article12.10.20225 minutes

Customized App Development: What it Means

  • Tech
  • Solutions

Designing a web or mobile app can be done through two different methods. Some organizations use an existing solution like a software as a service (SaaS), while others chose to develop a customized web or mobile app. The term ‘customized’ can raise questions: one can wonder if it means to start from the ground up or if the whole process will end up becoming more complex and costly. However, customized development is quite different. To start, we need to determine the main need and to place it at the centre of the process, to then identify the digital solution and the modules to integrate. This will enable us to create a digital tool that perfectly suits the organization’s needs. David Alexandre Hamel, VP of Strategy, CX & Design and Philippe Nadeau, Solutions architect, touch on the methodology surrounding the development of customized digital tools.

The Main Benefits of a Customized App

Generally, different business goals and situations prompt the creation of a customized digital tool.

In some cases, there is no existing platforms already built that can efficiently meet the organization’s needs. Thus, a customized development provides a solution perfectly adapted to the needs of businesses and users.

For example, a mobile app specifically designed for clients or members that enables them to gain an easy access to exclusive benefits.

In other cases, the company wishes to offer an optimal user experience to distinguish itself in a highly competitive market. Because the platform is specifically built for an organization, it can offer a unique experience to clients, business partners, or employees. Not only does customized development provide a strategic advantage, but it also allows for a much higher quality visual rendering.

«Through all the customized digital tools we created, we noticed that it’s crucial to push the reflection on differentiating factors. When we focus on this, we achieve the best results»

David Alexandre Hamel

An example of this approach would be B2C or B2B client portals offering functionalities with added value that maximize the clients’ satisfaction and loyalty, while also differentiating the company from its competitors.

It is also possible to develop digital assets that will exclusively belong to the organization, and that are scalable depending on the organization’s needs. The main interest lies in the full control of functionality prioritizing and the app’s deployment rhythm.

Another important aspect to developing a customized app is to consider costs: indeed, the costs associated with existing products can sometimes be very high, particularly for products based on the number of user accounts. For big companies, paying $3 per user per month generates huge costs to provide each user with a licence.

Lastly, the benefit of a customized platform is that it will be perfectly adapted to the existing technological environment.

Identifying Needs to Design a Customized Digital Tool

Jumping into the project of developing a web or mobile app is an excellent opportunity to rethink and to improve processes by using a user-centred approach. By following an adapted and rigorous methodology, the creation of a customized solution offers great freedom that can generate innovation and added value while doing more than simply copying existing processes.

Choosing the Optimal Technological Environment

It is possible, and even recommended, to develop customized tools by taking advantage of existing platforms.

Indeed, opting for renown technologies and a flexible architecture enables the creation of an asset built on solid foundations that can scale up and give satisfying results for years to come.

«We strive to take advantage of a maximum of existing software as a service (SaaS) platforms to focus our development efforts on user experience and business rules unique to our clients. These platforms allow us to quickly integrate new features such as authentication, notifications, or online payment systems, while offering one of the best user experiences in the industry.»

Philippe Nadeau, Solutions architecture team manager

The existing systems for enterprise resource planning (ERP), client relation management (CRM) or customer data platforms (CDP), for example, whether they be legacy or recent, are an integral part of the systems to be used to create an optimized user experience for employee productivity, conversion and self-serve elements, while also keeping data centralized in these systems.

The Benefit of Adopting the Agile Method in Customized Development

It is important to adopt an iterative Agile approach to rapidly deliver a minimum viable product (MVP) to reduce risks and delivery delays. Once the initial version is deployed, experts can leverage analytical data, user comments, and observations to improve the platform continuously, while following the platform’s evolution throughout their roadmap.

Thus, customized development is a process that orients business needs and that identifies the opportunities to place them at the heart of the process, while looking for the most efficient way to design the digital tool with existing resources or with the ones to develop.