Especially if your company has a functioning IT department, engaging in a DIY app development project is a tempting suggestion. An app that is created in-house can (sometimes) mean less cost, along with more direct input into its interface and functionality. But is it really the best choice for you to DIY your business’ mobile app? Here are 5 reasons you may want to partner with an app development company instead.
First, partnering with an external company means being able to rely on consistent, dedicated resources. Developing an app is a complex process, which usually takes months to complete from planning to post-launch testing.
Your IT department may have the capabilities and personnel to get the process started, but can they promise that these resources will remain available until and after you launch your app? Especially considering that your business app will need consistent maintenance after its launch, the answer is likely to be no, unless you add more developers to your IT team.
Most in-house app development processes follow a simple, linear process: you plan the app, then develop the entire app before testing and launching the solution. Unfortunately, this ‘waterfall’ method of software development comes with significant downfalls that often negatively affect the finished product.
An app development company, on the other hand, will likely rely on an agile technique instead. Designed as a more fluid process, an agile schedule will increase the amount and effectiveness of testing on your app, while simultaneously retaining a realistic timeline. Agile development has been proven to result in higher-quality apps than its ‘waterfall’ alternative.
In most companies, the IT department consists of ‘jacks of all trades,’ who know enough about every computer-related area ‒ software and hardware, code languages and databases ‒ to keep the company running. But as the old adage suggests, jacks of all trades are masters of none, and that rings especially true in app development.
Successfully developing an app means knowing the programming language and devices for which the software is built inside and out. Member of your IT department are probably savvy enough to work their way into the world of Swift and Java. But do they know enough to reliably produce a successful and attractive mobile app? An app development company with years of experience developing mobile applications will.
You may develop your app with a specific goal in mind, perhaps focusing specifically on Apple or Android devices. But over time, especially if the app is successful, you will want and need to expand your app’s reach into Android, iOS, Windows, and the web. To accomplish this, you’ll need developers with expertise in each of these different areas on your team.
Fortunately, your app development company will be well-versed in all major app platforms. They’ll know how to take your app and tailor the next version to the appropriate platform – increasing your reach while maintaining consistency.
Finally, we hear from some businesses who are hesitant to partner with an app development company simply because they’re afraid that after the initial build, all ties are severed. They’d rather work with an internal IT department who can troubleshoot and maintain the app throughout its life.
However, in addition to the resource concerns mentioned above, this argument is built on a false premise. In fact, your mobile development partner should stay with you long-term, helping you make necessary upgrades or fix bugs as they come up. The business relationship will develop into a mutually-beneficial partnership for both parties, and you’ll know you can rely on your app development company to be on your side when you need them.
Of course, the final decision is up to you. In the end, going DIY in creating your new business app may work great for your company. But in the vast majority of cases, it pays to at least consider an external app development company as an alternative. If you want to learn more about what that would entail for your business, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us today to learn more about the app development process, timelines, agile development, and anything else you might like to know.