Rapid Mobile Application Development Isn’t Enough — You Need ROI as Well

computeworld logoThe world is catching up to the idea that the model of slow mobile app development is broken, and that enterprises need to speed up the time it takes to develop apps, using rapid mobile application development tools. Yet often overlooked is the significant return on investment (ROI) ithis approach can offer and how it can positively impact the bottom-line. And let’s face it, calculating ROI, particularly for mobile development, is sometimes tough to do.

While assessing ROI can sometimes be difficult, Jack E. Gold, founder and president at of the analyst firm J. Gold Associates, LLC, offers some advice in a recent Computerworld article, “Why Most Companies Have the Wrong Approach to Enterprise Mobile Apps.” Gold writes about the importance of calculating ROI for productivity-enhancing apps used by a company’s workforce, such as for sales, delivery operations, and manufacturing. He says that in today’s mobile-centric world, “These apps are becoming mission critical, and not just nice to have.”

Gold notes that it can take between six and 12 months to develop and deploy a mobile app, at a cost from between $250,000 to $500,000 or even more. He warns, “Over that time period, the potential for significant payback in enhanced operations is lost. Any delay that keeps employee productivity below what it could otherwise achieve represents a real loss to your bottom line.”

How much will you lose by delaying deployment? Gold Associates built an ROI model, which calculates how much you’ll lose every month at modest productivity improvement levels if your app is delayed. If you assume the app will lead to a 3% productivity improvement, you’ll lose $300 a month in opportunity costs per user for every month your app deployment is delayed. At 5% you’d lose $500, and at 10% $1,000. Do the math for your own business, and you’ll see it add up to big numbers very quickly.

Cost of delaying an app, per user per month, by productivity improvement level (Assuming fully burdened employee cost of $120K) (Copyright 2015  J.Gold Associates, LLC.)

Cost of delaying an app, per user per month, by productivity improvement level (Assuming fully burdened employee cost of $120K) (Copyright 2015 J.Gold Associates, LLC.)

What does he suggest as solution, and the key to maximizing your ROI for mobile apps? Focus on getting them built as quickly as possible by designing “usable, good-enough” apps with a rapid application development tool, and don’t spend your time trying to build the ultimate user experience.

He points to Alpha Anywhere’s form-centric approach as an excellent choice for this kind of rapid app development. His conclusion: “Getting deployable mobile apps to your workforce quickly and with “good enough” features will not only make your users happy, it can significantly improve the corporate bottom line. And isn’t that what the move to mobility should be all about?”

To learn more about how Alpha Software is speeding enterprise app development for customers and helping them realize significant ROI, click here.

To learn how Alpha Software can quickly help you get your mobile app project or initiative going, click here or contact us.