Creating an app for business use can increase productivity and improve consistency for greater quality control and customer satisfaction. But building a successful business app can be challenging. Here are some tips and options for how to create an app for your business that will help you overcome as many of those challenges as possible.
What Is a Business App?
A business application is a software solution that provides business functionality and can be used internally and externally to help companies achieve their goals. Business apps are also called enterprise applications. Business apps must be predictable, reliable, and stable, meeting strict security and administration management requirements. They should also be highly adaptable to meet the changing needs of organizations. If you’re trying to solve a problem or increase efficiency for a repeatable process, an app can be an asset to your business.
While off-the-shelf options are available that are customizable to a certain degree, you may need something specifically tailored to your business. In this case, it’s a great idea to consider building a custom app.
How To Create an App with a Business App Builder
You have a couple of options for building a custom application. You can work with an app development partner like Designli, or you can use an app development software tool to build your own. Let’s look first at the advantages and disadvantages of using a business app builder.
Pros of Using App Development Software To Build Your Business App
- Save money on budget — You may be able to save as much as 50% of the cost of having a custom-built app.
- No need for coding skills — Build an app with no technical skills.
- Fast speed to build — Create your app in as little as a few hours.
- Available support — App builders often list the app in app stores and marketplaces and provide support.
- Ready-made architecture — A structure is in place to make it easier to build.
Cons of Using App Development Software To Build Your Business App
- Lack of ownership — With many services, you don’t fully own the app you build, and the provider can make changes at their discretion.
- Platform requirements — Many app builders require that you remain with their service to use the app.
- Template limitations — Most app builders require you to use their template and don’t provide alternatives.
- Functionality limitations — Often these software tools offer limited functionality.
- Inability to edit code and structure — You won’t be able to build precisely what you want since these tools don’t allow you to go fully under the hood.
- Limited integrations — Often, these apps can integrate only with other apps and services offered by the platform.
- Potential for ongoing, additional charges — Some app builders charge high fees for usage, storage, etc.
Working with an App Developer
If you don’t have the skills and expertise to create a custom app, and if you don’t like the disadvantages that come with using an app builder software, you’ll want to work with a business app development partner. A lot goes into building a custom app, and it starts long before fingers hit the keyboard to code. A good app developer will have an established process to walk you through it. Here are the pros and cons of working with a developer.
Pros of Creating a Custom Business App
- Custom design — Get the flexibility of an app designed for your unique needs and business processes to include only what you want.
- Smoother integration — Connect to any other apps and services required for your business while providing improved analytics.
- Easier scaling and updating — Make changes as your business grows.
- Complete ownership — You have full rights to the app with no limitations.
- Improved long-term results — Greater overall benefit with an app designed for your specific needs.
Cons of Creating a Custom Business App
- Longer time to release — Custom builds can take longer to ensure they meet your specific needs.
- Potential lack of ongoing support — Support may or may not be included, so consider the need and address it up-front with the developers you’re considering.
- Requires more internal support — Since you can build almost whatever you want, custom apps require more stakeholder and user engagement to make sure they meet the need.
- Higher up-front investment — Custom apps cost more to build than using app development software.
- Requires finding a qualified development partner — Your choice of a development partner is critical for ensuring the success of your app. You need someone with experience running successful app development projects to partner with your business. Here are the important things to look for.
How Much Does It Cost To Build an App for Your Business?
The quick answer is: it depends. There are a lot of factors used to determine the cost. Most are based on your answers to these questions:
- Are you building a web app or a mobile app?
- Are you creating a native app on iOS and/or Android, or a hybrid app that may work on both with some functionality limitations?
- What functionality will your app require?
- Will there be additional costs like integrations, infrastructure, and encryption?
At a very high level, apps generally cost in the range of $15,000 to $175,000. However, costs can be higher depending on the complexity of the functionality and who builds it. Though it may be tempting to try to build in-house, if you don’t have the expertise, it may cost more and take more time in the long run.
Learn more: How Much Does It Cost to Build An App?
Mobile Business App Examples
There are lots of enterprise apps available on the market today. Here are some of the most popular ones to give you an idea of the capabilities of business apps:
- Microsoft Office 365 — Productivity cloud including well-known Microsoft Office apps like Excel and PowerPoint, along with apps for security, device management, and more.
- Slack — Messaging app that enables remote people to work together more effectively.
- Confluence — Collaboration wiki that enables knowledge sharing.
- ADP — Human capital management solution that integrates time tracking, benefits administration, payroll, and more.
- Salesforce — Customer relationship management (CRM) app connecting service teams, marketing, sales, and commerce.
Do You Need To Develop a Business App?
Creating an app for your business is a great way to boost the productivity and effectiveness of your organization. Your best bet for success is to find a development partner with an established and proven process that will work to understand your needs and partner with you to develop an app. Good app partners take a long-term view of partnership and will offer continued support for your success.
Want to learn more about how we help clients build successful business apps? Get in touch.
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