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Thread: How do you build apps for your business?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by startupper View Post
    So, assuming no commercial off-the-shelf solutions exist, the four top options for getting a customer-facing or even just employee facing app seem to be:

    1. Consulting Agencies / Dev Shops
    2. Hiring Developers as contractors or employees
    3. Doing it yourself.
    4. App Builders
    You probably get a distorted view coming to a forum like this because many of the participants have the ability to either do it themselves or supervise contractors or employees. The truth is that very few of my small and medium size clients, other than the ones whose focus is technology, have either the time or the inclination to spend their time building their own apps. If they are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an inventory management system or buy a sophisticated CRM package for their sales people, they are not going to sit in their office designing and building an app to interface with their customers. That is not the best use of their time and the results would likely not be on a par with what a professional developer would produce for them.

    I agree with Harold to a large extent that for many small businesses, a responsive web site is sufficient. Apps that are just a slight improvement over responsive design are a pet peeve of mine. On the other hand, I have dozens of apps that I use regularly (not daily but at least weekly or monthly). They are not purely made-over content sites, though. Many of them perform similar functions to what their websites do but with a much better user experience than you can get from using the phone's browser on their website. Dropbox, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Flightaware, LinkedIn, Amazon, Citibank, Square, and the list goes on.

    However, I have also deleted a number of apps that seem to serve no function beyond what I can get from the company's website. I am particularly likely to delete an app if it uses my phone's processing capacity when it doesn't provide a real benefit to me. Companies like fast food chains and retailers, whose apps are primarily advertising vehicles, have jumped on the app bandwagon and I believe will find a lot of users uninstalling their apps over time.

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    hello world Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Business Attorney View Post
    ...Companies like fast food chains and retailers, whose apps are primarily advertising vehicles, have jumped on the app bandwagon and I believe will find a lot of users uninstalling their apps over time.
    Similarly, a while back everyone thought they needed to build an online community. Beer companies, food companies, clothing brands...they all thought that building community websites where people could talk about their brand was the thing to have. I too thought there was opportunity there as a developer. However, they were all wrong. People are sick of joining communities, and social networks. No one is clamoring for a new one or a new way to message people.
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    Member Needs New Keyboard Array Brian Altenhofel's Avatar
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    The only time a business needs a native app is if the need to use device features that are not available through the browser.

    Businesses can also leverage the APIs provided by other services (like Amazon Alexa) to provide information to customers who already use apps or devices powered by those services.
    || VMdoh - Drupal development, consulting, and support

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