Deciding how a mobile app should interface to your business is a big decision and is worth investigating in order to maximise the benefit an app can deliver.
When building a mobile app, most businesses need to consider what type and level of integration they will need. Apps can be developed to be really simple standalone apps or immensely complex and fully integrated with your company’s IT systems.
Standalone apps are usually relatively cheap while complex apps be a little bit or a lot more expensive, depending on the development approach you take.
In our previous blog post – how to build a mobile app – we covered how using the right mobile app builder solution is critical to managing costs, support and future proofing your app. This blog will focus on assuming you have chosen the app builder platform and are now looking at the different development options.
In determining how much you integrate your app with your business IT systems you need to consider – is there a benefit for doing so e.g. cost savings by automating functions of your business such as customer care or even integrating your app with your ordering system/EPOS systems. There are many reasons why you would want to integrate your app with your business – just measure the benefit and see if the effort/cost for doing so is justified.
In addition to the above there are two other considerations that will influence your app development costs:
• App security: Your security needs will also play a role in terms of the integration level required and the additional costs of developing an app. If you want to keep app costs down the ideal approach is to develop the app just to capture and send data to your business but not to store data.
• Develop or source: Why not consider using third party solutions as opposed to developing functionality from scratch. If you were to build a fast food delivery app for your restaurant and develop the ordering system this would be quite expensive; however, sourcing a third party ordering system (e.g. Onlineordering.com) and integrating this with your app would be a quicker and more cost effective option.
While some business will opt for more secure and complex integrations to get the benefits of enhanced automation and security, other businesses will opt for an approach that delivers a lot of benefits at a very low cost/risk. Ensure when you choose an app developer that the developer presents all these options to you for consideration. Look for a proposal based on all the development options and then assess which are most appropriate and viable for your business. eir Advantage Apps offers a good solution that can deliver a model that will work best to your business needs.
So what type of app will you build for your business?