The use of the Internet for business skyrockets these days. And web development services have become one of the most attractive niches to invest in. If you are at a crossroads choosing the kind of application – a web, mobile or desktop one – to work for you, review some technology-based approaches that can make or break your business.
Mobile app development is known as number one area to put your money in. At first blush, it seems to be the easiest, most comprehensible, and low-risk investment. But taking a closer look, you’ll discover intense competition between companies dealing with mobile app development. They present hundreds of new applications yearly. The low cost of app development and its launching in the market is offset by continuous expenditures on support, update, and promotion. Clone applications reduce ROI and, in fact, steal a great amount of profit. The same way unfair promotion methods frequently used by competitors, i.e., fake reviews and download rates, incentivized installs, and biased estimation, force software development companies to bloat marketing budget and say “goodbye” to a considerable share of profit. Many IT experts and consultants regard mobile applications as a high-risk investment.
Desktop applications gradually become less relevant owing to the soaring popularity of cloud solutions. This global trend has won over all the market segments: corporate, government, and education sectors and also individual users. While still remaining important, desktop apps are losing ground because of the high competitiveness in this field set by such giants as Microsoft, Oracle, and Adobe.
Web applications and web development services are the most rapidly developing segment in the IT market. Thanks to the digital revolution of web browsers and the growth of UX standards, modern web applications can compete in many aspects with mobile and native desktop ones. To date, there are no technical limitations narrowing the web solutions usage scope. Multimedia content, game projects, and any types of business applications can be successfully implemented by leveraging different web frameworks. A well-developed cloud infrastructure by Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and Google reduces the costs of developing and launching an application, its further maintenance and support. Besides, a web solution is not limited to one platform – Android, OS X, Windows or Mac OS – and covers all the most profitable markets and user groups.
Ingredients for success
Let’s turn to the experience of OCSICO’s business analysts to find out the common features of some most successful business projects. Analyzing startup ideas and other relevant projects, you may come across a lot of peculiarities and technical issues you are not competent in. Therefore, an IT consultant should be the first ingredient in your “investment pie” recipe. Even the smartest ideas often encounter insuperable engineering constraints. And being an investor, it’s good for you to be aware of all possible issues long before putting your money in a solution.
Example. Nowadays, a magic halo is hovering over neural networks. This technology, in the hands of experienced specialists, has the potential for solving the most sophisticated tasks in a way better than humans. But in many fields, the use of neural networks is overestimated, and the results are discouraging. The low efficiency is caused by insufficient or inaccurate input data for machine learning. On the other hand, there is a great breakthrough in applying this technology, e.g., for image recognition.
As a wise businessman, you should first delve into all the project peculiarities. Your marketing plan should take into consideration your future target audience, the market potential of a solution, competition level in the market, effective demand your kind of services, and monetization models. Make sure you are going to sponsor not an elusive idea proposed by dreamers but a real business project drawn up by professional business consultants.
Draw developers’ attention to project scalability issues. For the authors of the project, it is important to make their ideas come true, and for you as an investor – to gain profit. Study the project’s long-term perspectives; insist on high-performance architecture, parallel computational processes, and deploying the project in an easily scalable infrastructure.
A development plan should sound like a real plan with accurate release dates and development stages. Follow the best web development practices to create a perfect blueprint. Take care of planning your expenses as well. The investment strategy should reflect one of the most common models that have proved their efficiency in practice.
Third-party APIs and open-source software usage pose a huge risk for any investment project. You, your developers, and IT consultants should carefully investigate the resources in order to avoid the violation of license agreement. You will be surprised how easy it is to unintentionally break the terms of third-party APIs usage. This is a common mistake of many startups.
Example. There was a sad case in our practice when an outside development team used our open-source code as part of their new project. The developers made considerable investments in marketing and advertising campaign but failed to stipulate the terms of using our program code. Clearly, this led to some sanctions on our part. And things could have been avoided if the developers had carefully discussed the terms with our side before launching a project.
Software project property rights differ from other types of intellectual property rights. Your lawyer should consider the obligatory transfer of the source codes for the front end and back end, hardware configuration scripts, design and graphic materials, documentation, specifications, and other IT project attributes in the investment contract. The solution’s business logic patenting is an important issue that often escapes the attention of investors. If somebody manages to get the patent earlier, the investor can fall into dependent position.
Web development is a promising area to invest in. But before launching a web development project, you should turn to professional IT consultants who will ensure an effective marketing plan creating. It is also important to draw your developers’ attention to project scalability issues and the risks of the open-source software usage. Patenting business logic to prevent your ideas from stealing will be of great use as well. Following this recipe will help you make a good investment and “cook” a web application that most of the users will be happy to try.