Every enterprise has goals it would like to meet. For some, the current primary goal is to increase the company's share of the market. Others are driven to increase profitability, while still others might feel compelled to improve the customer retention rate. Regardless of your specific goal, you may have recognized that mobile apps have become a necessity in today's world. At the same time, you might be reluctant to commit to having a mobile app developed because you believe one or more of the following myths.
Myth #1: Mobile apps take too long to develop, usually a minimum of one year.
Fact: With the right development team, you can have a complex app developed and deployed in two to three months. For a simple, basic app that can reuse existing code, the time can be as little as 15 to 25 days.
Myth #2: Mobile apps cannot interface with legacy systems.
Fact: An API infrastructure in conjunction with an appropriate mobile backend as a service, or MBaaS, can easily allow a seamless integration with legacy data.
Myth #3: Developing mobile apps requires proficiency in many different -- and constantly changing -- languages.
Fact: There are many different languages that can be used to develop mobile apps. In fact, there are so many choices available that developers can choose the toolkits and languages with which they are most proficient.
Myth #4: A mobile app costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Fact: Some companies have been known to invest $500,000 or more in a single, "killer" app. However, a 2013 analysis conducted by AnyPresence, a BaaS provider, found that 54 percent of companies developing mobile apps spent between $25,000 and $100,000 per app. It just depends on the functionality that you need in your app -- which brings us to the next myth.
Myth #5: A mobile app must be elaborate and beautiful.
Fact: It never hurts for your app to have an attractive appearance, but the most important thing is for it to function as it should. You do not need to add every possible "bell and whistle", just make sure that it does what it needs to do -- efficiently.
Myth #6: Mobile apps become obsolete quickly due to changes in technology.
Fact: True, technology is changing at a very brisk pace. However, your developer can easily update the app whenever advances in hardware or software require it. Your app can continue to perform well for many, many years.
Why Myths Continue to be Perpetuated
In many cases, companies manage to turn myths into reality by making one or more of the following mistakes.
- Treating mobile app development as a stand-alone project -- Your mobile apps are part of your enterprise-wide strategy. Too often, companies treat them as a compartmentalized effort.
- Making mobile app development an IT initiative -- IT may need to do the heavy lifting, but the company's business needs must drive development.
- Failure to see the "big picture" -- Planning and developing apps needs to use a centralized approach rather than being driven by individual functions (such as sales or marketing) or product lines.
- Inability of management to decide on a strategy -- One of the best ways for a company to turn the myths into reality is through a lack of strong leadership. Decision-makers need to have a plan for what they want to achieve for the enterprise and then determine how to incorporate mobile apps to help reach those goals. Without a clear strategy, mobile app development efforts are typically too scattered to achieve a return on investment.
It is true that you cannot decide that you want a mobile app today and deploy it tomorrow. It is also true that mobile apps cost money to develop. However, the time and expense of mobile app development are not as great as the myths making the rounds would indicate.