How brands should update mobile apps to support a better user experience

By Jonathan Crowl

The work of having a branded mobile app doesn’t stop when the app is released. In fact, the opposite happens. By the time you’ve released an app to the public, you’ve only completed a small fraction of the work that app will ultimately require. Companies will be constantly required to update mobile apps while performing other upgrades and maintenance needed to keep them effective and useful to their active users.

This responsibility is nothing to sniff at, and this continued workload is something companies need to budget for. They will need the right employees, a viable monetary budget and a commitment of other in-house resources to maintain the app over time.

Mobile app creation is clearly an act of commitment on the part of enterprises, which makes it crucial to build a long-term strategy for handling this continual process. Here are some ways to make sure your company is well-positioned to handle what’s ahead:

Understanding the costs

Mobility is vital, but it doesn’t come cheap. According to research from United Communications Insight, enterprise brands in 2016 reported an average annual mobility budget between USD 250,000 and USD 500,000. Yet more than one-quarter of enterprise companies had mobility budgets in excess of USD 1.5 million.

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However, development costs are just the start of it. In fact, when it comes to estimating the continuing costs of mobile app maintenance and updating, experts like to recommend a general rule: For the first two years after the app has been released, estimate your maintenance costs by multiplying the development costs by three. That will give you a good general target in terms of what kind of costs you can expect.

Many enterprise companies budget thousands per month to handle these costs, with very few organizations claiming budgets as low as USD 3,000. Those costs may seem extreme, but they make more sense when you realize the average enterprise app is updated twice per year.

Supporting continuous delivery

One way enterprises can support more efficient mobile app development practices is by investing in tools and software that make it easier to maintain and update mobile apps. As InfoWorld pointed out, low-code and no-code app builders are a great tool for developers asked to constantly upgrade mobile solutions. By decreasing the amount of coding required, update cycles are accelerated and new versions of an app can be churned out faster than ever.

Having a stable, feasible budget for app updating is also helpful and will alleviate a lot of stress on your development team. Developers should be directed to build mobile apps with as much flexibility, scalability and integration potential as possible. Have a long-term plan in place and build the app to easily grow as the company’s goals and needs change in the future.

When it comes to problems that undercut the success of a published mobile app, budget concerns are the most common culprit. Enterprise brands should address this straightaway and make sure they have a plan to provide developers with enough resources to do their jobs well.

Image source: iStock