Evaluating if Your Company Has the Right Mobile App Development Skills
Many company leaders consider the question, “Should I make an app in-house? Or outsource the project to a mobile app development company?” It’s a fair question, particularly if your business has a robust tech team. So how do you evaluate whether your company has the right skills to oversee an in-house app development project? Well, there are lots of important points to consider.
Does Your Tech Team Have the Necessary Skills and Experience?
Mobile app development skills are unique from the skill sets of other developers. So you can’t assume that your tech team will have the abilities and experience needed to build a mobile app, even if they have experience in other forms of development.
There are also specialists within the mobile development field. So even if you have team members with app building experience, you cannot assume that this experience will provide an advantage. The skills required to build a highly-secure financial app are very different from the skills needed to develop a social media app or a mobile customer relationship management platform. There’s also a big difference between the technology used to build a cross-platform app versus a native app.
It’s also important to consider the technologies that you may need to integrate into your app interface. It’s not uncommon for a development project to include technologies such as encryption, machine learning, and augmented reality. You may also need to integrate with existing databases, CRMs and ERP platforms. Does your company’s tech team have what it takes to make this happen?
The bottom line: even if your employees do have most of the necessary skills required to develop an app, they probably don’t have a good workflow in place to complete the project. This will lead to time-consuming inefficiencies that could result in a lengthy development timeframe. As the saying goes, “time is money,” so it’s usually best to call in professionals who have the skills and the experience required to work as a well-oiled app-building machine.
Does Your In-House Development Team Have the Time?
Let’s assume that your company’s employees have the right mobile app development skills for your project. Now, do they actually have time to build a new app?
The mobile app development process can take months, and that’s with a team of developers who are working 40 hours a week, sometimes more. Chances are good that your employees already have lots of work on the schedule. If your team can only dedicate 50% of their time to a new app development project, then a 6-month project can easily turn into a 12-month project.
A lengthy app build brings additional obstacles too. For instance, you’ll need to account for updates that occur along the way. A 12-month build could see 2 to 4 iOS updates, with each one necessitating a new round of QA testing, troubleshooting and subsequent app updates. This could add many weeks to the development timeframe. Can you really afford to wait a year or even longer for your new enterprise app?
In many cases, it’s simply not practical to add an app development project to your team’s to-do list — especially when a third-party development company could complete the project in a fraction of the time.
So Should I Make an App In-House?
The reality is that few companies — even those specializing in development — have the skills required to develop a mobile app in-house. So for most who ask the question, “Should I make an app in-house?” the answer is “no.” But that’s not to say that you need to leave the project entirely to an outside app development company. In fact, a good mobile app developer will welcome a client’s involvement, whether it’s input on the color scheme and layout, collaborating on the app wireframe, suggesting functionalities or beyond.
Mobile app development can be likened to a home improvement project such as installing new flooring. Sure, you can probably install the flooring yourself using online tutorials and so forth. However, it’s going to be a struggle and the project will take a lot longer than if you had hired a flooring professional. At the end of the day, the quality of your new flooring may fall woefully short of what you’d have enjoyed if you had hired an expert.
Mobile app development skills require many years of refinement. While website and software developers have similar skill sets, it’s extraordinarily unlikely that a novice can create an app with a UX, form and function that will compare to one built by an experienced mobile development company. The most successful business leaders know that you should focus on whatever it is that you do best; outsource all the rest.
Also, don’t assume that you can build 75% of the app in-house and then call in a developer who can take the project to the finish line. Development companies are often very reluctant to work on an app that they didn’t develop. And if you do find a developer who can assist, there’s a good chance they’ll recommend lots of modifications and improvements. When all is said and done, you may end up with a mediocre mobile app carrying a price tag that’s comparable to what you would have spent if you’d hired a mobile development company to build a high-quality application from the ground-up.
At 7T, our experienced mobile app developers specialize in digital transformations. We’re adept at building mobile apps, developing custom software, and creating specialized platforms, such as ERP and CRM platforms. What’s more, our team can integrate useful technologies, such as augmented reality, machine learning and more. We’re also experts in data governance, cloud integrations and system integrations.
With offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Austin, 7T works with clients across the USA and beyond. So if you’re in search of an innovative team to build a mobile app and guide your digital transformation, contact the team at 7T.