In the current business environment, an increasing number of organizations are opting to establish their own apps and store platforms as opposed to leveraging consumer-level programs. As software developed for - and sometimes by - the company itself can provide a more tailored experience, addressing needs in a more granular manner, this practice is becoming more popular among groups in the enterprise sector.
However, one of the top considerations during the development process is cost. Creating an application can include a number of necessary expenditures on the part of the business, some of which are more surface-level than others. To help administrators realize the price tag that their application project may incur, here are a few obvious and hidden costs of creating applications.
Cost depends on the type of app
BlueCloud Solutions contributor Carter Thomas pointed out that development costs can vary considerably depending upon the type of program being established and the functionalities it will offer. For example, a simple, tablet-based application can run an organization anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. This basic program will allow users access to content and certain features, but aspects like GPS-location or social media integration services are usually off the table for this price point.
A native app, which provides all the content, images, sounds and other characteristics that users are accustomed to, also leverages increased logic, usability and a specific architecture that can inflate the project's price tag. This type of program can cost an organization $8,000 to $50,000 depending on the complexity of its framework, as well as the content and data being provided.
An HTML5-based application, on the other hand, is a more attractive option for organizations operating on a tight budget, noted Content Raven contributor Joe Moriarty. Furthermore, as HTML5 provides cross-platform operability, the language is especially beneficial in enterprises that leverage bring-your-own-device practices. Often times, employees utilize mobile devices supported by a range of different operating systems. However, HTML5 can effectively address these needs.
"HTML5 can be an affordable option for those who want to create an application but don't have the time or budget to build the kind of coding that going native requires," Moriarty wrote. "And since you can build a wrapper on to your HTML 5 app, you can make it so that your apps can be downloaded natively to any smart phone."
Other costs to consider
While the type of coding, specific content and features will help determine the price point for a program development process, ZDNet contributor Joe McKendrick noted that there are other hidden costs that decision makers often forget to take under advisement. For instance, administrators must factor in developer rates, which can range from $40 to $120 each hour. These rates will differ depending on the developer's skill set, schedule and location. However, a higher cost at this juncture in the process may be worthwhile in the end.
"Offshore development rates are cheaper than U.S. hourly rates, but there is also a higher rate of client dissatisfaction," said the marketing vice president of a major property development firm. "Communication, working hours and cultural differences can be challenges which are difficult (or impossible) to overcome."