Mobile apps are now an essential part of owning a smartphone. In 2020, with smartphone penetration ever-increasing, there were 218 billion app downloads — a 26 billion jump from 2018. On top of this, the average smartphone user now has around 40 apps installed, which has analysts foreseeing mobile app revenue to be worth $935 billion by 2023.
Getting a slice of this lucrative pie begins with companies onboarding a mobile app developer. But outsourcing such a project can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the technology. If in doubt, here are five questions to help you define what you need:
1. Do I need end-to-end servicing?
Developing a mobile app that provides a seamless and holistic experience isn’t just reliant on one person, but a team. If a development team can provide end-to-end services this means they can handle:
- User experience and user interface design
- Quality control
- Submissions to the appropriate app store(s)
This will streamline the entire process so you don’t have to worry about miscommunication, redundancies, or other inefficiencies that come with onboarding separate suppliers. Five Pack provides clients with everything from industry advice and journey mapping to maintenance and continued product development after completion.
2. Do I have enough information for a detailed estimate?
The devil is in the details, and those details are what add up to the final cost of the service. Some suppliers may provide you with a top-line breakdown of services, but unless you’re intimately familiar with the process of software development, a lot of the finer details won’t be too obvious.
This will not only make it harder for you to ascertain whether or not an estimate is fair, but it will also be tricky to determine if all of your needs are being actualized and accounted for. To avoid this vagueness, it’s important to partner with a supplier who prioritizes transparency.
At Five Pack, we accomplish this through our Sprint Zero process. During this discovery stage, we take a deep dive into the elements unique to your project in order to identify pain points and then design bespoke solutions accordingly. To accomplish this, we utilize specially crafted processes and workshops that set each project up for success.
This approach allows us to accurately predict your existing and future needs to create a detailed estimate that is clear, understandable, and easy to communicate with all relevant parties.
3. What are the benefits of outsourcing if I already have a team?
Should you have an existing team, you can still find talent that can augment the needs of your project. In this scenario, it will help to work with a supplier who can tailor their offerings rather than simply provide a blanket service that may have redundancies on your end.
One way we do this at Five Pack is by providing access to a nationwide pool of top talent that we can engage for both short and long-term projects. We help our clients achieve breakthrough results by recruiting top-tier mobile designers, developers, and strategists and empowering them to do what they do best on your behalf.
These professionals are highly skilled, having finished a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree in software development, allowing them to better track and assess data analysis and consumer trends. For more specific projects, there are also software developers with special certifications. These can focus on cloud applications, data and management, and cybersecurity. This is why outsourcing offers you unique benefits even if you have an existing team.
4. What delivery management and progress plan will work for me?
Communication can make or break your project. To streamline this process, it’s best to establish a delivery management and progress plan early on. Suppliers often have their own in-house approach that can be tweaked if necessary. This will cover how often they share updates, when you have team calls, what milestones to expect by when, etc.
Remember that proper communication is a give and take. From your end, a good product owner must be agile, encouraging, and clear. It’s up to you to establish realistic expectations and steer towards the purpose of the project. With transparency from both client and supplier, you can build your mobile app with fewer hiccups and headaches.
5. Is this a one-time deal or do I need extended services?
Some product owners only need outsourced help until their app launches. Others may require an extension of services that covers maintenance and expansions. Deciding if you belong to the former or the latter will depend on your business model, app mission, and project parameters.
If you’re launching an app for a select one-time event, then you may not necessarily need a maintenance agreement. However, if you’re aiming for a scalable app then you’re probably better off with a longer service level agreement (SLA). App users are increasingly discerning, with one out of five abandoning lackluster apps after just one use. This is why it’s just as important to give time and attention to the maintenance of your app as it is the initial development effort.
Beginning the journey of outsourcing development is an exciting and defining moment for anyone. By asking the right questions, you can accurately determine your needs and create a checklist of requirements any prospective supplier must be able to address. As much as possible, you should also try to find a supplier who can offer continued support and maintenance plans. At Five Pack, part of our promise is to continue a relationship with our clients even after the final product is delivered.
If you’re thinking of creating your own mobile application, start your journey with Five Pack! With top-of-the-line services, you can build a stellar mobile application in no time.
Specially written for Five Pack
By: Ressie Jarae