Preparing For The Recession: How To Reduce IT Costs By Using An App Development Platform

A recession in the latter half of 2020 seems inevitable. With many companies hoping to survive, cost-saving strategies have become paramount. Many digital projects can be expected to be put on hold or canceled entirely. However, companies should think twice before scaling down investment into digital initiatives and process automation.

According to Gartner, continued investment in technology will enable organizations to better adapt to the changing economic environment. One way that companies are employing digital technology to lower costs is by building their business apps on application development platforms. These platforms, like ours, can lower costs in numerous ways. But beware: not all app development platforms will enable those cost savings. Let’s take look at what companies should consider when selecting an application development platform to reduce IT costs:

1. Companies Should Choose an Application Development Platform That…

…Requires Common Skills and Increases Throughput…

…In Order to Reduce Labor And Recruitment Costs

Developer headcount is one of the most expensive IT budget areas. Senior developers demand a higher salary and are also less common in the market. Platforms that require niche knowledge of proprietary development methodologies (such as the Excel-like scripting required by Microsoft Power Apps) are better avoided. Companies should look for a platform that leverages common development skills such as JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js. The need for these types of developers will lower labor costs and avoid expensive talent hunts.

…In Order to Limit the Need to Grow IT’s Footprint

The right app development platform can eliminate the traditional need to hire specialists such as database engineers/administrators, UI designers, and Certified Cloud Security Professionals. Choosing a vertically integrated platform allows a single developer to manage all aspects of an application from a single development interface. An app development platform that supports serverless integration simplifies and de-risks custom data integrations. A platform with a microservice-based SQL data pipeline makes data available to BI platforms. A platform supporting componentized app UI design eliminates the need for UI specialists. A platform that offloads security upkeep activities like penetration testing and compliance auditing limits the need for additional cybersecurity personnel.

…In Order to Increase Developer Productivity and ROI

In-house software developers are usually paid the same over a 12 month period, regardless of the number of apps they implement. An app development platform that reduces the time it takes to build an app allows a team that might have produced 3 apps in a given time period to produce 4 or 5. This reduces the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) per application.

2. Companies Should Choose An Application Development Platform That…

…Works With Deployed Devices While Reducing Their Total Cost of Ownership…

…By Supporting BYOD Policies

Any app development platform that gets implemented should be able to work on the devices that employees already have. Apps built on the platform should be “write once, run anywhere” (as apps built on JourneyApps are). This means that applications need only be developed once, and then automatically work as native applications across different operating systems and through web browsers from that single code base.

Dynamic responsiveness means that apps will automatically adjust to any device form factor (tablet, smartphone, desktop). This saves the company costs by not requiring the purchase of new devices for the user base — and instead either using already-deployed devices or allowing a BYOD strategy.

…By Reducing Maintenance Costs

Forward compatibility is crucial in order for apps to support the latest versions of all operating systems. This reduces the amount of maintenance and upgrades that developers would typically have to do. In addition, the application support burden is greatly reduced as developers only have to maintain a single code base.

Developers don’t need to worry about keeping apps compliant with the policies, form factors, new functionalities, or new communication systems (e.g. how push notifications work) of various operating system updates.

3. Companies Should Choose An Application Development Platform That…

…Consolidates Costs…

…All in One Platform

All costs associated with application development should be consolidated into the one platform. For example, the platform should include a cloud database (ideally a proper relational database) and the ability to write server-side tasks including custom integrations. This eliminates the need for paying to host data separately and for integration middleware. Few application development platforms include all services necessary to run apps. Take Microsoft Power Apps as an example: To develop a fully functional application you would need:

  • A data source: typically a separately hosted SQL database, for example on MS Azure
  • An app editor: Power Apps
  • Server-side tasks: Power Automate (what used to be Microsoft Flow)

This is not to say anything about what else would be needed in terms of other middleware in the integration layer, ways to ensure backups and disaster recovery, and services that allow for database scaling.

Other platforms require customers to buy integration middleware like Mulesoft to integrate data, while security is a separate expense as well. Platforms should come with security measures such as penetration testing taken care of by the vendor. These scattered costs add up, and companies can be smart about offloading these costs to the vendor.

In Conclusion

Companies should choose an application development platform that… offers all of the above… included in a single subscription.

That’s our approach here at JourneyApps.

Get in touch to start saving costs ahead of the recession.


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