Adding mobile apps to your SAAS product could be the punch your product needs to reach its real capacity. Or it could be a monumental waste of time and money. Without the right planning and investigation, you could make a big mistake in developing an app for your SAAS product. Let’s look at some of the reasons why building a mobile app for your SAAS product might not be the best move.
Why You Should Build A Mobile App
The main reason you should build a mobile app for your product is that it supports the use case. You should have a persona, or user story that articulates how the mobile app fits into a user’s life and use. If that case contains access on the go, then a mobile app would be a good step. But what is really important is if the mobile use case really needs all the features of an app, or if a mobile Website could do the same thing. Would you benefit from the features that are exclusive to apps, such as notifications, photography, gyroscopic measurements, and GPS locations? If so, then going to an app would make sense, but if not, a mobile Website might just do the trick for you as well.
The second reason you should build a mobile app for your product, is that it establishes legitimacy. You may already have a million-dollar SAAS application that runs fantastically, is gaining traction, and acquires new users every day. But having a mobile app will broaden your appeal and send the message of establishment across various user groups. It will thrust you out of the “beta” phase into a real working application.
Lastly, having a mobile app will lower the barrier to use. Many apps will ask users to authenticate less frequently and give them a much longer session time that allows your them to interact with your SAAS product easier. Not having to authenticate allows the user to be “tuned in” to the application as part of their daily life and makes you a beacon into their world. Using notifications and GPS location can also allow you to alert the user of relevant times and places to interact with your product.
Why You Should Not Build A Mobile App
The main reason you should not build a mobile app is if you don’t know how to take advantage of the platform. If you can’t go hard, go home, as the adage states. If you can’t bring something unique to the app experience, or use the benefits of the device, then don’t release a lack luster application when you don’t need to. If there is a push to build an app, but no real understanding of what you are going to build the app for, question that process very carefully. As you’ll see in the next point, improper planning can be very costly.
Additionally, you don’t want to build an application if you don’t understand the real costs with app development. You have the initial application cost, and then you have updates and version support. Then if you break into two platforms, iOS and Android, the cost doubles. The list can go on, but this is not a once-and-done investment. Having an app presence can be a big push for your company in presence and dollars. Make sure you have the right viewpoint on the financials before pulling the trigger. Mobile apps should have their own budget aside from the application itself and it’s not just a marketing budget. It needs to be factored into the overall R&D or product development budget as well.
We hope these tips have helped you get the right perspective on adding a mobile application to your SAAS product. Check out our Mobile Application Development service if you are ready to start down that road of building an app for growth and success.