Harlow Technologies Blog
What is Custom Application Development?
In today’s world, we customize everything from our UberEats orders to our annual vacation experiences. We expect technology (and the world around us) to meet our needs in a precise, orderly fashion – and most of the time, that’s the case.
So why don’t we expect the same from our business applications?
There are many applications out there for business productivity – but unless you’ve developed an app specifically tailored to your needs, industry, and expectations, you’re likely missing out on the chance to maximize your team’s potential. One size does not fit all when it comes to your company’s success.
Let’s not mince words here: custom application development is the key to stronger, more effective workflows in businesses of all kinds. If there’s an opportunity to streamline the way your team functions, why not take it and run with it?
But we know that’s diving into this heavy topic a little quickly. Let’s backtrack for a second and explain exactly what custom application development is and why it’s so important to businesses of all sizes, across all industries.
Understanding Custom Applications
In the most rudimentary, straightforward sense, custom application development is exactly what it sounds like. A business has a need, so it hires a team of developers to craft a personalized, unique application to meet that specific request.
Whether you know it or not, you’ve already seen hundreds (maybe thousands) of custom applications in use. Hospitals, schools, streaming platforms, social media companies, tourism businesses – they all use highly customized applications to get work done and better engage with their users.
Although some custom applications are created in-house, most often, they are designed and crafted by a third-party developer. You can find a wide variety of available developers to help you. From solo freelancers to large developer teams, there’s a whole network of professionals waiting to help you create the perfect app for your business.
In short, custom application development is the ideation, creation, and implementation of an application specifically designed for you.
But why does your team really need a custom app rather than something popular and standardized?
The Benefits of Custom Application Development
We don’t expect you to just take our word at face value. We know custom applications are invaluable to companies like yours, but we also want to show you exactly why. Let’s talk about some of the top benefits brands experience when they pay for custom application development.
This is arguably the most important (and obvious) benefit of creating a custom application: it will be tailor-made to suit your business and its unique needs.
There are many, many applications out there that can help your company do business, but how many of them are crafted to meet your exact requirements and goals? How different would your workflows be if you had an app that was specifically designed around your workflows, brand motto, and team requests?
Big data breaches are becoming an increasingly common threat in today’s world. In the first half of 2020 alone, more than 36 billion records were exposed in serious breaches. It seems like every day, we hear about some big company dealing with hackers, phishing schemes, or other damaging attacks.
By creating your own custom application, you put your team’s security in your own hands. You can better protect your files and data based on your industry’s specific needs and threats. Whether you run a filmmaking company or a medical center, you should know exactly how your applications are protected from risks.
How much time and money does your team waste on a daily basis? Has that number gone up since COVID-19 forced many companies to work remotely on a fairly quick timeline?
Custom mobile application development isn’t just about ensuring your business’s needs are met – it’s about making sure your business can function all day, every day, from anywhere in the world. Think about how your team’s productivity could skyrocket if you had an app specifically tailored to meet your workers’ needs wherever they are.
Sure – you’re using Skype, Teamwork, Basecamp, and a slew of other apps to stay connected… but what if you didn’t have to? What if you could centralize all of your team’s needs and software usage in one place with customized solutions?
We might not know your company personally, but we’d make a strong bet that custom mobile app development services could make average workdays significantly more productive.
Flexibility and Scalability
When your business grows, so do its needs. You might be making do with a standardized application right now, but what happens when your client base doubles? Triples?
Developing a custom application ensures your business has exactly what it needs to onboard more customers and employees as needed. Not only will the application meet your specific daily requirements, but it will also expand to meet more needs over the course of your company’s lifetime.
If you’re thinking, “But I don’t have the funds to create my own business application,” hold your horses.
The cost of custom-made applications can vary from developer to developer, but in general, you’d be surprised by how cost-effective these solutions typically are. Think about it this way: you shell out the money upfront to get exactly what you want, but then you’re done.
No more yearly subscriptions. No fees for adding another user. No groans or headaches when you realize that the third-party application you’ve been using just jacked up its prices unexpectedly.
Before you assume you can’t afford desktop or mobile app development, talk to an IT services company that specializes in application development. Compare what you’d spend on a custom application versus what you’ll pay to use standardized applications for the foreseeable future.
Lastly, let’s talk about reliability when it comes to custom versus commercial applications.
When you design a custom application for your business, you’re not jumping through hoops to talk to someone in another country dealing with thousands of clients every week. Instead, when you need maintenance or support for your app, you can talk directly to the developer.
You can rely on your personalized application (and its developer) when you need to make upgrades, tweak elements, and protect your data. Here’s an analogy we like to use: do you trust food more when it’s made by a personal chef right in front of you, or when it’s mass-produced in some kitchen out of sight?
As you can see, the benefits of custom application development are numerous and significant. We’ve barely scratched the surface, and yet you’ve likely already learned of a few ways that a custom app could transform the way your company works, saves, and protects itself.
But we’re betting you still have some questions. Let’s tackle a few of the top ones below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Custom Application Development
1. How much does custom application development cost?
This is the big one. Everyone wants to know what they’ll pay for personalized, powerful applications. In truth, the answer varies – a lot. We’ve seen companies pay as little as $1,000 for an app and as much as $100K. It all depends on your needs, requests, and developer.
To get a better idea of how much your application would cost, you’ll need to speak to a professional developer. Schedule a free consultation (or a few) to get a firm idea of what kind of budget you’ll need to begin.
2. How do I know what kind of custom app I need?
If you’re not sure what kind of app you need or what it needs to do, we recommend beginning your journey by speaking with an IT services company. Allow them to fully evaluate your workflows, strategies, weaknesses, and possibilities, then make recommendations for custom app development.
3. How long does it take to design a custom application?
We hate to say it again, but the answer varies depending on your needs, budget, and expectation. Typically, a relatively straightforward application takes at least eight weeks to design, build, and test. More complicated apps could take as long as four months.
4. Who will support/maintain my custom application?
The developer of your custom application will also provide updates, support, maintenance, and other services to keep your application running smoothly. Before signing any contract with a developer, ask them about their continuous services and what they’ll be responsible for post-development.
5. Who will own the application: me or the developer?
You will own the rights to your custom application. The developer might create the app, but after it’s been developed, your brand will inherit all of the product rights.
6. Can I have an app developed for any platform?
Yes. Mobile app development applies to any platform you can think of – iOS (Apple), Android, Windows Mobile, etc.
7. Can I update my custom application as needed?
Yes – that’s one of the big benefits that comes with creating your own mobile application. When your business grows in size or necessity,
Custom application development has been a powerful business solution for decades – but now, it’s more important than ever. As your team adopts more remote, flexible work situations, you’ll need to ensure you have the right software and tools to keep everyone safe and productive.
Want to know how custom application development services could benefit your Pasadena business? Let’s find out together. Contact Harlow Technologies at 626-320-1000 or send us a message online.