be easy to navigate
  • Optimization—the programming needs to be clean with quick load times
  • Compatibility—the app should work on the intended device
  • Valuable—the app’s functionality must not get in the way of its own usefulness

When designing an app for your business, you need to make sure the app’s design matches up with your objectives. To learn more about building ROI with a mobile app, check out our other resources or give us a call at 804-451-6016.