We are very firmly in the mobile and web application era. Whether for entertainment, health and well-being, commercial, financial and a host of other purposes, applications have become ubiquitous on pretty much all devices, from computers, to tablets to phones. Apps can add an entirely new dimension to the way you do business and interact with customers. They can meet an existing but unsatisfied market need, or revolutionize the way people interact with one another and the world around them.
As the internet of things becomes more all-encompassing and our access to 5G data networks is more widespread, the room and demand for applications will grow. What you don’t want to do, if you are an app developer, or working with one, is to rush your app to market. Below are 4 things you must do before releasing your app to your customers.
Know How You Will Protect Their Data
It has gotten to the point now that there are so many cybersecurity vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit, the question for many companies isn’t if but when one will happen. Applications are particularly vulnerable to infiltration and exploitation because they so often require and request access to sensitive user information. This is, afterall, how many apps are monetized and if you are planning on using your customers’ data as part of your monetization strategy, keeping it as secure as you can will engender trust and hopefully attract a steady stream of new users and good reviews.
Dedicated data storage like the kind offered by TRG Datacenters will keep your users’ data protected from cybersecurity threats, unexpected loss and failures, and even natural disasters. If people know your application takes their data and their privacy seriously, they are more likely to want to do business with you.
Conduct Rigorous Market Research
Another major pitfall encountered by many new apps is that they are released to a nonplussed market. They have been created for a market that has no use for them. In order to avoid these blunders, always make sure people want what you are offering.
You can either conduct the market research yourself, or outsource it to dedicated market research companies that will help you not only decide whether it makes sense to move forward with a project, but fine-tune if and when you decide there is a viable market for it.
Lay Out Your Monetization Strategy
Another non-negotiable task before even considering releasing an app to the world is to nail down you are going to go about monetizing it. The overwhelming majority of apps don’t make money, and it is usually because, in addition to failing to correctly read and cater to the market, the creators haven’t designed any revenue-generating mechanism(s) into them.
Most individuals, and certainly all businesses, design and market apps in order to turn a profit. To do this sustainably over the long-term, an app needs to offer enough users something that they are willing to pay for, drive traffic somewhere else in your business or online presence where revenue is generated, or attract enough people that advertisers are willing to pay for access to your app’s userbase.
Once you think you have gotten your app to the point where it can be safely shown to current and potential customers, beta test. Beta testing is the last round of testing and revisions that an app undergoes before it is unleashed upon the world. This is also where you get the chance to do comprehensive security and reliability testing because neither of those can be accomplished from the safety of the lab or staging environment.
Oftentimes app developers, especially if it is a large commercial venture, will hire outside beta testers to put the app through its paces and come back with a list of suggestions, critiques and feedback, positive and negative, that will be used to hone the app even further.
The urge to get your app out there and into the phones, tablets and computers of global consumers can be overwhelming–so much so that you rush the process and release something half-baked. But if you keep the above pre-release considerations in mind, you will minimize the chances that you unveil something that was never ready, or perhaps never should have seen the light of day.