This is the second article in a two-part series that will help you figure out if you need a custom app. You can find Part 1 here. If you would like to discuss your app idea, we’d love to talk to you! Click here to schedule a meeting with us.
In the previous article, we discussed three reasons (and one bonus reason) you might not need to build a custom app or hire a developer (yet). People often think they should create an app when they would be better off exploring other software solutions–or a combination of solutions–first. But there are also times when you should consider building a custom app. How can you tell when that time has come? In this article we’ll discuss three signs that you’re ready to create an app.
Reason #1: Existing Solutions Don’t Meet Your Needs
Our previous article suggested that it’s often possible to find an existing solution that does what you need software to do. You might find an app that’s “close enough,” or you might be able to use a mashup solution.
In short, if you think there should be an app for something, you might be right–but someone else might already have thought the same thing and built one, and you might be better off using what already exists…at least for a while.
We also suggested that you might need to do some work to prove your concept really is worth implementing before you decide to build a custom app. Brainstorming, research, and early examples are a good place to start. But if you do prove your concept and it turns out there really isn’t a viable option out there, it might be time for you to create something new.
Your situation might call for a custom app because of laws or business restrictions (like data privacy or accessibility) you need to follow in your industry. You might want to monetize your idea but not give a cut of your profit to another company, as Epic Games famously did when they introduced alternate payment options within the massively popular game Fortnite. Finally, your audience might have a unique need, such as the availability of an existing type of app in a specific spoken or written language. Any of these could be a reason to create a custom app.
Alternatively, you may be able to use a mashup solution, but the financial and opportunity cost of piecing together existing software solutions to do what you need to do may not be worth it. At the same time, the potential benefits of having a developer build a custom app may fully justify the cost it takes to build it.
Reason #2: You’ve Outgrown Existing and Mashup Solutions
If you’ve been using an existing software solution or a combination of apps to meet your needs, the time may come when those solutions no longer work. You’ll be able to tell that time has come for several reasons.
- Some software solutions are free to use, but many require licenses that need to be renewed monthly or annually. Depending on the software, the size of your organization, and your budget, you may no longer want or be able to pay the cost of maintaining licenses.
- Every existing software is limited by what it can do. If you need an app to do something the software you are using can’t do, then you may be making sacrifices to functionality and usability that are no longer worth it.
- You might be ready for further customization that requires you to build something new rather than working with an existing app. Whether it’s a design element, a specific function, or a different user experience, as your service or organization evolves, your software needs are sure to change with them. If the existing app(s) you’ve been using don’t meet those needs anymore, then it’s probably time to talk with a developer about building a custom app.
Reason #3: You Just Want To Build a Custom App
This last reason should really go without saying, but given what we’ve said so far, it may not be obvious: If you just want to build an app, you can!
There are plenty of perfectly good reasons you might want to build an app (or hire a developer or software company to build one).
- You might want the experience of building a custom app, whether on your own or with the help of a developer. Maybe you are a developer who wants to expand your skills. Maybe you aspire to create a company or a service you’re pretty sure will need an app, and you’d like to try out building one now in a different context.
- If you use an app and think to yourself, “There should be a better version of this,” you may be the best person to create that version! Competition can be a great motivator, and it can lead not only to great new products, but also improvements on existing ones.
- Building a custom app gives you control over making changes and updates without having to wait for someone else. If you work with a developer, you are working with a team who is putting your needs and ideas first.
- There is a big benefit to owning real estate on people’s home screens in the form of an app icon: They are more likely to remember and engage with your brand, company, or service if there’s an associated app they see every time they unlock their phones.
Bonus Reason: You Think Building a Custom App Sounds Fun
Here’s one last totally non-pragmatic but still important reason to build an app: You think it would be fun!
The Bottom Line
If you have the time and resources to build an app and you think you would enjoy the process, the problem solving, and the payoff of seeing your app idea come to life, then you should go for it! And if you would like help thinking about what it would take to get your idea off the ground, an initial conversation with a member of an experienced development team would be an excellent first step.
Wherever you are in your app development journey, we would love to talk with you and help you get started! Contact us today to schedule a time to talk about our services, your ideas, or the app development process.
Novvia is a software development company that provides personalized solutions to meet our clients’ diverse needs. If you are considering a custom app or curious about our services, we’d love to talk to you! We are available to discuss your idea, share more about what we do, and help you figure out how to achieve your goals. Click here to schedule a time to talk with a member of our team.