If you own a company and are thinking about making an app you’ve likely asked yourself whether you should develop in-house or hire a consultancy. The answer isn’t as obvious as you might think. Consider the following things that a consultancy can do that you may struggle with if you decide to develop in-house.
- A CONSULTANCY CAN HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT
The biggest challenge in creating a mobile app for your company is not knowing what you want. What are the processes you can, and should, focus on automating and optimizing? For whom do you want to create the app, yourself, clients, employees? These are a few of the questions you need to ask yourself when you’re considering how to frame your company in today’s technological business landscape. Consultants can help in this to a high degree, because they understand how to communicate, guide discussions, and conduct appropriate market and user-feedback research. Moreover, their knowledge and expertise of what can and cannot be done with technology are invaluable. Figuring out what you want – whether you hire a consultant or not – is about more than simply creating a list of desired features and functionalities. It is about knowing what features are important; prioritize those features/functions as you list them so that you gain a better understanding of what’s most important and where your money is best spent.
- CREATING AN EFFECTIVE MOBILE STRATEGY
The second major roadblock is not knowing how to create an effective mobile strategy. The current mobile landscape is dynamic and continually evolving. As such, it is extremely important that your strategy is flexible. A common issue for companies adopting a mobile strategy is a design centered on specific functions or technology, rather than business processes.
Technology, by nature, is notorious for becoming obsolete over short periods of time. In turn, strategies that focus on technology have a higher potential of being short-lived. In fact, it may even be the case that in the time it takes to develop your mobile solution you no longer require it. The evolution of technology is an apparent certainty, so focusing on finding value through business process optimization is a better approach for long-term success.
- GETTING THE RIGHT PEOPLE FOR THE JOB
The third major developmental roadblock is not having the expertise required to achieve your goals. More often than not, companies do not have knowledge of how to approach development. Although you may have employees that are able to code, that’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to mobile app development – particularly for enterprises. Creating an enterprise mobile app is a multi-phased process which includes ideation, design, development, deployment, and user-acceptance testing.
Additionally, using internal staff for development results in the introduction of internal bias. An internal team will always know more about your organization than a consultancy will. While this can be seen as an advantage, it comes at a cost. Since internal staff have good brand and industry awareness, they often fall short in the way of research and overlook the end-user. As you might imagine, an understanding of your app’s end-user is extremely important. This is something a good consultancy will understand. Consultancies will do their due diligence to understand where true value exists for end-users and your company as a whole.
Given that they typically have first-hand knowledge of the pain point(s) that need to be addressed by the new software, end-users are an invaluable resource. Their expertise and proximity to the problems make them qualified to give suggestions for how to best fix those problems. This means that your solution will better address the problems it targets and can save time and money by reducing the amount of post-deployment modifications you do.
SO WHO SHOULD YOU HIRE?
When hiring a consultancy, there are a couple of things to look for. First, hire locally. While this sounds like the tagline for a produce commercial, hiring local is important for a number of reasons. Local companies are better positioned to conduct market research and are easier to stay in touch with. This means not having to wake up at 3:00 am to chat with a developer in India, for example, and getting to see and interact with your app while it is in development. Second, look for a consultancy that specializes in mobile app development. It’s self-explanatory. If you want the quality that a specialist provides, don’t go to a generalist. At SozenTech we work closely with our clients, which means we have the good fortune of hearing many many stories. Of course, among these are terror stories of outsourcing gone wrong. I cannot stress this enough. Local is the way to go!