In this 21st century, the trend of smartphones and tablets has become so popular that almost every business is considering to have an app for themselves in order to reach potential as well as current customers. While executives are happy to create the budget for development of an app and its launch, they should also consider the long-term cost of their app.
Developers are well aware of the fact that app development is much more than just turning it on and enjoying it. As we would never buy a home without considering investments in maintenance jobs such as cleaning, painting, and so on. The same is applicable to apps too. As a business, you may expect that your app contains latest features, but you have to figure out whether the app is maintainable over the long term, or not?
Developers should be ready to make a lot of updates, fixes, and improvements in the app. Experienced and skilled developers help their clients make mobile app maintenance and enhancement services plan. Most of them mention the maintenance charges in their contracts, in the beginning itself. The industry standard for app maintenance is around 15-20% of the development cost. That may sound a lot of expense for those companies who are not completely ready to dive into the app development and maintenance process.
Many companies plan to create a perfect app from the start and overspend on initial costs. They add a lot of features, thinking it would help to quickly achieve success, but that’s not how app development works. In fact, it was found in a research that almost 45% of typical app features are never used by customers and another 19% features are rarely used.
These stats imply that irrespective of the number of features have been added to the app, customers will give their feedback positive as well as negative, right after the app release. Users are one of the most important deciding factors of your app’s success. Hence smart developers take action as per the feedbacks.
Developers start with small, simple app and release it to the app stores. They continuously work on the app and adapt it on the basis of their targeted audience feedback and preference. It is also known as end-user development.
It is necessary to make small changes in your app regularly, it helps to keep your investment down. You should release an app and then add small patches, improvements, and upgrades in the next few months. The addition of these features and lighter tweaks are less costly and take less time in comparison to completely eliminate or redo a feature that has gone wrong.
These changes should be planned before releasing the app. By scheduling monthly improvements and upgrades, you can easily address basic problems before adding any extra feature that may increase complexities. Then you can prioritize the enhancements and bug fixes.
One of the perfect examples who has adopted this practice is the video game industry. It also has a downloadable content model. With proper add-ons planning, you can easily assess your customer feedback, before and during the apps life duration. That feedbacks enables you to decide which issues you should address first and helps you to understand users preferences.
In-app maintenance costs, another key factor is the platform you prefer to develop with. If you want to develop the native app for each platform, Android, iPhone, or Blackberry, then you should get prepared for high maintenance budget. The reason behind this is to fix, enhance, or update your native app, you have to work on an individual platform. So in case, you are developing the app for Android and iPhone both, you are doing double the work. Every time you need to release an update in a respective app stores.
In order to address this issue, many developers prefer web apps. They use the continually updated and feature-rich HTML5 web standard. Web apps allow businesses to develop one application that can be easily accessed by all devices irrespective of their platform. Hence, HTML5 is considered as an efficient way to create an app, both for maintenance costs and initial costs after release.
Maintenance of your app is as important as launching it, slightly more than that. To develop user loyalty, proper bug fixes, improvements, and upgrades are the must. Generally, users appreciate the mobile app maintenance and enhancement services, even it is minor. In order to keep maintenance cost down and customers happy, you should build a maintenance plan early and prioritize your updates afterward.