Outsourcing App Development? – 4 Things to Remember Before Contacting an Agency or Freelancer
The availability and accessibility of the internet and smartphones have unlocked the floodgates of excellent business opportunities for entrepreneurs. At some point in time, they want to develop an app with advanced technology, interactive interface, and impressive features to help customers speed up their mundane tasks and make their life better. However, not every company has the necessary resources to build it in-house. Either they can invest a ton of money, hire developers as well as designers or set their sights on outsourcing app development, which undeniably is a smart choice.
From pulling-off your idea into a finished physical product magically to freeing up your internal resources and staff for more strategic initiatives, IT outsourcing always gives you the most bang for your buck. But, hiring an outside agency or freelancer to outsource your app development projects is not the best bet always: factors including focus, communication, culture, experience, cost, and time need to be taken into consideration thoroughly when taking this approach. One slight hiccup and things might fall apart.
In the hopes of helping businesses avoid chaotic situations and erratic mistakes, here we have outlined some tips and tricks to choose the perfect outsourcing partner for their next upcoming app.
Step #1: Define the Purpose of your App
Before initiating a wild hunt for renowned IT outsourcing companies and engaging with them, you need to analyze your business requirements, set clear goals and expectations, and identify the exact purpose of your app. Without a clear understanding of your app’s requirements, capabilities, and business objectives, you will not be able to communicate your necessities clearly to the agency.
Spend your time doing market research, exploring the app stores, and trying out your competitors’ apps. Consider scenarios like, “What happens if the visitor accidentally clicks the cancel button during a transaction? They redirect to the previous page or a pop-up opens to confirm whether or not they want to cancel the ongoing transaction.” If you don’t, you’re more likely to end up with a product that doesn’t match your expectations or perform that well. Here are some questions to think through when you’re figuring out your basic requirements:
a. Who is your target audience?
b. Does your business require an app for Android or iOS, or both platforms at once?
c. What social channels do you need to incorporate into your app?
d. Do you want a cross-platform app, native app, or hybrid app?
e. What is your app monetization strategy?
f. Is your app free or paid?
g. Are your visitors required to sign up in order to access your app?
This information is deep-rooted in the DNA of your company and can only be passed along to an outsourcing organization through time and collaboration. Although outsourcing can be counted as a magical panacea, it can just be as effective as the goals and expectations one has set.
Step #2: Select the Right Technology Stack and Development Option
Before embarking on the project, you need to understand that the quality-price ratio is not the only factor businesses should consider when choosing an outsourcing provider. Vague expectations like “developing an app that improves your profits overnight” or “creating something innovative, unique without having to pay an appropriate cost” will neither take you anywhere nor yield the best results.
Keep in mind that users will search your business and services through both the web and mobile device. That’s why there’s no particular option, which is right and suitable for every organization or app. Facing a fair share of troubles and tribulations is relatively predictable while selecting a technology stack for your app.
Should you use Kotlin, Python, Go, Java, or some other modern language? Which one is the best to develop a single-page client web app: Angular.JS, React, or Vue.Js? Is node.js or Flask right choice to a build server-side app? What is the right mobile app SDK option: Flutter, Ionic, or React Native? What about the database management system – PostgreSQL, MySQL, or MongoDB? Do you want to self-host with Docker, Nginx, Kubernetes, Apache or any other server, or should you use hosting services on a paid subscription basis? Remember, the options are unlimited – research, choose, and use!
The tech infrastructure, operating system, language, hosting, and talent you opt for should depend on your business as well as personal requirements and, of course, your budget – keep your problem space in mind and then decide accordingly. Selecting the platform, technology or app type haphazardly, and then changing your mind about it amid the development can exponentially increase the overall costs as well as render the most earnest efforts and hundreds of hours of work null and void. Make sure you fully understand the difference between native, hybrid, and web apps and also align the selected app type with its core purpose so you can address your potential audience’s pain points.
Step #3: Learn by heart: Communication is the “Key”
Having an innovative idea is not enough for the success of your soon-to-be developing app, you also should be able to openly communicate your suggestions, beliefs, requirements, specs, and purpose to the agency before the commencement of your outsourcing project. If you don’t interact every so often and subtract yourself entirely from the development, there’s no doubt that you might not be on the same page as your developer and not get what you envisioned. A lack of proper communication may push your developer to throw countless hours away tweaking, correcting, and second-guessing your product decisions without attaining any consequential improvement.
Not to mention, this will lead to revisions, overheads, increased mistakes, and of course, conflicts. That’s why you need to maintain a smooth process by responding to each other in a timely fashion, establishing an appropriate communication channel, and sometimes requesting conference calls. By doing so, both you and your developer can assuredly clear up various potential issues associated with the development process and also address any points of confusion.
Regular communication and responsiveness should be your priority so you can zealously pursue your project, push it forward, motivate the team, and always stay in the loop.
Step #4: Set a Budget
Going on a bargain hunt is only natural, but incompetent expectations lead to disappointments, as we said above. According to data collected from 12 leading app development firms, the median cost for agency-developed apps ranges anywhere between $37,000 and $172,000, but can also exceed more than $500,000 or higher. Price is one of the foremost concerns that someone may have because building an app is not a cheap, sloppy business at all. However, budget needs to be balanced appropriately against the technology, experience, quality, delivery time, scope, and other significant factors. When setting a financial plan, remember, the purpose is to build an interactive, high-quality app that helps you build your brand, acquire new customers, and generate value as well as revenue for your business. That’s why it’s important to find and create the optimum equilibrium between various vying elements of an agency, including:
✓ Team experience
✓ Team size
✓ App complexity
✓ Back end scalability