According to comScore one in every three minutes spent online are spent on devices other than a PC. It’s a no-brainer that you need a mobile strategy for your business, however big or small your company is.
But, building an app can be quite overwhelming when you have to think of a solution for your business. Should you build an app to engage or monetize, should you build a native app or a mobile website and what do you do about building in-house verses outsourcing?
Lots of question. And to answer them you need to first think about the following options:
1. Decide how you want to interact with your mobile customer
Mobile mobile business apps are following the same maturity path as the web. Simple brochureware mobile business apps that inform or entertain soon become engaging mobile business apps that make use of location, social, and cloud services.
As the customer experience evolves, so do application sophistication, customer expectations, business transformation opportunities, and the underlying business models. Applications can now make use of cloud services like Twitter, advertising, and in-app purchasing. At this stage, mobile business apps are combining mobile features with cloud services to transform their relationship with their customers.
2. Do you want a mobile app or mobile website?
A mobile website is a good start to a mobile strategy, but it’s not a replacement for a mobile app. Each serves a different purpose. Native mobile business apps offer users far more flexibility and features than websites. In fact, your company must have both, a mobile website and a mobile app.
3. Evaluate your development resources
Just as early web pioneers had to go outside their company to hire HTML programmers, many companies outsource their initial iPhone app development to third party Objective-C developers. Outsourcing that project has time-to-market advantages, but as you look to scale to other devices with multiple mobile business apps, this model becomes problematic.
Outsourcing Objective-C and Java programming is expensive. And, depending on how many devices you’re supporting, you could have multiple development teams all developing the same app for different devices (iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Android tablet, etc.). In addition to the cost, you’re losing control over what is a key part of your digital strategy – mobile.
There is a better alternative: utilize your existing in-house web developers to create your mobile mobile business apps. Even if they do not have enough knowledge, there are lots of online tools to help them.