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Does your business really need a mobile app?

Disha Kathuria
8th Nov 2016
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Mobile apps bring great value for many but not necessarily all businesses. Building and maintain a good up-to-date mobile app is no mean feat. And what’s worse, a badly-reviewed mobile app tarnishes your brand image. Therefore it makes sense to stop and think before jumping on the mobile app bandwagon.

Here are a few reasons to consider before getting a mobile app for your business.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Revenue-based reasons


Your funds simply don’t add up for a mobile app Most young start-ups are cash-strapped and building a mobile app costs money. According to online portal, gu9creative.com, “It (app building) is for the most part expensive and time-consuming; you have to keep it updated with the operating systems of mobile devices, and introduce something new every now and then to keep your clients and potential business leads engaged.” As anyone who has ever thought or actually designed a mobile app for their business, would know, when creating an app one must develop at least two versions – one for Android and the other for iOS. Webdesignledger.com explains what this can snowball into, “You also have to take into account that you may need to hire a separate team to have the app developed since web development is different from app development.” These ‘obvious’ expenses can take a toll on your finances.

Profit-sharing with app stores

This point is like the fine print we often forget to read. An article on webdesignledger.com spells out the hidden in plain sight disaster that may ensue, “If you are considering using your app to drive revenue, either through paid downloads of the app itself or via the purchase of services through the app, then be aware that app stores get a substantial cut of the pie. According to a Cnet article the Apple app store gets around 30% of revenue if you use Apple iTunes as the payment method for your app.”

Complexity-based reasons


They are difficult to develop

Building a mobile app is not child’s play. It demands consideration of various complex factors. As per Webdesignledger.com, “The kind of OS—whether iOS or Android isn’t the only thing that developers have to consider when having an app made. Developers also have to account for different screen sizes across devices for both platforms. And it gets more complicated for Android app development since there are many versions of Android currently out on the market.” Protocols also require the developer to get approval from the app store which if denied means you are back to square one!

They are difficult to maintain


If you thought your nightmares have been dealt with once your business mobile app is approved by the app store, well you are in for a big surprise. Once the approval has been sanctioned, you must look toward a long-term investment plan in order to sustain “the need for updates” such as repairing security vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance with subsequent OS releases. Updates are the necessary evil when it comes to mobile apps, because if a freshly arrived OS does not support your mobile or vice-versa it will be rendered useless.

It’s difficult to track and fetch data

Tracking metric and fetching data is not for the weak of heart. The entire effort is cumbersome and requires special team effort to make accurate prognosis. In short, barring the moral implications of data collections, the entire process itself is extremely time-consuming and not meant for those who do not understand it fully.

Creating a native or hybrid app


It’s the differences in the world that make it interesting – this difference includes the diversity in the many languages spoken as well. And is a key make-or-break component when it comes to devising a business mobile app. According to a blog entry by website infinitemonkeys.mobi, “All have different languages that require optimization, and catering to each one can triple your costs.”

Reasons of pure common sense


In the end, all efforts you make towards realising the true potential of your business are a matter of pure common sense. In the long run, it helps to have asked yourself questions like, “Does my business really need a mobile app? Or “Isn’t my business going well without it?” and most importantly, “Do I have the funds to build one and follow it through?” Apart from these obvious queries there’s one more that can help you make the right decision – is creating a mobile app for my business solving any real consumer problem? If your answer is no, then our answer to your business mobile app is – not yet.

If you’re naturally cautious, perhaps you will give the business mobile app trend a good think. However, if you haven’t really spent much time assessing whether or not your business needs a mobile app, do so before you divert precious resources on something that may not really be needed for your business.

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