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Key Dangers of Developing Many Custom Mobile Apps for Business

Key Dangers of Developing Many Custom Mobile Apps for Business

An important debate persists comparing the strategies of whether it’s better to have a single app tailored for all organisational needs versus multiple small micro-apps, each dedicated to very specific functions.

Research shows the majority of people only use a fraction of the, on average, 42 apps they have on their mobile phones, with only 1 to 4 apps being used regularly.

This is indicative of the fact that most are either reluctant to use so many apps, forget about their existence or simply don’t have the need.

Bearing these app usage stats in mind, Mumba has experienced that in business, a single app approach has substantial advantages as compared with the more popular multi-app alternative. The three key areas used to support our stance are based on:

1) Time: The amount of time needed to develop, test and implement a new app to enterprise standards of speed, usability and security, as well as the time required to maintain each app across multiple platforms throughout the app lifecycle.

2) Cost: The cost of developing apps while ensuring the highest standards are maintained; the auxiliary costs associated with the app development, testing and launch; maintaining and upgrading each app over its lifetime, as well as employee training and change management; and the potential ‘downtime’ costs including loss of reputation for poor user experiences with slow, poorly designed app projects.

3) User Experience: How easy is it for the user to learn how to download, login and use each app; how stable and fast the app performs leading to a positive user experience.

Time: How long does it take to develop and implement a new custom mobile app?

Micro-app advocates claim that small apps take less time to develop. Whilst this is sometimes true from a technical perspective, there are many auxiliary tasks that draw time across various elements. Testing is one culprit impacting project timelines due to testing across security, integration, technical functions, user experience, penetration and code audit.

Therefore, even a small number of stand-alone apps can in fact take a great deal more time to develop than a single app with similar or even superior functionality.

Each mobile app requires its own maintenance and update regime. For example, a company accruing 20 custom apps used on three mainstream devices (Apple, Android, Web) means managing up to 60 apps, in effect.

Little wonder that many app developers favour recommending a multitude of small apps, as they are a great stream of ongoing revenue.


Whilst people may assume that developing small apps is less expensive as compared with larger ones, app development for enterprise grade secure apps is a multifaceted and costly process. Research indicates that the average costs to develop a basic business app is USD$270,000 with costs quickly escalating for system integration.

To add further perspective, app development usually commences with a minimum viable product (MVP) that only meets the most essential features and functionality. These are generally enhanced over time, with significant cost implications.

In addition to the start-up development costs, there are also operational costs, including both backend service maintenance and front-end app maintenance, user support, security, licences, new features and upgrades and disaster recovery, to name but some.

User Experience

Once an app is released to the business, user experience directly impacts the return on investment.

The factors include:

  • Rate of adoption: Companies with dispersed workers often experience difficulties persuading employees to download and use even one single app, let alone many micro-apps.
  • Learning curve: Individual apps often differ in design and usability creating a learning curve inhibiting adoption and ongoing usage.
  • App speed and stability: A slow app that crashes, stalls or doesn’t load efficiently deters users and creates frustration and negative impressions.
  • Access to apps: Access to multiple apps can become confusing and frustrating. Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms are often touted as the solution but, in effect, are costly and limited in improving the fundamental issues.

Mumba Single App Solution

In contrast to the multi-app approach, as outlined above, Mumba’s one app, one interface solution overcomes the negatives associated with multiple apps.

Our mobility software, which can be tailored for individual needs within a short timeframe, is available at a fraction of the cost when compared to custom micro-apps.

Being a hosted solution, all ongoing maintenance, technical support, security and other upgrades, as well as testing, all form part of a comprehensive offering by our highly experienced and skilled team, and supported by our enterprise SLA.

Overall, Mumba is the optimal solution for any enterprise seeking a reliable, flexible, custom mobile app solution that has been well tested and established over time.

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