A Handy Approach to Mobile Development Costs

A Handy Approach to Mobile Development Costs
January 27, 2017 Krisztian Toth

In mobilizing a business, there comes a point when the price of a certain development has to be considered. Given the highly customized nature of mobilization projects, the exact costs will depend on the details, but it’s good to know what the typical components of a developer quote are.

The main impact factor on the cost of mobile development will be the type of solution provider you choose. Software product vendors, mobile platform providers, and custom application developers all have their different methods of pricing their services. Then there is also a fourth category, with companies like SCOLVO, that offer yet another approach by combining the advantages of off-the-shelf products and individual developments.


Full house of costs for full coverage of processes

Those businesses that want full control over the outcome of the development of their mobile apps and want an end-to-end solution with full customization of a certain workflow will have to pay its price. While it may not be the most expensive solution, it is certainly the one with the most cost components to consider (not to mention the time requirements).

There will be costs associated with planning and designing the mobile software, as well as the building of features and a matching infrastructure, not to mention the administration, testing, and deployment phases that will all demand financial resources. In practice, that means the developer team will give you a calculation that will contain their hours for the various components of the project. Note that maintenance and updates go on top of that!


Separating basics and customization

With mobile platform developers, the clients can choose which components they would like to buy and which are to be assigned in-house. The clients can save time on coding the most common functions and focus on the customization of the functions and the user interface.

The provider will charge for the hours of the selected pre-configured components, based on the size of the storage needed (infrastructure), the number of users (features), push notifications, and social network integration (user engagement). They also offer scalability options.

However, there will be a need for another major bucket for the spending on in-house developers who will make the translation of a complex process happen, with full customization. These people will have to be highly trained professionals with the matching employment costs.


Saving costs by adaptation

Software product vendors, typically ERP-providers, tend to offer a mobile version of their applications. Since these systems are pricey enough, they tend to offer the complementary solution for free or included in the monthly subscription fee for a small extra. From a price structure/cost breakdown perspectives, this makes it very simple for the clients to calculate the costs of a mobile solution.

But more often than not, mobility projects are not just a simple translation of a desktop workflow that becomes accessible on mobile devices. ERP’s tend to be especially complex and if all features, or just not the right ones, are included in the mobile solution, then it becomes unusable, or will not drive major growth in productivity. The fact that it leaves almost no room for customization is a definite setback also when considering the prices.


Going for simple but flexible

A new, innovative approach to mobile app development has emerged recently, offering a solution for those who find the platform providers too expensive, the software product vendors not flexible enough, and don’t want to engage in software development from scratch. As well as the service ready-to-use customizable development provides, the pricing structure will also be quite different from the others’ mentioned above.

The final price can be calculated adding up two components. First, clients will have to pay an initial implementation fee, the amount of which depends on the required features and integrations. The second component of the price is the monthly subscription fee, for which the client gets regular software updates and new releases for the same bundle. Its amount depends on the number of users of the application, presenting different opportunities for small, medium, and enterprise-level user groups.


By carefully considering the purpose of the mobile development and selecting the most suitable development method, clients can make themselves familiar with price structures and further specify the details of the project.