The Cost of Mobile App Development - part 2

How to get the best app for the best price?

At PegusApps they are very consequent when it evolves the subject of pricing of an app. Building an app is an all-round and elaborated project and when the complexity increases, you need different skillsets to build a quality app. They also believe that keeping a transparent relationship with their clients is beneficial for both parties. They achieve this by allowing their clients accessing the same internal log system they themselves use to track every project.

Building an app involves many circumstantial influences that have to be dealt with. How many platforms need to be supported, which technologies are needed to complete the project successfully? These are all important questions. Another important factor that decides the size of a project is the choice between a hybrid or a native app. Of course the thin line is fading and hybrid apps are starting to use native functionality and growing more powerful. Native apps will still guarantee the best performance because it’s a full bred application built for a specific device and using native resources from that device. Hence it’s logical they will have a greater cost than a hybrid app, also because the latter can easily be re-used for several operating systems because the user interface typically uses the browser of the mobile device to let the app run in. So it’s always an important choice to develop an app for iOS or Android or both and choosing between compatibility and/or performance. A last set of important factors will be the adaptation with external hard -or software.

Own Library to build versatile Apps

PegusApps has come up with a smart solution themselves to increase the usability of their apps. By building their own library for the business logics they can re-use this part of the app. That way they only have to build separate user interfaces for the chosen operating system. This library is being updated and extended on a daily basis. More and more parts of user interface can also be shared now between operating systems. It’s yet another example of how PegusApps can shift into a higher quality range without increasing costs by building apps just once for several operating systems.

The developers at PegusApps believe in a Time & Materials principle. The scope is always determined in cooperation with the client. Then follows a functional analysis where the project is sliced in functional parts and based on time efforts they get an estimated price per part. The business developers at PegusApps always include the User Stories free of charge because they also believe in great transparency with their clients and they really want everybody to be clear on the proposed project and want to avoid misunderstandings about any functionality.

Agile & Lean

PegusApps works according to the Agile Methodology. In sprints of 2 weeks average they hand out deliverables, most of the time in the format of a proper demo. That way the client can really follow the project at close hand and possibly correct or adjust little details when it’s still possible. Even large novelties are possible and thus the project gets a scope change where the process is re-initialized.

During the creation of such an agreement the project is also fully analyzed and co-created by an internal project leader. The proposal is then validated again by the developers themselves and finally tested by management to achieve the best and optimal solution for each project.

During the project the hours of the developers are directly and in a clear manner logged and directly being sent to the project management. Even the client has insights on what is being developed at each time. The client is mostly represented by a SPOC (Single Point of Contact) and that’s how 100% transparency and good understanding is created at PegusApps.

The opinions are very clear at PegusApps: This way of working always delivers the best apps for the best price. They believe a fixed price always will have a negative outcome for at least of the parties. Or the estimate of the project was too positive and the client actually pays too much. Or the estimation for time and resources was too little and the app needs to be finished without proper debugging or the loss of some functionalities which results in a drop of quality.

The agile methodology brings lots of flexibility but PegusApps is also a ‘lean’ organization. Because all developers work at home, the teleworking structure provides a low cost structure which also translates into a lower cost for building an app. Another advantage is the quick adaptations to any kind of obstacles that might arise during a project.

If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur.

Nearshoring & offshoring

Everybody at PegusApps lives in Belgium. They do have some skepticism towards the near -and offshore trends. The perception of ‘cheaper’ apps being built that way is a fact but it stays perception. The total cost might eventually be bigger. The cost of communication and misunderstandings might rise faster and proper testing and debugging is most of the time not included. A comparison that always stands is the one in construction. It’s common knowledge that the cost of building a house is mostly exceeded by 30% of the original estimate. Similar arguments fit the comparison. Complex projects have unforeseen circumstances, estimating little details can be difficult in advance and during the projects the features can evolve or be extended by the clients themselves.

In addition to these arguments you have cultural differences and language barriers. A good project is perfectly aligned with all parties, stakeholders and developers to avoid any misunderstandings and disagreements.

In- versus outsourcing

Also on this topic they are very clear at PegusApps: the knowledge and knowhow of developers who are fulltime busy with app development has become invaluable. Building an app has become a complicated business which requires lots of different skills. Inhouse it’s just not profitable to hire and keep a team of specialist (on all required domains and technologies).

Maintenance of an App

For the maintenance after building an app PegusApps offers a maintenance contract. Operating System updates, security, hosting are all important variables in this equation. Depending on the desired support there’s a fixed price. Of course new functionalities are also possible and therefore they start a new project.

If you want to know more on developing your own cost-saving App for your business, don't hesitate to contact us!
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