Mobile users today spend as much as 30 minutes per day purely on using apps. This development is the latest in a series of trends that have come to define the mobile app industry today, which has grown exponentially over the recent past. The focus today is varied, ranging from an initial interest in gaming and news to areas as diverse as e-commerce, social networking, sports, and education. The pace at which this industry has grown is indicated by a 50 percent rise in the number of apps available on the Google Play and iOS store from last year, amounting to an almost 5,00,000-app difference between the two years.
The impetus behind this growth has been a trend known as ‘mobile-first’, where companies are considering mobile devices, rather than the web, as the primary mode of communication with their customers. Any brand that is looking to expand in today’s world must accept that the mobile space is essential to its future strategy. This trend has convinced most companies to invest heavily in the mobile app space as a subsidiary to their already large online presence. Myntra was one of the first companies in the fashion market to attempt this transformation, though they eventually went back to their online presence.
In the same light, many businesses have decided against a web presence altogether, thus transforming themselves into ‘mobile-only’. Startups, in this respect, have a distinct advantage as they can begin their operations as ‘mobile natives’, meaning that all engagements with customers begin with a mobile app and then branch off to other media, unlike larger companies that have done the reverse. This is best represented by companies in the cab-sharing sector such as Uber and Ola. SMEs, especially in Southeast Asia, are considering mobile apps a top priority in their marketing and sales strategies, targeting a newer generation of mobile users within the age range of 18–30 years.
While companies are increasingly adapting to the changing trends of mobile-first and mobile-only, there is enough skepticism about having an in-house development team build the app from scratch versus outsourcing it from specialised service providers. While having an in-house development team does involve lesser monetary risks, there are myriad advantages you gain by choosing to opt for outsourcing. This outsourcing can be as simple as hiring a single freelancer or as large as hiring a consultancy firm. From being a more time-saving alternative to adding additional time for pre-launch and marketing efforts, outsourcing your app development just makes sense.
Here are five reasons why you should consider outsourcing your mobile app development:
App development involves a variety of components that must be integrated seamlessly for a smooth timeline. App development firms such as Hidden Brains and MindInventory house many years of expertise in subject matter details, industry knowledge, and technical aspects in both local and global scenarios. In addition to this, the specificity of the expertise allows the company the choice to either outsource a part of the app development process or the entire process. This enables them to be up to date with the dynamic mobile app industry in order to deliver the best results.
The ability to compile a database of information about both the intended audience as well as the industry is key to the success of any app development project. Conducting in-depth market research as well as using existing reports is the hallmark of good app development firms. For example, according to a recent MSME report, SMEs account for almost 40 percent of India’s workforce, justifying the need for app development firms to focus on providing their services to them. Market research such as this enables app development firms to determine the best possible method to deliver efficient results while also enlarging their own corpus of knowledge about the state of the industry while ensuring transparency throughout.
One of the major concerns before building an app is the finances needed to do so. Companies are constantly searching for app solutions that fulfil their needs at lower costs. The average cost of building an app today ranges between $150,000–450,000, of which the creation of infrastructure and features accounts for almost 50 percent of the total cost of the app. Outsourcing app development reduces this cost to a range of $10,000–80,000 based on varying hourly rates and allows venture capital to be used elsewhere, especially in startups that possess low or limited funding.
Allowance for focus on core competencies
Another benefit of outsourcing app development is that along with allowing for a reduction in financial allocation, it also allows for resource management. Entrepreneurs can redirect the time otherwise spent on app development to help build a better working environment as well as strategise for future growth. Core competencies such as these create more opportunities for the app to succeed and hence mutually benefit the app development firms by providing scope for further work.
Finally, app development involves the interplay of many factors that come to the fore at every stage of the process. App development firms provide end-to-end services from ideation to technical support. In this way, companies are provided with a protected environment within which to experiment in the mobile app space till they find a niche that works for them.
The burgeoning mobile app space provides great potential for companies to expand. In 2016, the global number of app development firms stands at 8.7 million, of which Asia accommodates 7,60,000, an Extract report states. With app development being a key strategy for success, outsourcing mobile app development is the best way for companies to effectively be ‘mobile-first’. This can enable them to derive the most prominent benefits of an app-focused strategy without compromising on their resources and by diverting their energies towards their core competencies and doing what they do best. A win-win situation such as this can also set the stage for more innovative products to hit the space and for existing service providers to scale up their operations more efficiently.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)