Clients      Employees

Research: Outsourcing of Mobile App Development Is on the Rise


In a perfect world, organizations would be able manage the development of mobile applications in-house. However, very few organizations have the in-house expertise, technology, budget and workflow maturity to keep up with the rapidly growing demand for mobile apps. Because mobile app development is a relatively new competency, the skills gap is widening. Talented developers with mobile skills are in high demand and, as a result, tend to command high salaries.


According to two separate studies, the lack of in-house resources and available talent is causing more organizations to outsource mobile app development. A recent survey by 451 Research and Kony Inc. found that 42 percent of mobile app development is being outsourced. That number is expected to jump to 65 percent in just two years. The types of mobile software that are in high demand are customer relationship management apps, customer engagement apps, and employee productivity apps.


A new Gartner study found that 55 percent of organizations are using both internal and external resources for mobile app development, while only 26 percent handle all development in-house. In fact, Gartner expects demand for enterprise mobile apps to grow five times faster than an organization’s ability to develop them in-house by the end of 2017.


In addition to limited in-house resources, unrefined processes, and the scarcity and high cost of talented mobile developers, there are a number of reasons to outsource mobile app development. The work doesn’t end when mobile apps are released. Apps require ongoing maintenance, bug fixes, and tweaks to functionality and design to ensure that they deliver the best possible user experience and meet business goals. This requires significant time and resources. If your developer leaves after the app is deployed and there’s nobody on your team to pick up the ball, you could be in trouble.


Even if you have a talented developer on staff, an outside development firm is likely to have multiple people with those skills and a higher level of expertise. As a result, the outside firm is more likely to be able to predict and proactively address potential problems. Also, there’s a good chance that an outside developer has already developed a similar solution that meets your business requirements. Both of these factors lead to faster deployments and less risk. Successful mobile app development requires an experienced team, not an individual.


Of course, outsourcing mobile app development doesn’t absolve your organization of all responsibilities in the development process. You need to clearly communicate your business processes and requirements to the developer. Increased complexity translates to increased costs, so start with your most pressing needs and add features from there. Monitor the progress of your mobile app’s development to ensure contractual terms and timelines are met and the app meets your requirements. A well-designed, perfectly functioning mobile app is useless if it doesn’t do what you need it to do.


If demand for mobile apps in your organization is outpacing your ability to develop them, it’s time to consider outsourcing. Let ICG show you how our proven mobile app development processes can help you improve employee productivity and deliver value to your customers.