The smartphone has in a few years become the most important "thing" in our lives. It has made app development a billion-dollar industry. But only a few apps are really used. Here are eight reasons why your app will never be a success.

An app for everything and everyone
"An app for that" is a well-known term. The truth is probably more towards the fact that there are many apps for any given situation or need. At Apple’s and Google's respective app stores, there are more than 4 million apps to choose from. By 2022, we will have downloaded the various apps available nearly 260 billion times. An increase of almost 50 percent over the past five years.

Most apps hardly ever gets used. At the same time, there are very few apps that really succeed. Apps that are part of our daily routine, whether in a work or private context. Several surveys indicate that 80 percent of us stop using apps we downloaded after just three months. As if that wasn't enough, nearly 30 percent of us remove the apps we've downloaded within the same day. And worst of all, this applies to all types of apps - regardless of whether the app was developed for consumers or for business use.

The smartphone is the new PC
It should come as no surprise that there is great interest in developing apps for everyone and everyone. The smartphone has become the most important "thing" in our lives. It has become our new PC - our Primary Computer. We spend more time with our smartphone than we do with our closest relatives. It has brought with it a new billion-dollar industry, estimated to grow close to $ 100 billion by 2021. And this market many of us want to be part of. But most will never succeed.  

Challenges of developing a successful business application

In a market characterized by enormous competition, it is not sufficient with a good idea or access to the best developers. Those who experience long-term success with their app are first and foremost those who have understood how difficult it is to succeed.

Here are my eight top reasons why your app will never be a success:

1. Is there a need for your app?

"We don't know what we want, but what we want to solve". Before the car was invented, no one wanted a car. They wanted a faster and stronger horse. A horse that required less maintenance and was cheaper to feed and own. Before you do anything, it is crucial to discover if your app will solve a problem that your market or customers have and that no other apps or services have solved in the same way as you plan to.

2. Lack of strategic support from key stakeholders

Is the app sufficiently rooted in those who "decide"? Are your stakeholders convinced what challenges the app will solve? Is there a compelling business plan that demonstrates what positive changes the app will make? In many cases, the app is already "dying" here because the plan is not good enough, which will result in a lack of support.

3. Lack of funds

Developing a new app requires investment in many areas. A new platform may need to be developed. New equipment will need to be purchased and employees may need new knowledge to make sure that the development will go forward as planned. Some aim to do everything themselves, while others enter into partnerships for development assistance. Regardless of the choice one take, it is crucial to have a complete overview of what is required of investment throughout the apps life cycle.

According to analysis company Gartner, this is a recommended approach, which over half of today's organizations choose to go for. Such an approach can help to reduce internal costs, while giving the internal staff much needed knowledge for future projects.  

4. Lack of knowledge of mobile technology and the app market

The mobile market is still a young industry, which requires specific knowledge. Today, most companies do not possess this knowledge themselves. In many cases, supply is less than demand, which makes it both difficult and expensive to acquire and retain a development team. One solution could be to enter into partnerships with development companies.

5. Application architecture

An important question companies must ask before embarking on the development of a new app, is what app strategy they should pursue. Which application architecture will be smartest for today and the future. While most people so far have chosen to go for the classic API approach, which is driven by data, more and more are choosing to develop new services and applications based on an Event Driven Architecture or EDA for short.  

While an API approach deals with how different services and applications can communicate, based on the data they exchange, EDA is a way to achieve communication between systems and services based on the events that the data creates. In that respect, an EDA approach facilitates a more scalable and flexible architecture.

6. Marketing Strategy to Reach Primary Audience

It is not enough to develop an app that just meets what the market needs today. The app also needs to be advertised properly for it to be discovered, downloaded, deployed and talked about. The competition is fierce and the number of apps that compete for the top positions on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store respectively is huge. And many of the application developers have large marketing budgets. It is said that the effort around your new application must be distributed with 10 percent on the actual development and 90 percent on the marketing efforts. If you do not have enough knowledge on how to best market your new app, you should consult with professional communities who have extensive knowledge in this field.

7. The app market is fragmented

There are many good reasons for developers to launch their apps first on the iPhone. Globally, Apple has a small market share compared to Android, but Apple iOS is far from as fragmented as the Android market. Lack of knowledge of the limitations of the different OS releases, screen resolution, and more, increase complexity in terms of development, bug fixes and updates. Failure to test an app across the most important smartphones your customers use, can result in a poor user experience.

8. User Experience

Once your app has been downloaded, the likelihood of it being quickly deleted is high. In addition to focusing on the aesthetic associated with the app's interface, it is also important to remember that there are other elements that are crucial to optimizing the user experience.

Businesses must therefore strive towards developing an app that delivers on customers high expectations when it comes to user experience;  

  • Intuitive - The app needs to be easy to use, easy to use and navigate.
  • Trustworthy – Sufficient security and privacy measures from the get-go.
  • Reliable - An app that often needs to be restarted and does not respond adequately fast enough, will quickly be perceived as frustrating to use. In addition, it should not take up more space on the phone's hard drive than strictly necessary.  
  • Available - Open 24 hours, 365 days. Just as the app needs to be reliable and stable, it is critical that the app - and the services it provides - is always available.  
  • Performance - Just like users disappear from websites and online stores that take a long time to download, users will also disappear from your app if it is slow.
  • Battery friendly - Apps that quickly drain your phone's battery will quickly be deleted. This is especially true for apps that operate in the background without actively being used.
Arif Shafique, CEO & Co-founder @ Dolittle

No added value, no app

Strictly speaking, there are many indications that you should not invest in developing an app. Especially if you do not have sufficient knowledge, capital and capacity. The competition for users' attention is fierce, and few app developers succeed in offering something new, useful and useful over time towards their users. It might be a consolation that even the biggest companies with the biggest wallets also face many challenges when developing a new app.

The most important thing to bear in mind is that a solid strategy is required. A strategy which must be rooted at the very top of the organization and where efforts must be long-term, in order for your app to be one of the few that the market, customers, audience download and use over time.