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DevOps: In-house or Outsourced?

Author: Richard Schulz | | August 11, 2022


To differentiate themselves from the competition, many businesses develop proprietary applications to showcase to their customers the unique goods and services that aren’t available anywhere else. When appropriately designed using cutting-edge application development strategies and tools, these highly valued business assets can set even the tiniest entity ahead of a much larger but less well-defined competitor.

The distinctive function and value a well-designed app provides are why having such an asset is the goal of so many companies. However, most organizations aren’t actually in the business of app or software development. Their resources focus on their core competencies, so they don’t often have the budget, knowledge, or skills needed to build out a high-quality application that will distinguish their entity from all others.

Many businesses are compelled, then, to go without an in-house app, and they suffer a smaller corporate footprint as a result. Others, however, invest time and money engaging the assistance of application development specialists, like those at Datavail. An outsourced application development and operations (‘DevOps’) contractor can help clarify which company assets are best showcased by an app and then build the functions to achieve that purpose. It’s an added bonus if the outside partner can assist with the TCO and assist with the illustration of the predicted ROI.

Why Have a Proprietary App?

Carving out a unique niche in an industry sector and maintaining that market share are the goals of every company. To claim that ‘best-in-class’ status, however, current and potential customers must understand the unique qualities of the company’s offerings and the distinctive values they provide compared to a competitor’s wares. They must be able to find the company’s presence and research its inventories as those compare to other similar items. Nothing shares this critical corporate resource – product information – better than a proprietary application.

Most companies understand how this particular app value contributes to their bottom line. But there are other, equally compelling business cases for investing in the development of a proprietary corporate app:

  • Proprietary apps can also improve the corporation’s productivity. Sometimes, the rigid structure of an off-the-shelf app constrains the creativity of the product development team, when it doesn’t fit the theme of the product line, or can’t be adapted to proposed innovations. Every organization can benefit from an in-house app designed to create new or enhanced functions while also conforming to the company’s existing systems.
  • A proprietary app can also streamline the business model. Developing an in-house application to facilitate a particular function also requires a deep comprehension of the company’s target audience, its core products and services, and how it differentiates itself from its competition. Just the process of researching and building the function can result in cutting activities or expenses that don’t serve the organization’s higher purpose.
  • A proprietary app can also meet customer demands with better results than an over-the-counter, generalized app. Businesses that rely on the satisfaction of their respective customer base (which is all of them) can tweak their in-house software to respond directly to consumer requests and complaints.

Why Outsource Your DevOps Projects?

Most companies don’t have the talent, budget, or technical resources for in-house app development unless they are also in the business of app development, too. A well-qualified DevOps service provider will have a slate of highly qualified software engineers available to design your app to achieve the above-cited goals. However, they will also bring with them several DevOps considerations that you might not have thought of if you’d kept the project in-house.

In addition to establishing your unique market presence, the app must function in conjunction with the rest of your enterprise:

  • It must integrate with your existing corporate and technological processes. The app must be designed to safely and securely connect to databases, payment systems, customer records, third-party vendors, and other entities with whom your business does business. Each of these functions is overlaid with a series of national and international privacy and security regulations, so ensuring the app is compliant with them all is critical to its success.
  • Your app must also be accessible by the largest possible consumer base. Ergo, a one-size-fits-all format won’t be appropriate for users who can’t use them in traditional ways. The app should follow the parameters set out by the “Web Content Accessibility Guide.”
  • Best practices also consider the app’s portability. Apps are accessed through desktop computers, mobile phones, mobile devices, and IoT devices, just to name a few options. Depending on your target audience (and these days, that could be a global audience), you’ll want those people to have easy, reliable access to your app through whatever device they choose.
  • And don’t forget that your app will also be a data collection tool. It can track customer usage and activities across your entire enterprise, feeding reams of data into your company data warehouses. The app’s design and function should include these realities and feed into existing data collection processes.
  • Not least essential is the requirement of comprehensive support for your app. Even if it performs flawlessly at launch, there will undoubtedly be consumers who aren’t pleased by its function, how it presents your products, or how your customer service platform works. Including ‘app support infrastructure’ in the budget will ensure that you’ll have those resources available when they are needed. Leveraging more cloud DevOps allows for easier architecture documentation of the environment; including the use of automation monitoring and reporting tools.

Each company’s proprietary apps are the unique hallmarks of its individuality. Organizations with apps that consistently provide reliable, high-quality service are more likely to enjoy a high percentage of their market because they are also better prepared to respond appropriately to consumer and industry demand. Datavail’s DevOps teams have the skills, insights, and knowledge needed to build any app for your organization that can propel it forward in your market sector.

For more information on a solid DevOps can improve your AppDev initiatives, download our white paper, Polish Your App Portfolio’s Productivity with DevOps Services.

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