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Business apps vs. Mobile optimised sites: How to choose

Estimates vary significantly when it comes to comparing the cost of building an app versus a mobile site.

According to a report by OSX Daily, a single enterprise app development can range from $50,000 – $150,000. This is substantiated by another survey of IT professionals conducted in 2013 by AnyPresence about the initial cost of developing a typical mobile application. More than half reported spending more than three months and over $50,000 developing a typical app. Very nearly a quarter reported spending over $100,000.

The use of mobile applications in business is increasing as more and more functionality and business-focused apps are being developed and positioned as beneficial to the enterprise.

But the reality is these can also add significant costs to the bottom line. In May the price of apps on Apple’s App Store rose by up to 30 per cent in Australia.

“There is absolutely no doubt that the use of mobile apps in business will continue to increase and forward-thinking organisations should be innovating around how these can be leveraged within their business,” Denise Carson, UXC Connect Practice Manager – Enterprise Mobility & Wireless said.

“However, CIOs need to think about how they are going to establish an agile and cost effective approach to application architecture, development and management across multiple device types and platforms.”

The reality is apps can be expensive to develop, manage and maintain. The high cost of ownership of enterprise mobile applications is partially due to the complex and fragmented nature of the mobile market. With the ever increasing deluge of mobile devices, including wearable technology, a typical organisation could be looking at least three different operating systems and up to 20 different apps for staff to do what they did on a desktop. This adds up quickly when you are looking at an entire organisation and an expanding mobile workforce.

For small businesses on a tight budget, a mobile optimised site can be a cheaper and more straightforward solution, but ultimately it will come down to the bespoke needs of each individual business.

The following table by Adobe provides a useful at-a-glance comparison:


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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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