Nowadays, people are doing their shopping, browsing and product research all on their mobile phones and tablets. For more than a decade now, mobile platforms have been the driving force behind the growth of online shopping and e-commerce, and data suggests that we’ll be relying on mobile platforms more and more in the future.
Businesses realize they can’t afford to miss out on this increasingly important market. According to Statista, mobile apps are expected to generate over $935 billion USD by 2023. If you want to remain competitive, increase your company’s reach and build your brand, you should consider a custom mobile app. Read on to learn more.
Is investing in an app right for you? Use cases of a custom app
The demand for bespoke apps is ever-increasing, and this is not only because the market for these apps is growing. There are some business problems that can only be addressed by commissioning a bespoke app from a trustworthy partner. If you see yourself in any of the situations described below, then you should consider contacting a custom app development company.
#1 Do you have needs that can’t be addressed by off-the-shelf solutions?
There are thousands of off-the-shelf solutions that businesses can take full advantage of, and the number of these solutions is growing. Off-the-shelf solutions aren’t the answer to every problem, however. In fact, as customers increasingly rely on technology, you’ll need more intricate and customizable solutions to meet their needs, which you often won’t be able to create with off-the-shelf software.
So, if you notice the needs and requirements of your business can’t easily be met with off-the-shelf software, it is much better to go with a bespoke software program. If you try to stretch off-the-shelf programs for things they’re not designed to do, you’ll experience more bugs, worse performance and costlier maintenance of your business operations. Investing in a bespoke app from a competent agency is well worth it.
#2 Do you want to compete with large businesses in industries where tech matters?
While off-the-shelf software is excellent in giving you standardized services and features to get specific tasks done, paradoxically, this is also one of its greatest weaknesses. That’s because standardized services and features are hard to customize and build a brand around.
If you are in a highly competitive sector where tech matters, it is very likely that all your major competitors will have apps for both customer-facing operations and for internal business processes. In this scenario, having unique applications with features that fit your needs will be a key component of success.
This is why you’ll probably need custom application development for your business if you want to compete with the larger companies in your sector, especially if your sector has high tech penetration.
#3 Do you want to make your employees more productive and internal business processes more efficient?
Although most people think about a custom mobile application when they hear the word ‘app’, that’s not the only kind of application a business needs. Most organizations make extensive use of custom applications for the internal processes that keep their businesses running efficiently.
The options here are limitless: Does your business need an internal app to facilitate collaboration on projects? Does your business need a custom inventory program to help drive production and sales? Does your business need a custom HR program to better manage employees? These are all possible with a custom development agency.
Making judicious use of these types of programs will increase the productivity of your employees, allow your business to grow more flexibly and enable you to undertake meaningful cost-saving measures. These are all vital for the long-term growth of your company, and long-term growth enabled by tech is one of the most sustainable kinds.
#4 Do you want a scalable app that grows with your company?
Companies aren’t static entities — they grow, evolve and change. This is why scalability is such a priority for CEOs. Many of the biggest companies today started out offering entirely different services (Twitter was a podcast platform). As your company changes, so should the software apps you use.
If you use off-the-shelf programs, you have far more difficulty evolving and changing the software you use. In most cases, you will have to move to entirely new platforms and recreate your business processes from the ground up with new software programs in mind. This is costly and ineffective.
You can fix this by relying on a custom app development partner to help you develop bespoke solutions that can accommodate your company’s evolving needs. During the planning and design phase, you can make sure the software is developed in such a way that can reasonably accommodate future iterations of your business model.
Of course, this isn’t perfect, and you can’t always predict the way in which your business will evolve, but it is almost universally true that bespoke software programs are more flexible and scalable and can accommodate the future needs of a business better. This is especially true if the business properly lays out the requirement of the bespoke software with an eye towards its future needs. This reduces maintenance costs and minimizes the chances of your company needing to build a whole new software program from scratch as it evolves.
#5 Do you want a centralized app that streamlines processes?
As businesses grow, they usually engage in an ever-increasingly diverse range of activities, which means a wider offer of products/services. However, it isn’t always easy to create a software program that fully integrates with all these business processes.
And this type of software is invaluable. All Fortune 500 companies, for example, have highly intricate management software programs that complement, control and facilitate their management system. Without these software programs, these companies wouldn’t be able to function.
If you want proper management software for your company, you definitely need custom app development services to help you create a high-quality, tailor-made solution that addresses your company’s needs.
What makes a great app development service?
It is important to realize when your business needs the services of a custom software development company and essential to understand what makes a great development service.
You need a company that takes great care to ensure that their bespoke development services really stand out. In this section, we’ll go over what makes a great development service.
#1 UX/UI design
The user interface and the user experience of a program are extremely important, and this is doubly true for apps. Not only will they define the first impression people have of your program, but they also determine the app’s ease of use, virality, potential and more.
If the UI and the UX of a customer-facing app are not up to scratch, it will be bombarded with bad reviews, quickly uninstalled by most users and largely forgotten in months. This will not only make the money you spent on the app a total waste, but it might even damage your brand and hurt your sales.
You need a company that has experience designing great, user-friendly UI and dedicated employees responsible for crafting the UX. By selecting a software development team with these qualities, you’ll make sure the team designs an excellent UX that will keep users engaged.
#2 Integration into your software ecosystem
It is possible you’re designing your first app and it is your business’s first foray into the digital world. However, most businesses that want to invest in an app already have a website, database and maybe management systems, business intelligence software and more.
The app they want to design won’t exist in a vacuum. It has to interact with other systems, synchronize data and upload information to various other parts of your software ecosystem in real-time. And if it can’t perform these tasks reliably, you’ll experience bugs, data corruptions and in some cases, breakdowns in key business processes.
These are all reasons why you need a partner with proven experience integrating apps properly into larger business ecosystems smoothly. They should have experience with data management, API creation, cloud software and more. Sadly, not all development companies have these skills.
Cybersecurity has never been more important and will increasingly be an issue organizations will have to confront. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts the cost of cybercrime will reach $10.5 trillion USD by 2025! Today, bad actors have more tools than ever before to take advantage of security weak points and gain access to sensitive company data. It is essential to safeguard your business applications with tight security, especially if you’re creating a front-facing app that a lot of clients will interact with.
A data breach could be catastrophic for your company and brand. There have been instances where a single security breach in a company’s custom mobile app has resulted in a loss of consumer confidence that took a company years to regain. Just ask Sony.
If you want a capable app development company to take care of your project, make sure they have qualified security experts. They need to be able to know the potential security risks major platforms have, how to create secure communication with servers, how to effectively set up security roles and more.
Many bespoke software program designs are highly performance sensitive. If HR software doesn’t perform its tasks on time and produce reports quickly enough, it is largely useless. If a customer-facing custom mobile app doesn’t display products or perform services fast enough, none of your customers will use it. These are just two prominent examples of many.
That’s why you need an agency that can not only create reliable apps on time and on budget but can also create apps that perform within accepted performance parameters. This isn’t always easy. Many people know how to code, but very few companies have the skill sets necessary to make expert use of programming languages, data structures, algorithms and debugging and performance measuring tools to deliver the performance you want in an app.
#5 Cross-Platform support for mobile
Although it seemed as if Android would dominate the mobile market, this is becoming increasingly unlikely. Despite the fact that Android dominates markets, iOS has a disproportionate market share of software sales and transactions, which continues to make it an important platform to target.
So, if you are trying to develop a mobile application for your business, in most scenarios, you should target both platforms, which isn’t an easy technical task. Do you create two separate apps with independent codebases that separately target each platform? Do you create a hybrid app with a shared codebase to reduce development and maintenance costs?
There are many approaches to designing an app for both platforms, and each has strengths and weaknesses. When looking for a custom mobile app development service, you must confirm the company has ample experience in designing, building, testing and maintaining cross-platform apps. This is the only way you can ensure your cross-platform app will work on every platform. Additionally, with proper custom mobile app development, the software program will be easy to maintain and update in the future.
By going through our case studies, you’ll find multiple examples of successful cross-platform apps we’ve managed over the years. We’ll help you learn the pros and cons of each approach for your particular project, give you estimates of how much development will cost and take care of the development, testing and release.
Custom mobile app development is where cross-platform concerns are primarily heard, but it isn’t the only place that matters. If you’re building customer-facing or internal PC software, depending on the type of software you want, you might need to support Linux and macOS too. Although these situations are generally rare, it is still something you need to keep in mind. If your requirements for a PC app include ‘cross platform’, you need to contact a team with the right skills and experience.
What makes Software Mind the right company for the job?
We understand how important it is to choose the right application development partner for your project. It is a responsibility our experts do not take lightly.
Our decades-long experience, comprehensive hiring process and constant drive to adopt the latest technologies show our commitment to our clients.
#1 Extensive experience
Software Mind has more than two decades’ experience building robust software programs with a variety of technology stacks. We’ve been through the Dot Com bubble, the rise of smartphones, the introduction of cloud technologies to the mainstream and much more.
If you want a partner that has the ability to take a holistic approach to your application development project, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for custom mobile app development or central integrated management software systems, we have experienced software teams that can take care of the task.
#2 Talented team
At Software Mind, we’ve taken care to not only choose some of the best talents from around the world, but we’ve made sure our team members have a diverse set of skills that complement each other.
From software design to coding processes, quality assurance, and security: we strive to provide the highest levels of quality in all areas. We have professionals with the skills to give you peace of mind.
#3 Extensive portfolio of successful projects
It is easy for any company to talk about their expertise and talent, but it is far harder for them to actually prove it. At Software Mind, we let our software development projects do the talking.
We’ve uploaded a diverse array of case studies to our website where we go through a range of our projects to showcase various development, security and design features. By browsing them, you’ll get a general idea of our team’s capabilities and experience.
#4 Using the latest technology stacks
Regardless of how talented a team of coders is and how well-crafted a piece of software is, if the technology stack they use isn’t up to date, security, performance and maintainability all suffer greatly.
This is especially applicable to mobile application development, as it is relatively new with almost all currently used technology stacks being less than a decade old. Making sure we use the latest and most suitable technology stack for each project is one of the keys to success. To learn more about developing customized apps that improve your efficiency, attract new customers and open new revenue streams, get in touch with our experts by filling out the contact form.
About the authorPiotr Brzózka
With over 15 years' sales experience in telecommunications and software development, Piotr is the bridge between the technical expertise and business knowledge that companies need. As Sales Director at Software Mind, Piotr has been crucial in building dedicated developing teams for start-ups and scale-ups across Central Europe. Passionate about helping organizations across sectors achieve digital accelerations, Piotr is committed to delivering autonomous teams who take ownership, match an organization's culture and engineer forward-thinking solutions.