Whitepaper: Enterprise Mobile App Development Cost Factors

One of the questions prospects most frequently ask us is, “How much does it cost to design and develop an enterprise mobile app?” As with many IT-development questions, the answer of course is: “It depends.” We thought it important however to outline the key decisions that impact the development effort and cost related to planning, building, and deploying enterprise mobile applications.

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Whitepaper: Enterprise Mobile App Development Cost Factors

Enterprise Mobile App Development Cost Factors

As a follow-up to our mobile budgeting webinar that addressed both the capital and expense line items surrounding mobile app deployment, we’d like to provide some specific decision points that directly affect app development cost, effort, and timeline. In our iPad app development cost blog post, we covered the differences between Consumer and Enterprise applications, and the infrastructure factors to consider when delivering Mobile Enterprise Apps.

As a caveat, this post will not cover the process of prioritizing and aligning corporate goals to ensure a mobile app project directly impacts business objectives. To learn more about this, check out “How to Build a Mobile Strategy in 1-Week.”

Primary Enterprise Mobile App Cost Drivers

The key to determining mobile app cost is first understanding its target audience and mobile usage scenario. The scenario should include when, how, and which user roles will use the mobile app. Identifying the “who” lets designers create an app to best suit your user profiles (e.g. field service, sales, executive decision support, customers, etc.) and how they will engage the app. Additional details surrounding when/how the mobile app will be used help to define the online/offline requirements and target device. Further considerations include: will devices be provided by corporate, owned by users, or BYOD supported by corporate policies and procedures? These scenario details all provide valuable insight for the following key cost factors:

  • What devices will be supported (e.g. phones, tablets, specialty hardware)?
  • Which operating systems are supported (e.g. Android, Windows, iOS, etc.)?
  • Will we need a native or web (HTML5) application?
  • Will the app require user authentication/authorization (secure login)?
  • Will the mobile app interact with systems inside the corporate firewall?
  • How will the app be distributed (corporate MDM or Apple/Google store)?
  • What ongoing app support, maintenance, and enhancements will be required?


How to Size an Enterprise Mobile App

Understanding the key cost drivers described above leaves you better equipped to plan the scope and size of any mobile app. By understanding the size of the problem (as well as the expected benefits) you can use the effort/cost levers outlined above to size the mobile app solution.

To learn more about the elements that drive enterprise mobile application effort and cost—plus some in-depth discussion and real-world examples—download the whitepaper using the form above.