Why Developing a Mobile App Doesn’t Have to Mean Breaking the Bank

How much does it cost to make a mobile app? We hear this question a lot. People tend to fall into two groups when you ask them what they think.

The first group of people think building a mobile app must be pretty inexpensive. When they think of a mobile app, they don’t think beyond the little icon on their phones. They usually haven’t considered the amount of development that is required to create an app like Uber, for example–which is pulling information from a variety of sources and systems, integrating it all and for example showing the location of a driver as they approach a user’s location. They are not knowledgeable enough to consider the heavy lifting required to develop something that involves not only the processing power of the phone in their hands but also various different servers or the number of workflows required to complete seemingly simple activities of many apps they use.

The second group of people think the opposite about mobile app development. They automatically assume that having a mobile app developed for their organization is out of their budget. They think it’s impossible to have a mobile app developed without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars. They assume that apps fall within this unreachable range.

So what is true? Is developing a mobile app expensive or not?
The answer is, it depends.

There are a few scenarios or specific needs that would warrant a mobile app so complex that it may come with a hefty price tag (we’ll go through those scenarios below). There are also a few things that could lead to a final cost that is higher than you initially expect (we’ll also cover those). Ultimately, though, a mobile app doesn’t need to cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When should you expect to invest a lot of money for a mobile app?

While it’s difficult to answer this question without knowing the specific details about a required mobile app, there are certain instances where it’s likely that a fully customized app will be necessary and a high price tag can be expected:

  • The first is an app that has a lot of unique features or a very specific goal that can’t be met using a mobile app platform or a system like Info Grove.
  • The second is an app that needs to integrate seamlessly with an internal or multiple internal systems. For example, we recently had a transit company that was looking to build an app that would connect to multiple proprietary internal systems. A platform would likely not seamlessly connect to the number of systems required to build an app that functions the way this client would want it to. In a case like this, a fully customize app is probably the better approach.

When Can an Inexpensive Mobile App Become Expensive?

There are also some instances where an inexpensive mobile app build can become more expensive than planned. These include:

  • Scope creep, poor planning and unrealistic expectations. It’s important to have a clear plan and expectations for the functionality of a mobile app and not continuously add to the initial idea once the project has begun. This can lead to scope creep and then additional costs.
  • Lack of development methodology. The process used for developing a mobile app has an impact on its cost. For example, a developer can use a cross-platform toolkit that allows them to develop one app that can be launched on both platforms iOS and Android. This is more cost effective than having to develop an app for each platform but also has to be considered against the requirements.

Dispelling the Myth of Expensive Mobile App Development

In many cases, building a mobile app can actually be completely affordable. Info Grove, our mobile application management platform, was developed specifically to help companies, municipalities and organizations who would benefit from a mobile app, but don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to have one developed.

The main components of Info Grove’s cloud-based platform are the native mobile applications and a web-accessible content management system (CMS). The mobile apps are developed using native technology and branded to the customer’s specifications, with the content pulled from the CMS. After we help you launch your app, you’re then able to log in to your portal and modify, add, and remove content using any of the available features and modules within the CMS at no additional cost.

From day one, Info Grove was designed as a platform to make mobile app development possible for many organizations who wouldn’t otherwise be able to take advantage of the benefits of a mobile app.

Simple to Use and Full of Possibilities

Since Info Grove is a platform his means the features you can include in your app are limited to an existing framework.

But we find that in many cases, the clients we work with actually end up finding features or modules available as part of Info Grove that they had not initially considered and are then able to use for their own app.

Info Grove is a simple platform to use, but it’s far from basic. Thanks to its modular design, Info Grove allows you to build an app with dozens of functions and link them together giving more information to your users, all in one app.

More Value and Less Sacrifice

If you’ve been exploring building a fully custom app, you may have already started to wonder if you’ll need to sacrifice certain expectations to stay within budget. For example, maybe in order to get the functionality you were hoping for, it’s looking like you may need to sacrifice on design.

With a platform like Info Grove, the money you spend can go a long way in terms of mobile app development. You have the advantage of a full suite of modules to choose from and the options are always growing as we develop new modules and features based on client feedback.

How Do I Know What Kind of Mobile App Development is For My Organization?

Sometimes we describe the process of developing a mobile app as buying a suit. You have a few options–you can have an entirely custom suit made to fit you exactly and include every design and feature you hoped for. Or, you can buy a suit you like from the rack and have it tailored so it fits you really well. Or, maybe you’re able to find a suit from the rack that actually works for your needs and you don’t need to alter it at all. You can look and feel great in all of these suits, it really depends on what you’re looking for, what your expectations are and what your budget is.

There are many ways to develop a mobile app. When deciding on an approach, it really depends on what your needs are. If you’re considering having a mobile app developed, but aren’t sure if you need something fully custom or if a platform like Info Grove could work for you, the best thing to do is book a consultation.

During our free initial consultation, we can dig deep into what your needs are to get a solid understanding of what kind of mobile app might best serve you. We’ll help you figure out how to achieve your needs in a way that best suits your budget.

Karim Mansour is an Inside Sales Representative at 14 Oranges, the creators of the Info Grove platform.

Developing a Mobile App Is Within Your Budget