You need to be very clear that application development and maintenance costs are much different from each other. You need to come up with the right set of parameters and costing structure to build your application. Once the development phase is over, the app maintenance phase starts. Most of the businesses out there have to go through the constant struggle of keeping up with the app maintenance cost as the market and technology trends keep on changing.
Now they can save on budget while still benefiting from the application by going for some money-saving tips for application maintenance. This can be achieved by following some key steps in a holistic manner.
In general trends it is said that, An average app maintenance cost is some what likely to be around 15-20% annually of its development cost.
Things you should consider in Mobile App Maintenance Cost
Updating the app design
You may have second thoughts regarding the design elements you have in your app. You will plan this change just because the look and feel of your app is important, like any other functionality you have in there. Moreover, just like other things in the app, design trends change too. With time you will find new trends or get new ideas to work out on the design side of the application.
Another important reason to make changes in the design of the application is when a new mobile device hits the market. Today a lot of mobile devices are available in the market both for Android and iOS and here new phones come up with different screen sizes. The change in screen size can have a direct influence on how your app will be visible on the device. So whenever a new device comes in, the developers need to look into it and confirm that the app fits well in with the device.
Stay ahead with latest Android and iOS
Mobile technologies are always on the path of improvement and this means new versions of Android and iOS always come out. Each version comes with some improvements and significant changes and this leads the app owners to make updates in the app. Most of the time new OS version comes up every year. One of the common issues that you will face is that some of the features in your app will stop working as expected.
So when it is about app maintenance, it would be nice if you stay proactive. Android and iOS have the habit of releasing their latest version to developers before it can be made available to the general users. Such kind of beta release lets them know any kind of issues in the version and make changes in it quickly. So you should be ready with your development team by this time so as to start working on your app. If you fail to do so, your users will start facing issues in the app and this will lead to negative feedback.
Upgrading app Features
You need to update the app features and it is normally carried out along with the design update. It is very important to maintain the user experience of the app at all costs. By releasing the beta version of the app, it is possible to get some honest feedback about what the users like and what not on the app. Based on the feedback, the developers should go ahead and make changes, and this is important as at the end of the day, the app only matters if the audience likes it. It is they who are going to bring in the profit for the app.
To know what people enjoy doing on your app, you can make use of app analytics. The majority of the features within the app remain untouched by the users and they only use a small portion of it regularly. When you look into the analytics, you will be able to understand what you should keep in there and what can be removed. This means we are talking about the second version of the app where you will be adding, removing or changing some features.
When making changes in the app, you need to be careful as your app may suffer if you bring in many drastic changes. You should plan each change in a progressive manner as it will be easy for the app users to understand and take in. When you are working with the features, it is important to keep in mind that the change should be done based on the preference of the target audience and it should not be done just for your satisfaction or for your few friends.
You should also discuss the software libraries with your developers. In case your app is using some of them, then it has to be maintained by the developers and they should have an idea about how to do it. This is very important when you are carrying out the app maintenance plan to keep your app running properly.
Functional services (3rd Party Integration, Push Notifications, etc.)
Functional services such as 3rd Party Integration, Push Notifications, and others are integral parts of your app as they successfully implement and functionalities and features. When you get an app created, the developer may help you with certain functionalities but they will be effective only after you subscribe to service.
Push Notification helps in increasing users’ engagement and connects them to your businesses. You need to subscribe to this service to enable the push notification.
Social and Chat:
Remain connected to users are essential for today’s business, at least for customer-centric businesses. You require to subscribe one-to-one chat, group chat and bot integration by the certain service providers for social interaction.
SMS and Email:
You would want to send personal or group messages or email containing offers and deals to your users, subscribing third-party service providers such as Twilio for SMS and Mailgun or Sendgrid for email will help.
Infrastructure services (servers, CDN, etc.)
Infrastructure services stand for how things such as app hosting, data storage, and data delivery take place. These are the things that require redundancies and balancers such as servers, CDN, data storage, etc. to keep data backed up, safe and protected. These are expensive and require maintenance, but save million, on the other side.
IT support services (updates to your app, bug fixes, etc.)
Once the app is developed, it does not mean you don’t have to spend over it again. Yes, you will have to. The technologies your app is based on coming up with frequent updates, bug fixes, services patches, etc. You also need to keep updating your app along with the releases. It requires maintenance and you may have to spend some handsome bucks. However, some development companies provide free services for a certain period of time.
Why Mobile App Maintenance is Necessary?
Offer better user experience
Making the people use your app is not enough; you need to make sure that they love it.
Your app’s success and your business growth clearly depend on the efforts you put in to build a long-lasting relationship with the app users. This can be achieved when you will offer your users with an amazing user experience which they will never forget.
You need to monitor the app over a period of time and get some insights to know the user’s experience. When you keep track of market trends and customer feedback, it will help you keep yourself updated to match the changing preferences, habits, and problems of users.
It will become possible for you to deliver better user experiences when you keep on constantly updating your app. Such a step will help you build a stronger relationship with your customers and that will, in turn, lead to building deeper trust and loyalty.
If the app crashes frequently and it comes with some of the best irritating bugs out there, then it will not even take the time to snap your fingers before the users tap on uninstall!
In the same manner, if your app is no more useful to the users or in other words, it does not add any value to them then they will soon stop using your app as they will have no reason to keep using it. They will soon uninstall your app from their device.
If you want to see your app on the device of the users for a long time, then you should work towards resolving any issues that come up in the app. As a business, your active app users are your most important assets and so all your efforts should be focused on retaining them.
You will be able to decrease the rate of uninstalls and boost retention rate by ensuring your app works smoothly; it remains up-to-date with the latest technology trends and keeps the users satisfied.
Stay ahead in the competition
The market has millions of apps that are competing among each other to get on the phone of smartphone users. The users, on the other hand, have no time to have all of them on their phones.
It is important to constantly update the app if you want to be ahead in the competition and stand out from the crowd. It is a fact that once the users will feel that you are not putting in the effort to improve or update your app, they will start looking for better options out there. Now this will seem to be a good thing for your competitors, which will leave you behind. It is only possible for you to stay ahead in the competition if you keep on maintaining your app regularly.
Maintain your brand image highly
When you maintain your app, you will be managing your brand too. In case you fail to do it, you will end up spoiling the image of your brand. Remember that it won’t take long for the unhappy users to start leaving your app or even end up giving a negative review on social media.
Get financial benefits in the long run
If the app is maintained on a regular basis, then it can benefit the business financially by decreasing the costs and increasing the ROI. The development team can’t come up with a high-performing and bug-free app at the first go. Once your app goes live, you will be able to find some bugs occasionally. Over an extended period, you will have to work on keeping these bugs under control and this will add up the costs.
In case you don’t do it, you will end up facing a critical technical issue in the long run which will cost you more than what it would have taken to fix a small bug earlier.
You can also keep on monitoring your app regarding how people are using your app and this will also help you save app development cost in the long run. For example, every app has some features which a user never use. You can simply eliminate them to make your app more engaging and bug-free.
In fact, an off-quoted Standish Group report found that 45% of typical application features (both web and mobile) are never used and another 19% are rarely used.
When you keep on updating your app regularly, you will be able to keep it fresh, which will help you have better ROI over time. Moreover, keeping regular touch with the app will help you acquire new customers over time and even look for new ways to cut down the app maintenance cost. By introducing new features in your app and monitoring the way people use your app, you will be able to boost existing user engagement and increase conversions.
App Maintenance Best Practices to Follow
- Maintain an updated user interface
- Regularly fix the bugs
- Add in new feature updates
- Ensure the app supports new software and hardware
- Arrange scheduled system maintenance
- Keep an eye on licenses
- Monitor performance
How to Reduce your App Maintenance Cost?
Go for end-user development
If you are planning to introduce everything in your app, right at the initial phase, then it is possible that you are to spend some huge sum of money, even after its release. When you deploy your app, You will be bombarded with lots of feedback which will have both positive and negative.
Ultimately, you need to buy the suggestion given by the end-users. What if they don’t like the core features you have introduced? You need to revamp your app again, which will rob out your bank balance. The smartest way to control the maintenance is to start with small and simple app release. Release lite version and let users decide what they like and what they don’t. Keep improving based on the end-user feedback. No matter how heavy the app is, maintenance will occur, so why not start with small and simple? It will cost you less, save your time and will help you make your app grand success.
Do your research
Once the application gets published, the company starts spending most of its money on the improvements. Now, this adds up the whole expense of the complete business budget. Hence, before starting app development, you need to research for essential things required in your app.
Choose the right platform
Building an application is very crucial for your project, and so you need to be sure which platform you are choosing for the purpose of development. You may have to pay more if you are developing a native application, but if you look at the benefits it brings in, developing a native app can help you run it across platforms with ease. This will help you save money in the long run. Make sure, you will need to find a professional mobile application developer for the job.
Experience of developer counts
To reduce the app maintenance cost you need to find the developers with great experience and quality of service. If you go for cheap developers for your project only focusing on initial low cost, you will end up spending more on the project down the line. On the other hand, if you go for quality service for your app, you will need to have enough money in your hand upfront. Hence, it is recommended that you come in terms of the kind of budget you are ready to spend and find the developers with needed experience. You need to be sure that you do not choose an overly experienced developer for your individual needs.
Having a business app is the need of the hour. If building the app is the first step, then maintaining it is the second. This means it is equally essential that you have a budget set for app maintenance over a period of time. No doubt it can increase the expense and you can control it to a large extent by following some smart tips for sure.