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How long does it take to build a custom app?

Jen A. Miller | Feb. 23, 2016
Thanks to advances in app-building technology and a changing mindset, the answer may surprise you.

This reduced cost and time also makes creating what Wettemann calls the "disposable" app possible because they take less time and money. By "disposable," she means something that's put together for a short period of time, or a one-time purpose like a conference or sales initiative. 

"I can be much more experimental in the way I do things," she says. "If I have an event coming up and I want to spin up an app for someone attending that app, where before it would take weeks and weeks and be cost prohibitive, I can now do that in the marketing department." 

App expectations

Not only are apps being developed faster, but the demand for fast apps is greater too. A study 2015 Sencha conducted with Forrester Consulting called "The Rise of Web Technology" found that apps are expected to be created over a shorter timeline without a corresponding increase in developer activity. 

The study also found that 43 percent of companies expected to see an increase of 50 percent or greater in technical complexity of web and mobile apps. 

This pressure for complex apps to be readily available can have business units turning to third-party apps. Making sure IT is working with employees to meet their app needs is vital, says Wettemann, not just from an administrative position but from a security position, too. 

"IT is going to have to take a more long-term view of how do they manage, administrate and deal with security to enable the productivity of users without shutting them down," she says. "It's clear today that if IT is a roadblock, business users are more and more willing and able to go around them." 

That could mean introducing third-party applications to the system that aren't up to your company's security standards, which presents a big risk. Even if a third-party app is perfectly suited to a business unit's needs, and is more cost effective to procure rather than making something new, IT still should be on board with making sure it works within their ecosystem – securely. 

"It's better that I get ahead of it now and put the administrative capabilities in place and embrace the app instead of them doing a complete workaround," Wettemann says.


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