Mobile App Development: Selecting The Right Partner

If you’ve ever worked with a technology partner, you know there are a plethora to choose from. Whether an international technology consultancy firm or smaller specialized service provider, it is important to do your due diligence to ensure you make the best choice for your organization. To select the right fit, you need to define your business needs and weigh the service offerings.

Mobility is increasingly becoming the success mantra for every organization in this fast paced and innovation driven technology world. Mobile applications have brought about a paradigm shift in the way we do business, customer relationship management, product promotions as well as employee engagement.

In the bid to keep up with the rapid pace of such advancements, every business is seeking to develop their own mobile app to connect with their customers, prospective target audience and employees. Teaming up with an app development partner is a viable option for most, given the need for mobile development expertise, time-to-market demands, and lack of in-house expertise in planning and implementing a mobile project.

It is vital to choose the right partner to optimize the benefits of this potent technology. While it is critical that the partner understands your business needs, it is equally important to evaluate the suitability of the technology consultant based on their experience, expertise, design versatility, timeliness and pricing. Below are some factors to take into consideration when selecting a technology partner for mobile application development:

  1. Relevant Experience

    Choose an app development partner who has prior experience in your line of business and thereby, an understanding of the overall functioning and processes of your industry. Their ability to understand your core business processes will not just ensure a smooth software development process but you will also benefit from creative inputs derived from your technology partners prior experience. Additionally, a proficient app development partner will be able to integrate your processes with the right technology and envision a future road map and enhancements.

    Assess their portfolio (specifically understand their real world experience) and seek related client references, if needed.

  2. Technology Expertise

    It is crucial to understand the specialization of the technology consulting firm. Some consultants will have better design capabilities; others may be development experts, while some may be proficient in device and network management. To get the most out of a consulting partnership, it is vital to understand your business needs and assess your internal competencies to optimally leverage the partnership.

    The technology breadth of the app development partner is an important consideration as well, based on whether you are targeting a specific platform or need cross platform portability. Some may have expertise in a particular operating system like iOS, Android or Windows, while others may have experienced resources who can work across technologies. If you are planning for a customer app, or if your organization has a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy, it is critical that your app development partner is familiar with frameworks such as PhoneGap, jQuery Mobile and Appcelerator.

    Additionally, your app development partner must have working knowledge of various enterprise architectures, enterprise infrastructure platforms and integration technologies to ensure a seamless and high quality end product.

  3. User Experience

    User experience (UX) goes deeper than good graphics or user interface (UI). It is the complete user experience and overall interaction with the mobile app. An UX ace will follow reverse engineering, starting with the user experience and working backwards towards technology requirements to deliver an app with intuitive user interaction patterns and appealing design.

    A good mobile app also needs to have a consistent look and feel across different platforms, devices and screen sizes. To achieve design standardization, your technology partner must have the ability and readiness for in-depth testing across diverse operating systems and devices.

  4. Rapid And Agile Product Development

    The mobile market is constantly changing and the ideal technology consulting partner needs to be flexible and adaptable to your evolving business requirements, market conditions, and new technology capabilities. The app development team must be knowledgeable about latest changes in the market and be able to adapt a mobile solution accordingly.

    Choose an app development partner who follows agile development methods as this encourages quicker delivery, adaptive and evolutionary development, and flexible and rapid response to changes. Agile methodologies are a paradigm shift from the traditional waterfall approach. The agile approach typically breaks the tasks into shorter iterations of just one to four weeks, where cross functional teams work in collaboration gathering requirements, designing and Software Development, and testing the same to demonstrate a functional product increment to the stakeholders. The team also regularly re-evaluates all aspects of the project to ensure a marketable product.

  5. Cost Effectiveness

    Every business has a budget, but the selection of a technology partner should not be driven by price alone. Your target should be a great product that will turn into a revenue stream or be an effective organizational platform. Check samples of previous work to get a clear idea of the delivery capabilities and analyze the pricing in light of such facts, ensuring that you get value for your money.

    The pricing models for app development are diverse. Some service providers have fixed pricing, while others have a time and effort based pricing model. There are also providers with more innovative pricing models where they charge a low app development fee and get benefits later when the app becomes financially productive. You should check with the technology consulting firm for the pricing models they offer as well as flexibility in working out one which is mutually beneficial.

    Be sure to discuss any future costs like maintenance, updates and so on to get a clear view of the financial commitment for the project.

Mobile app development is a long-term activity that involves iterations based on user response and market developments. In this lucrative but highly competitive market, invest in a technology partner who shares your vision to create an incredible mobile experience.