Most businesses believe that app development is simply about getting the app launched. When in reality app maintenance is what they should be focusing...
Most businesses believe that app development is simply about getting the app launched. When in reality app maintenance is what they should be focusing on, especially when calculating the cost.
Anything of value must be maintained, be it a new car, a home or even a mobile app. Just like how maintaining a car and home require constant cleaning and upgrades, maintaining an app also entails some work. That means updates, improvements and fixes, believe it or not this accounts for a majority of what an app costs.
The Average Cost of Maintenance
Software maintenance usually takes up about 15% – 20% of the original development costs. So, if your app cost $50,000 then maintenance costs would end up being around $7,500 – $10,000 a year. Hence, why the right maintenance services are so important.
A maintenance plan will help maintain app security, data storage, functionality, user experience and flow. Also, whenever new software features come up, such features can be embedded into the application. The maintenance plan covers issues pertaining to bugs, if any and saves you money because you only pay the development team for taking care of bug related issues.
That may sound expensive and for some unprepared companies, it is expensive. However, the biggest mistake company’s make is trying to develop the perfect app from the beginning. That’s actually a waste of time and money. Instead, focus on the essential and then upgrade, if necessary, as time goes by.
Here are some of the essential features to focus on in a maintenance plan.
Security updates are an imperative portion of a maintenance plan and should always be included. This entails bug fixes in order to keep your app secure so your data isn’t compromised as well as updating certain parts as changes to software come out.
The benefit of having security updates is you don’t have to worry about any of these issues because your maintenance plan would cover it. It saves you the time and money of having to keep up with new updates. So make sure to include this in your quote.
New Development Features
It’s very important to focus on the features of your application, especially when new software comes out with improved designs and functionalities. Most likely your customers will have access to software upgrades so you have to consider integrating such software into your app with the help of your development team.
If your app is part of your company’s workflow or plays a key part in your marketing strategy, you will want to keep updating and adding to it. This means continuing to evaluate your design, features and other add-ons like integrations as they become available.
However, remember to maintain one code base for a single platform and separate code pieces when customizing an IOS or Android app. It all depends on how much customization is required for each single platform.
For instance, when your application contains few custom elements, it will be easier to navigate and find out what is required. But as you add more custom elements, things will become more difficult. So, you need to find easier options for flexibility and customization.
Cross – Platform Maintenance
Cross-platform mobile apps refer to apps that can be used on multiple mobile platforms. Within the coming years, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work will become the norm. This means employees will bring their own mobile device to work in order to replace traditional desktop computers or company provided mobile devices.
Due to this trend businesses now have to worry about developing corporate mobile apps that can operate on various networks and operating systems. Businesses can either develop the app on a native platform (iOS, Android, Windows) or develop the app in a singular environment that can then be sent to different native platforms. This can lower costs and speed up development, but not without a couple of downfalls. The biggest downfall being maintenance.
Since mobile operating systems update frequently, when you choose to update or fix your native app, you’ll have to do that for every platform. Also, every time there’s an upgrade you’ll also have to get the approval of each app store which can slow things down for you & your users.
The most common way to fix this maintenance problem is to use feature-rich and continually updated HTLM5 Web applications. A single web app can be accessed by all devices through a browser and offers more functionality. Hence why HTML5 is a great way to save your business maintenance costs.
If you choose to go with a single platform app then you will cut down on maintenance time.
However, the time spent really falls on requirements and the level of customization you want for your app. Either way make sure you know what kind of maintenance your plan offers. Single platform, cross platform, web app maintenance and so on.
Build Your Maintenance Plan
By having a maintenance plan for bug fixes, upgrades and improvements from the beginning you can lower maintenance costs down the road. In addition to making your business and customers satisfied with a healthy ROI and an enhanced user experience.
The better the investment, the better the reward. So, don’t hesitate to invest on a well-rounded maintenance plan.