Mobile app development: outsource or hire? | 4i

Mobile app development: outsource or hire?

31 January 2018 ‐ 3 min read

Mobile apps can add a significant amount of value in fostering the relationship between consumer and brand. As such, many large organisations have ventured into the exciting domain of creating a mobile app for their customers. When making this type of move, let's take a look at some of the considerations when deciding to hire software development resources. 

You need a multi-skilled team

A common assumption digital product managers make is to think that in order to build a mobile app, all you need is a competent developer. This may be true in respect of the code, however building an app that addresses business requirements while making sure the intended users love it requires skills beyond the craft of coding.

Our tried and trusted process involves a number of skilled individuals that make sure the app executes on its purpose. These include:

  • Strategist: Understands your business objectives and balances these with user needs to make sure that people use the app, while maximising engagement.

  • Analyst: Defines the business rules to simplify development in order to create maximum value for money.

  • UX Designer: Maps user flows throughout the product to make sure user interactions are inline with the app strategy.

  • UI Designer: Translates the corporate identity into a look and feel for the application.

  • Copywriter: Creates text and tone for the app, which often plays a critical role in enhancing user experience and communicating brand culture.

  • Product Owner: Uses years of experience to make key decisions in order to ensure on-time delivery that is within budget.

  • Development Team: Our dev team structure makes room for code reviews and suggested improvements that are discussed on a continuous basis. As such, 8 years of mobile app development is shared among every developer, ensuring consistent delivery of a high standard of quality. Code is written in a way that is easily understandable by another developer, making future phase development a breeze.

  • QA Tester: One of the biggest pains in mobile app development is testing apps on multiple devices. Our quality assurance team has access to more than 30 of the latest devices, ensuring that the app works and functions as intended on each device.

  • Launch Team: The launch team assists the client in preparing the app for launch, covering the know-how of the various app stores, while consulting on the launch strategy and marketing plan.

All of the infrastructure without the overhead

Not only is finding people experienced and skilled in these various disciplines hard to find, but in general, apart from the developers, none of these skills are required by a company on a full time basis. As such, large organisations need to make a decision to either hire these skills at a massive monthly overhead, or ignore these core ingredients that go into making apps great, by settling for a less impressive, poorer quality app.

Hire these skills at a massive monthly overhead, or settle for a poorer quality app.

Instant access to a team of experts

Within an agency such as 4i, the various team members get exposure to an array of different products and solutions, fast tracking the experience of every employee. In addition, knowledge sharing across multiple projects and teams means we are able to pull in learnings, third party tools and processes that work, which a newly formed in-house team would take significantly longer to implement.

An already established team means leaner, faster, better communication

We are privileged to enjoying the benefits of low staff turnover. Our employees are well structured within their teams and communication flows easily. Employees take to our successful agile process like ducks to water, and hit the ground running on day one of the project.

In addition, teams are well equipped using leading project management and collaboration tools.

Speed to market

This is key. All of the above points enable us to get our clients’ projects to market fast. This can be a game changer for apps that need to be first to market, or release as quickly as possible to reduce risk and cost. In fact, most of our projects launch with a high quality, first version release in less than 4 months, including strategy, analysis design, development, QA testing and deployment.

The 4i Way

With 8 years of mobile app development experience, working with 4i as your outsourced app development partner offers the following advantages:

  1. World-class quality. Unmatched UX and UI design skills and an all-round experienced team enables us to produce world-class quality products

  1. Speed to market. With an already integrated team and mature processes, we build lean and fast, while making sure every product is user-centred.

  1. No nasty surprises. Over the years we have had the opportunity to build a broad range of apps that collectively showcase pretty much every feature the operating system allows. This experience enables us to estimate accurately and deliver on time, within budget.

  1. Flexible engagement models. We offer clients the flexibility to engage on a per project basis, spanning a few months or secure a number of resources on a retainer basis for an unlimited period.

  1. Experienced in the best mobile technology. Our team is capable of building apps in either Native or React Native, giving you the flexibility to choose a tech stack best suited to your requirements.

Does 4i sound like the right partner for you? Drop us a line at


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