Developing mobile applications can be a tremendously costly proposition for enterprises. Thus it’s critical that apps developed in-house at great expense deliver a solid return on investment.
But how can the ROI for a mobile app be measured? According to Madison Moore over at SD Times (the SD stands for software development), there are ways. The key is to start with a comprehensive strategy that incorporates analytics at each step of the development process. This will ground the process in reality and help formulate metrics that can be used to determine ROI.
Interviewed by Moore, Adam Fingerman, chief experience officer at app design and development firm ArcTouch, outlines five steps that enterprises should take to assess whether they’re getting an acceptable ROI from their mobile apps initiatives.
The first step — creating a measurement plan — is arguably the most important since the steps that follow aren’t possible without it. Fingerman, Moore writes, recommends that developers or product teams “think about how they are going to measure the ROI of an application at the beginning, even before screens are designed and code is written.”
This step includes identifying the business objectives for an app — things like improved employee productivity, higher online sales, etc. — as well as a key metric that can be tracked through each development phase leading up to the app’s release.
For customer apps, developers should try to calculate the lifetime value of an app in terms of revenue from a single customer. This step might best be taken in collaboration with business units such as sales.
You can read the other steps recommended by Fingerman in Moore’s article on SD Times, but the bottom line is that determining ROI requires planning and the identification of measurable, relevant and actionable metrics. Some guesswork might be involved, but educated guesses are better than launching mobile development initiatives with no discernible way to measure success.
Does your enterprise know how to measure the ROI of its mobile apps?