Traditional methods of developing mobile apps can be slow, frustrating and costly. No matter how creative and innovative the app ideas are, the development of a single app can cost somewhere between $50,000 to a million, and even more. Development can take from 6 months to a year or more towards completion.
Development of an app is just the iceberg’s tip. The app lifecycle consists of development, deployment, and maintenance. A lot of professionals focus only on development. Cost of the latter two phases surprises them.
Research has estimated the following ongoing costs in mobile app development, as determined by a top-notch app development company from Saskatoon:
- In the first two years of developing one, development consists of 35% of the whole cost.
- Ongoing maintenance costs for medium-size enterprise apps goes from $5,000 to $12,000 per month.
- Annual legacy costs can go up to 50% of the original costs in app development. If a business spent $500,000 on developing their app, their support and maintenance will cost up to $250,000 annually.
The key here is to understand the way apps are built and maintained. Understanding the relative cost, benefit and downfall of each option is a must.
Let us now delve into efficient methods and tools giving each business control, reduction in risks and saving considerable amount of money. This will enable them to evaluate all present options in finding the most optimal solutions possible.
Now let us have a look at details of each hidden cost in mobile app development so unnecessary costs can be curtailed significantly.
The different types of hidden costs
It is imperative that you understand the architecture that makes mobile apps before diving into understanding its most considerable hidden costs of development. It is crucial to understand what the vendors can provide and what they cannot provide.
Keep in mind that for most traditional custom app solutions, the vast part of these services must be bought and assembled separately. They are divided into the following categories:
- Functional services (SMS, Push Notifications and the like).
- Administrative services (for updates, managing users etc.).
- Infrastructure service (like servers, CDN etc.).
- IT support services (updates for apps, bug fixes, etc.).
Let’s examine these kinds of costs in brief detail, especially the roles they play in calculating costs of developing mobile apps.
1. Functional Services
They are needed for executing functions and features of apps. The developer can provide a certain functionality, it only works once the app user subscribes to a service with a delivery mechanism. They can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars per month. The number of services needed can be almost endless.
They are as under:
- Push notifications (costing $2,400 annually).
- Social and chat (costing $1,200 annually).
- SMS (costing $500 annually).
- Email (costing $1,000 annually).
2. Administrative Services
All apps need an intuitive, powerful, user-friendly and accessible app administration dashboard. For creative app development professionals, they want to be in control and avoid calling support each and every time they need to access their data or update content.
They are difficult to anticipate as they differ from one app to another. They add up and app companies incur them on an ongoing basis. The traditional app development solution does not offer any way to save such costs. If they are not included in the app management, the control over the content, users and data will be gone.
The following are the essential app dashboard features:
- Content management.
- Dashboard emulator.
- Dynamic updates.
- Event and analytics collector.
- Functional services management.
- Data segmentation.
- Access controls.
- User profiles.
3. Infrastructure Services
They include components of infrastructure like from where the app is hosted, where the data is stored and how is the data delivered. All of theme need redundancies and load balancers for backup and security servers. They add both costs and complications.
- Servers (costing $1,200 annually).
- Data Storage (costing $3,600 annually).
- CDN (costing $3,600 annually).
- Data and images data (costing $4,800 annually).
- Development tools, support and libraries (costing between $1,200 and $100,000 annually).
4. IT Support Services
These services are not the actual part of an app’s architecture, ongoing technical support is a crucial component of app development and it may account for larger costs with the passage of time. The organization’s resources should be able to address the following:
- Android and iOS updates (costing $10,000 annually).
- Submissions for app updates (costing $2,400 annually).
- APIs (costing $5,000 annually).
- Bugs (costing 10-20% of the total budget).
- Maintenance and development costs (costing 20% of the total development budget).