Apps for Business Part 2: Designing Your Own App Vs. Using a Third Party Solution

by Robin Tinker, on Dec, 1, 2014

When an organization is ready to go mobile, the first decision that needs to be made is whether there are enough resources in-house to develop a custom app. Consideration also needs to be given to how much time your in-house team can set aside for development. Frequently, organizations have the resources, but so many projects in the queue ahead of their app that it could potentially take years to finish. In many organizations it makes more sense to go with a third party solution that can be customized to provide the key functionality needed in a mobile app. Many of the sales and marketing people I speak with find this decision-making process between developing in-house or turning to a third party to be a challenge. How do you know which solution to choose?


There are going to be major differences and trade-offs between the two solutions. These differences can include; functionality, design and turnaround time. The good thing about developing an app in-house is you're going to get an app created specifically for your company with all of the features that are important to you. The downside is that it can come with large design, development and deployment costs. Unless you have a dedicated app development team ready to start your project today, it's going to take a longer time to create a mobile sales app in-house than to use a customizable platform that is already built. The app integrity obviously depends on the quality of the developers and how much experience they have with developing apps. Using a third party platform can reduce cost and time, while also providing an app that solves the pain points you've set out to solve. It comes down to the budget and amount of time a business has and wants to devote to developing and supporting a custom application.

I recently spoke with our mobile designer, Ian Felling, for information on advising a company trying to weigh their options. What he confirmed for me is that if you’re wondering which solution is right for your organization, it ultimately comes down to the following considerations: time, financial and human resources, and ongoing maintenance and updates.


One of the benefits of a third party solution, like Modus, is the turnaround time for developing and customizing the app is shorter than if you were to start from scratch. Third party solutions, or white-label apps, have already been developed and tested. If you are trying to roll out an app for your business on a tight deadline, you may be better off going with a third party solution. With Modus you can create your own app in an afternoon, and if you want a custom-built app, we can design it in just a few weeks, which is a fraction of what typical development teams need to scope, build and test a new product.

If time isn’t a huge issue, you may opt to develop your own custom app. Custom apps allow you to define which features and capabilities you want your app to have. But with each feature the project gets more complex. If your team has extensive mobile experience, it’s advisable to consider an in-house development of a custom app.

Financial and Human Resources

The next thing that must be considered is budget. A large part of this decision comes down to the amount of money you have set aside for building an app for your company. If you already have a team of mobile developers on site, you may want to consider creating a custom app. If you’re still not sure, there are fully customizable, white label solutions you can try out. Modus offers a 30-day free trial where you can see if the features will meet your needs. Using a third party solution like Modus allows you to create an app at a fraction of the cost of creating your own.

They offer an off-the-shelf app and a full customization option. If you’re interested in creating an app with your branding in a short amount of time, Modus’s “off-the-shelf” version is a great option. The user interface can be easily branded, and it is designed to be very simple to implement by people with no design or development experience.

Modus provides a full customization option that appeals to those companies looking to have a more custom features included for their app. Using our design and development team, you're able to add more brand identity and unique features like single-sign on to the app. As a company choosing full customization, you're getting a custom mobile solution faster and for less money than it would cost to develop and support an app in-house from scratch.

Using a company whose primary focus is mobile app development, Modus provides the experience to handle the project quickly and efficiently. That saves you financial and human resources. Plus, the platform is constantly tested and is field proven – over time - by thousands of users, and there is documented support on all aspects of the app.

Ongoing maintenance and updates

The final consideration in the decision-making process is whether or not you have the internal support for continued maintenance and updates. Does your IT department have the time to support this new technology? For many companies, this is the stumbling block that leads them to consider using a third party. Knowing all of the updates, maintenance and support for your app will be taken care of is a huge relief.

Ultimately, the decision on how to move forward creating an app for your business comes down to functionality, time and resources available to create your app. We work with a number of marketing and sales executives who have selected the third party route, knowing they won’t burden their internal development and IT staff with a project that may not be prioritized. When companies choose Modus they can be sure the implementation is done quickly and efficiently with no surprises along the way. At Modus, we enjoy making things easier for companies by delivering amazing apps that just work.

Do you have questions about what kind of solution is right for your company? Send us an email and let’s chat!

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