Webinar: How to choose your outsourcing partner for building mobile apps?
Mobile apps have become ubiquitous and are continuing their successful adoption among enterprises and consumers at an astounding pace. Gartner states that by 2017, mobile apps would be downloaded more than 268 billion times and generate upwards of $77 billion in revenue. With mobile devices becoming a major customer engagement point, businesses have boosted their efforts in mobilizing their solutions.
The most difficult part is to find the right development team to materialize your great app idea. And this decision is not made any simpler with the remarkable increase in outsourcing providers. In the face of such diverse options, it becomes vital for you to choose the right mobile app outsourcing provider. A provider who can support and extend your capabilities to meet the needs of customers and employees while transforming your business for mobile success.
Thank you for joining us for this insightful webinar 'How to choose your outsourcing partner for building mobile apps?' on July16th 2014. John Banse , Founder Contractors Aid shared his experience on outsourcing to an offshore vendor. Attendees got to know about the various factors one should look at in selecting their outsourcing vendor for mobile app development, followed by an interactive question and answer session.
WEBINAR KEY TAKEAWAYS:
1- How mobile app outsourcing is different from software outsourcing
2- Key factors to look for in your mobility partner
3- A customer's perspective of working with an outsource mobility partner
4- Demo of the award winning Contractors Aid app
Authentication Techniques: 1- Single Sign on and token passing have been done, 2- Biometrics is coming up ( we have not worked on it yet)
======= Data Security Cover Information Security has always been one of the top concerns for organizations. Mobility adds new twists to this with factors like endpoint ownership, not one common and prevailing operating system, short device life cycle
Secured Integration with backend systems Much of the value derived from business applications is associated with the ability to access data and transactions on the go, in a secure and simple way. To facilitate this, companies allow direct access from mobile devices to back-end and cloud-based systems; many times exposing sensitive information to easily hacked and unprotected devices.
Good UX is what separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones and enables startups to take on competition/big brands by creating more compelling apps. Screen 1 Let us look at a fitness tracking app we developed for a startup. After analyzing the end user characteristics and their behavior, we implemented a dashboard displaying the key metrics in a visually appealing manner. Screen 2 Also the app is made responsive to provide the optimized user experience amidst various screen sizes. Screen 3/screen 4 One should utilize the limited screen size in optimal manner arranging the functionality and content into a logical structure to help users find information and complete tasks. The layout should be designed in a way that end user is not overwhelmed by the information shown on screen but appreciates the neatness and clear segmentation of various sections. Screen 5 Keep it simple: This has to do with tools and features that enable users to complete tasks and achieve their goals. Have a look at the screen here, it is a very simple layout with clear messaging thus nullifying the learning curve. Screen 6 Mobile users tend to be time-poor and utilize apps to accomplish specific tasks. Every screen/ function of your app should be geared towards helping them to identify and complete their task. As we see here, the flow is logical, user reviews a product, and once he finalizes a product, his next move would be to either visit the store or call them, your application should be integrated with backend systems to provide user in this particular case directions to the store based on his current location and the ability to call the store based on the number provided by the app.
Mature processes, accelerators and project management techniques (including communication workflows, governance models) translate into improved efficiencies and greater transparency
Agile development methodology (Sprint approach- the customer can see the iterative dev. of the app in real –time and share his feedback/suggestions) enables you to witness your app development cycle in real-time and contribute/ take decisions with the partner
Bug tracking - Usage of modern tools like JIRA, Bugzilla improves bugtracking
Codebase management 1- SVN, GIT are effective source control management systems 2- Plugins for integrating with bugtracking systems ======== A process oriented team is more likely to deliver on the initial promises ensuring good quality work in set timelines. Ask in detail about the processes your outsourced mobile app development team follows. Any oversight in this regard directly impacts the quality of the product, the bandwidth you spend, the iterations required and the timeline.
Exposure to Agile Development models In today’s fast paced business environment, organizations need to constantly adapt to changing market conditions. To stay competitive in this scenario enterprises are turning towards agile development practices, which are highly collaborative, iterative and produce rapid delivery of software. Vendors with flexible open architectural platforms that are agile enough to adapt to new, emerging and rapid changing technologies would find it easy to adapt to the changing requirements of the client and still deliver in the tight timeline.
Infusion of changes in product As most of us would agree that there are bound to be changes in the requirements as the client gets better ideas about the features and functionality of the product being developed. Imagine if you have to move mountains to negotiate time and efforts for every minor change, when dealing with your vendor.
Customized Solutions suiting your business Most businesses today especially small to medium sized organizations would need tailored solutions to meet their unique challenges. A vendor who is willing to take time and sit down, discuss the technologies available and find innovative solutions that best suit your requirements instead of just presenting a one size fits all approach, would be the most sought after.
Scaling up of Resources Clients often start small with pilot projects , but as the features and functionalities get added, or number of users get added, the resources be it human or infrastructure wise, need to be scaled. The development should be such that new features can be built upon the existing code.
Deployment flexibility and Scalability For many organizations, high expenditure of mobility solutions is one of the biggest hurdles to its adoption. The majority of enterprises are on the lookout for solutions which do not require a considerable upfront investment. There is a growing interest among IT decision makers towards SaaS based mobility solutions. The solutions which can be rapidly deployed and enable enterprises to deliver their key business applications in a cost effective manner by eliminating infrastructure investments. A mobility provider offering both cloud and on-premise deployment options for Mobility solutions with the flexibility to migrate from one deployment to the other if needs change will definitely score some brownie points.
====== Being well versed with software development life cycle for a vendor in this age is a given. What matters is what value addition the vendor can bring to the table? The client should choose and value a vendor who brings in a consultative approach instead of simply doing what has been told. A vendor who can think from the end user perspective and suggest improvements in features, functionality of the product and works as a technology partner in true sense, is the ideal choice for a long term association.
Enterprises want to go beyond simply putting applications on mobile. They would want to know how mobility will be driving business transformation and creating new opportunities for customer engagement. This level of insight requires more than just interface and technology competence, clients need help with business process consulting, change management and understanding of transformational matters specific to their industry.
Does the partner have the capability to scale with your product growth plans – be it extending to analytics, security initiatives and much more
Understanding of transformational matters specific to their industry Advising where the provider has crucial knowledge gaps, alerting the provider to changing industry regulations or other industry/market developments
Not all vendors are equal; they have a niche or a set of services in which they can be termed as experts or exhibit proficiency. As a client one should look into whether the domain expertise of the vendor is the right-fit for your requirements. Also, it helps if the vendor has prior experience in delivering solutions in your business space or vertical, for example in the recently emerged Healthcare IT domain, which is governed by a plethora of evolving rules and regulations, you would do good to choose a vendor who has delivered projects successfully in the Healthcare IT space, who can offer critical suggestions to the product from his experience and industry knowledge. -== Data Analytics based on Mobile app usage As mobile devices assume a more prominent role in customer engagements, organizations must prepare to collect and harness this data, the app should be such that this data and can be easily collected and exported to your existing business intelligence infrastructure.
One of the major worry of a client is will his data and intellectual property be safe in the hands of an outsourcing vendor
Make sure that your vendor will go by your privacy and intellectual property policies. Also check whether the vendor conducts regular security and network audits within his premises Intellectual property policies in place Willing to take up NDA Conducts regular 3rd party security and network audits Appropriate tools and processes in place to prevent leakage Whether the tools, technology and process are in place to prevent leakage of sensitive data
Webinar: How to choose your outsourcing partner for building mobile apps?