App Maintenance Cost and Why It’s Incredibly Important?

With the popularity of smartphones with enhanced mobile connectivity, nearly every business, including small or large companies, is eyeing on app development to better reach potential customers. While executives are usually happy to slice out a budget for an app’s development program, many fail to incorporate the long term costs of an app as well.

Hold on! This is not yet over; you’re missing one of the important things: app maintenance cost. For example- Suppose you purchased a vehicle, after a few months you gave it for servicing, right? In the same way, mobile apps required upgrades, fixes, and other maintenance over time.

The truth is that no matter how many bells and whistles you include in the app, there will be a flood of user feedback (positive and negative) almost immediately after its official release. Since the users will ultimately determine if your app is a success, smart developers will dictate your app features.

Developers start with small, simple app releases, and adaptation based on consumer feedback. Calling end-user development, it’s a plan that makes your app more beneficial to users, but also it cuts down on both short-term and long-term costs.

Do Lighter Versions of Apps Save Costs?

Yes, somehow it saves costs and additional charges.  Releasing a light version of the app and preparing to release small fixes, patches, and minor performance improvements throughout the next few months, this will allow you to polish your app. Those lighter feature additions are also less costly and are easy to fix with a small update.

 Many of those small tweaks should be planned before the app ever debuts. By arranging monthly upgrades and improvements, you can eliminate the basic problems before unveiling extra features that may further complicate things. Developers should focus on app performance at the initial stage rather than introducing new features.

Which Mobile Platform (iOS and Android) Can Save Costs?

Another key factor in your app maintenance costs will be which mobile OS platform you choose to develop with. If you decide to develop native apps for each phone platform (iOS and Android), be prepared for exaggerated maintenance budgets. That’s because when you choose to update or fix your native app, you’ll have to work separately on each device’s developing platform.

So if you are developing an app for both platforms, you’re essentially doing two times the work. Each time you release an upgrade, you’ll also have to respond with the platform’s corresponding app store.

In general, the maintenance of your application is crucial more than the launch. Proper bug fixes, regular upgrades, and app stability are a must to develop user loyalty. It has been observed that end-users appreciate even the most minor enhancements. Even the smallest wins will reflect users you care about their feedback, building faith that you will continue to do so. App maintenance should be considered during the early stages in the process of development and prioritizing updates afterwards. This way,  you can keep your app maintenance costs down and your customers happy.

How Much Does the Mobile App Maintenance Cost?

  1. Mobile App Maintenance Cost – The Background
  2. Development Team Location
  3. App Design
  4. Mobile App Security

1. Mobile App Maintenance Cost – The Background

Mobile apps had changed the market, from news, games, MS word & excel, and even marriage, mobile apps had made it possible for users—and that’s brilliant news for entrepreneurs. By 2021, you can expect the number of smartphone users to grow to 3.10 billion approx, which projects a tremendous opportunity for app developers.

When it comes to mobile apps, a lot of effort is required in the coding phase. However, developers know that there’s a strenuous story of determination and innovation behind the curtain of development. A story that involves publishing your app successfully in Google Play or Apple App Store, and marketing it exceptionally.

Does the story end with development? No, it doesn’t! A robust mobile app needs maintenance over time, which is quite similar to maintaining our electronic devices. It is equally important to monitor the performance and ensure that users are getting upgrades at regular intervals.

The engaging mobile app experience is quite similar to that movie experience—users look for a seamless experience without disruptions. It is essential to maintain an app to avoid additional interruptions, and this incurs some costs. If you’re not investing in the mobile app maintenance, it could be a reason for your app failure, leading to being worried about app uninstalls.

2. Development Team Location

It is equally important to know where your development team is based? Are you developing your product with a software development agency? Will you continue to work with them, or are you looking to outsource app maintenance to a different country?

Software development costs differ greatly around the world. The United States tends to have the highest rates (between $50-$100/hour).

Note- The price may differ, depending on your region/location.

3. App Design

To keep app maintenance costs on the low side, you must work with experienced software designers in the initial product development stages. This might sound costly, but trust me, it is better to work with experienced designers, rather than often eliminating mistakes that might cost you high.

Hire a team of experienced developers who know how to handle legacy code and app design so that they can gradually improve your product during the maintenance phase.

4. Mobile App Security

There are two areas to consider:

  • ongoing security optimization,
  • legislative-imposed changes.

Ensure you’re not using your users’ sensitive information; therefore, your developers will need to track any privacy changes or updates of your third-party integrations. Any usage of sensitive data could lead to a security breach. Therefore, it becomes important to release updates if any security flaws are found without misusing any data. 

Summary

Paying attention to your mobile app’s performance is crucial after its launch. To stand out in the market, regular tracking will help you find the app’s pros or cons.

While mobile app annual average maintenance costs greatly differ from app to app, it’s safe to assume you’ll need to put aside 15-20% of the original costs of launching your MVP. 

When you plan and work on your app maintenance budget, make sure to include not only infrastructural costs like servers, hosting, or third-party integrations. Don’t forget about the role your developers, QAs, and even marketers and customer service will play in keeping your app competitive!

In the end, make sure your app is always at its best; you leave your users wanting to come back for more. 

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