December 13, 2016 – Android App Development, iOS App Development, mobile strategy
By Colleen Nitta, Atimi Software Inc.
So, you’ve recognized that there’s a need to build a mobile app for your business, but you’re not quite sure where to start in terms of seeking a mobile app development partner. There are a large number of app development partners out there from small boutique app development agencies to large-scale corporate firms (of course we want you to choose Atimi, but even if you don’t, you should at least know what to look for so you can find the right fit for you).
Here’s our list of the top considerations you should take when shopping for a mobile app development partner:
Much like in business, the competitive landscape in the app world is ever-changing and if you’re going to stay ahead of the curve, it’s paramount that the app development partner you choose is one who can stay nimble and adapt to your business’ changing needs. If your app development partner isn’t willing to negotiate on scope of work when necessary, they may not be the right partner for you. You need them to be mindful and understanding of the fact that things change and they should be more than willing to shift scope or focus as needed. Be sure to ask your potential vendors for an example of when something changed during development and how it was dealt with. This behavioural-type question will help you assess whether or not the company handles change well.
In addition to being flexible, you should look for an app development partner who has expertise and experience in working with different budget sizes and project processes – the last thing you want is a vendor who encourages sweeping changes to a project and runs wild with your budget.
Hiring a mobile app development partner is not a task to be taken lightly. Since apps require updates and maintenance from time to time to suit end user feedback, operating system updates, and more, the relationship you have with your app development partner doesn’t end once your app is released. Because this is not a short term relationship, you need to be sure that you and your team actually like the people you’re going to be working with. Just like you would consider culture fit when hiring a new employee, you should consider culture fit when hiring a mobile app development partner. For instance, if you’re company prides itself on professionalism and accountability, you certainly wouldn’t want to work with a vendor who is opposite to that.
At Atimi, we believe in open communication and collaboration. It’s important for us to keep our clients informed with scheduled status updates so that we ensure we’re all on the same page in terms of progress and priorities. We also believe strongly in holding one another accountable. These are just a few of the ways we keep our clients happy and in the know – every step of the way.
3. Engagement Capabilities
Think about how you and your team would like to be engaged in the app building process; do you want a developer and/or engineer to be on-site with your in-house team working alongside them (insourced), or would you prefer for everything to be outsourced (completely handled outside of your office)? Ask the app development partners you’re speaking with to run you through their process. If you want to be completely collaborative and hands on during app development, you may be better off hiring an app development partner who can provide that. You wouldn’t want a vendor coming in – not knowing what your business needs are – and being too overbearing or too underwhelming in their approach to app development, so be sure to find a partner who offers custom engagement, the way that we do at Atimi. We understand that each and every client and project has unique needs. That’s why we’ll work on or off-site and inject our expertise into your in-house development team, stand them up, and get the project completed on time and on budget.
4. Proven Success
Key point: Just because they say they’re awesome doesn’t mean they are. Do your due diligence before hiring an app development partner; when you’re in a meeting with a potential vendor, ask them to provide you with examples of apps they’ve developed – you may even go so far as to download those apps to get a feel for the overall user experience they provide. If they’re good, great! If not, move on and continue your search. Additionally, ask about the developer’s professional experience. It’s important to know that whichever app development partner you choose has experience building apps across mobile platforms and devices. In addition to finding an app development partner who has experience and a strong portfolio, you should consider finding a vendor who partners with popular operating systems, such as Apple. At Atimi, we’re proud to be an Apple Mobility Partner. We’ve been a part of the AMP program since the first iPhone launched and the opening day of Apple’s App Store. Not to toot our own horn, but we’re one of a select few of Apple Mobility Partners in North America.
5. Business Savvy & Client Focused
Sometimes, IT people don’t speak the same language as the business execs, which can be challenging when deciding on app features and functionality. Because of this, it’s of utmost importance that you find a mobile app development partner who communicates effectively and understands that, at the end of the day, you’re running a business and your app needs to accomplish specific business objectives. This type of business-savvy partner will help ensure a smooth app development process for everyone involved – sans miscommunications and headaches.
At Atimi, we understand that you have important business goals and KPIs, so we keep you, your end users’ experience and your bottom line at the forefront of everything we do.
6. Quality Assurance
This is a piece that often gets left out of these types of articles, but it should be one of the key things to consider when hiring a mobile app development partner. Without proper quality assurance (QA), your app is destined to fail. As mentioned in a previous Atimi Blog post, user experience is everything. You must provide your users with a seamless, extraordinary experience if you want your app to be successful. If your app isn’t regularly and thoroughly tested, you could find your users frustrated and annoyed, giving you poor reviews in the app stores and uninstalling your app altogether – not a road you want to go down.
At Atimi, our robust QA process ensures that your app features remarkable functionality. Our proprietary scripting tools deliver complete cross-platform automated testing, substantially increasing the amount of bugs we’re able to find and remedy. We take pride in our work and do everything in our power to ensure the mobile app we develop for your business provides your users with a stunning user interface and experience.
Hopefully you will find this useful. If you have any questions or want to learn more about Atimi and how our experts can work for you, feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to chat.