Evaluate the Pros and Cons of Buying Vs. Building a Campus App

Submitted by on Tue, 12/03/19

As today’s digital-first students consider which college to attend, they look at a school’s mobile channels. They expect a university app to provide them with convenient access to campus resources and information that will influence their engagement, retention, and success. A campus app is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s imperative and expected that a university will do its part to communicate with students via their phones and any other preferred devices.

On average, U.S. adults spend nearly four hours a day on a device or smartphone, with 62% of that time attributed to app and web browsing. Considering the amount of time they are spending on mobile devices, it makes sense to reach them via a campus app. 

Once you commit to offering your students a mobile app, you need to decide whether you will develop the app yourself or buy an off-the-shelf solution. There are pros and cons to each approach. The question is: Are you aware of all the pros and cons when it comes to deploying a mobile campus app that also evolves with your institution’s broader needs?

There are quite a few considerations that go into making this decision. Some things to acknowledge are time, resources, and maintenance. How long will it take to build? How much will it cost? Do you have employees capable of building and maintaining this tool? 

Perhaps the most essential aspect you should consider is your budget. What is the true cost of in-house development? Developers don’t always know everything they need to about the app they’re coding but release the best code possible to hit deadlines. That creates technical debt, which developers must decide to either “pay down” by applying fixes or let ride. Make the wrong choices, and the app will die.

A no-code app building platform is a more cost-effective option. By providing quick and easy access to back-end data and a simple mobile app-assembly interface, it allows anyone, regardless of technical ability, to build user-friendly apps that reflect your institution’s brand.

With such a platform, you don’t accrue technical debt, and that means you don’t have to work around your development shortcomings to release apps. Instead, you can innovate and build apps at your own pace with a focus on improving student engagement and the overall campus experience.

We’ve done extensive research around the costs of buying vs. building your campus app. We have also gathered user analytics that shows which features are used most frequently by students to help inform the future of your development decisions. To access this information, download The Essential Handbook for Choosing to Buy vs. Build Your Campus App. It also includes information regarding:

  • Latest mobile app growth trends
  • Pitfalls of point solutions
  • True cost of in-house app development
  • User experience that can make or break your app
  • Best way to avoid technical debt, and enjoy fast time to market and higher value over time

Download the guide today and learn how to make your campus app the cornerstone of your digital transformation.

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