Mobile applications have contributed to the rise of smartphones and tablets in a big way, and many companies are showing more interest in developing their own mobile apps.
While evaluating a mobile application development company, it would be a good idea to be clear on three aspects:
1. What user experience can the development partner create? Many a time, it is not necessary to recreate the desktop usage experience on the mobile app. This would not only be effort and cost intensive, but it would also be a performance bottleneck for the app itself. Smaller apps that do one or two things really well are advisable.
A mobile app development partner needs to have a balanced mix of platform skills (Android-Java, or iOS-Objective C) and User Experience (UX) design skills.
2. Does your partner bring domain expertise? Technology skills are available aplenty among the developer community. What would tilt the equation in favor of a specific development partner is the exposure they bring in your domain of specialization. Most often, the development company can add value by enhancing the range of usage scenarios through which the app can be put through.
3. What development tools will your partner use? Although this is strictly a technical question, the impact of this aspect can be seen in the time to market. Native apps (apps written in the base language in which the OS is designed), will perform well, but are difficult to port to other platforms.
What are the benefits of having an outsourced mobile application development firm?
Faster time to market
It is now practically impossible to go through development cycle times that extend over several months (or years!) to have a working version of the business application. The mushrooming of a complete eco-system of mobile app companies only makes it easier for businesses to leave application development to the experts.
Ericsson projected that smartphone subscriptions will increase by an average of 15% a year through 2020, resulting in 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions globally. This significantly impacts the e-commerce industry, where mobile app usage is the new norm. In 2009, 16% of Internet users made purchases on their mobile devices at some point during the year. In 2014, 40% of Internet users purchased a product or service on their mobile device, using an app. These are findings contained in a report published by Akamai Technologies. Mobile app adoption at this rate only means that the time to market is getting shorter by the day!
Reducing the technology conundrum
Businesses have their own set of problems to address. Trying to answer which application development platform to use, or deciding which OS to design for, are issues that need not add to their burden. By choosing a right mobile application development partner, the company remains focused on the big picture aspects more relevant to his business.
Any discussion on outsourcing is incomplete without talking about costs. In a survey of 1,611 global services decision makers, by Forrester, 37% said that they had used a third party to build a mobile or tablet app for employees. Around 38% of people said that they hired a specialist firm or agency to build customer-facing apps, a decision that was predicated on the skills and expertise that these developers could offer, and the cost savings of at least 35-50% over choosing a completely local team.