The Top 3 Challenges of In-House App Development

3 min read
Dec 18, 2018

Whether you’re an enterprise brand or a lean startup, you likely can think of multiple benefits of having your own customer-facing mobile app. As consumer behaviours continue to gravitate toward mobile-centric activities, a mobile app is able to offer a better user experience than traditional content that’s displayed in a browser, not to mention additional advantages in terms of functionality and data analysis.

When you’re ready to take the leap and make the investment into mobile app development, one of the first questions you’ll have to answer is whether you want to pursue in-house application development or be outsourced to an agency like us!

While there are each pros and cons to in-house development vs outsourcing, more businesses are turning to the agency model as a way to unlock new efficiencies and development opportunities that aren’t always practical or possible through in-house development.

Here are five of the top disadvantages of internal software development that often push businesses to opt for the outsourced agency approach.

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1. The Cost of Hiring a Dev Team is Greater With In-house Development

If you already have the in-house application development expertise needed to build a mobile app from scratch, then congratulations: you’re one of the lucky ones! But, for most businesses, the hard truth is that even with a stable selection of talented IT professionals on your payroll, you’re likely lacking the skill sets needed to pull off such a large-scale project.

Hiring new employees can often be costly and represents one of the greatest disadvantages of in-house software development, especially if you’re only bringing them on to assist in mobile app development. Many businesses find that, once you start hiring new staff to build an app development team, the cost of in-house development quickly surpasses the cost of working with an agency, thereby often outweighing the other benefits of in-house software development.

Forbes notes that compared with the risk of inhouse software development, outsourcing app development can be an especially savvy move for lean startups that need to turn invested money into a finished product quickly. Rapidly growing a dev team might not be the best use of company funds, but an outsourced agency can deliver a finished product on a much faster timeline.

2. The Need for Specialised Software and Tools Are Among the Costly Disadvantages of In-house Software Development

There are always free and low-cost dev tools for businesses to use, but when you’re trying to make a professional mobile app for your brand, it’s normal to require the use of specialized tools and software to create certain experiences and functionality within the app that are unique.

The challenge of these specialised needs when pursuing an in-house software development strategy isn’t just related to the cost of licensing new solutions. You also need developers capable of using this specialised equipment. This may require additional training, certifications, or hires that make the task of in-house application development more taxing on the organisation. By contrast, agencies are far more likely to have experience working with these types of solutions, alleviating a major pain point of developing mobile apps that meet business needs.

3. The Resource Demands of an Iterative In-house Software Development Strategy

If businesses aren’t familiar with what it takes to create a mobile app, the resource demands can quickly become overwhelming and represent a major risk of in-house software development. It’s not just time and money, although these can be exhausted by in-house development: Consider what else you’re having to give up by committing these resources to such a major project.

When you're ready to take the leap and make the investment into mobile app development, one of the first questions you'll have to answer is whether you want this development to take place in-house or be outsourced to an agency like us!Click To Tweet


With IT consumed within mobile app development, another one of the major cons of in-house development is that other projects must be put onto the backburner. Meanwhile, leadership will be put through a process of brainstorming and evaluating that is far less efficient when running in-house development vs. outsourced development that’s managed by an agency. Acquiring additional solutions could put a strain on your technology stack and risk affecting non-development operations. And without a reliable template for iterative development, the timeline for app completion could extend beyond the target date, running up the in-house application development costs and throwing a wrench into other business operations.

Final Thoughts Regarding In-house Development vs Outsourcing

When faced with the disadvantages of in-house software development, it’s easy to understand why businesses often opt for the experience and reliability of mobile app development agencies and specialists. The biggest task ahead that you face is doing your research to make sure you pick the right agency for your needs, but we help to simplify this process. Talk To Us today and begin your journey into the world of app development!

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