App Maintenance Costs


Beginners often think that expenses of mobile apps culminate with the app development .i.e. once it is published in the app store, the job is finished. On the contrary, you will have to pay for mobile app maintenance as long as it operates. Just think of app maintenance as your car maintenance. Similar to how you keep pouring money for your car maintenance so it can run smoothly—in the same way—you have to invest in your app so it can run smoothly for your users. Keep in mind that the profitability of your mobile app relies on your app maintenance.

What Makes Mobile App Maintenance Essential?

Mobile app maintenance is necessary for a wide range of reasons. These include using analytics or user feedback to optimize your app, update system, or resolve bugs. When an app is launched, it is crucial to check an application’s performance after regular intervals. Constant modifications and upgrades on a periodic basis enhance a mobile app’s performance. Following are some advantages of app maintenance.

Mobile App Maintenance

  • Increases the lifespan of an app.
  • Increases the productivity of business processes.
  • Improves the functionalities and features of the app.
  • Offers more financial advantages, such as when it reduces costs and increases ROI.
  • Provides a strong competition to other apps. When apps are not maintained, they become outdated.
  • Creates a positive and healthy brand image among the target audience that the app creator is committed to delivering the best user experience.

Types of App Maintenance

App maintenance is often classified under the following categories.

  • Perfective maintenance

When the objective of a modification is to improve an app’s performance—rather than focusing on resolving bugs—it is referred to as perfective maintenance. Hence, companies use perfective maintenance in order to edge out their rivals and optimize the performance of their app.

  • Adaptive Maintenance

When modifications are added to alter the external business and software changes—for updating the operating system—they come under the category of adaptive maintenance.

  • Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance revolves around modifications that address any possible future issues by efficiently utilizing the storage and optimizing the code.

  • Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance primarily focuses on resolving errors and bugs. It is often expected that most of the app maintenance costs circle around corrective maintenance, however, in fact; it only encompasses 20% of the app maintenance costs.

Maintenance Costs

Following are the four primary areas in which you have to spend money to maintain your app.

Functional Services

As the name suggests, they revolve an app’s features and functionalities. For mobile apps, often services rely on delivery mechanisms for which you have to pay monthly or annually. For example, modern-day mobile apps come with push notifications. If you want to incorporate them in your app, then you are likely going to invest in a service for an annual $2,000-$2,400 expense.

Those who want to promote social interactions in their app, can integrate social and chat features by purchasing a subscription. By using such services, you can add bot integration, group chat, and one-to-one chat in your app. Expect to pay $1,000 to $1,200 per year. Similarly, for email integration, you might be required to spend $1,000 annually while SMS integration can lead you to invest $500.

Administrative Services

For managing your app, you are going to need a user-friendly and robust administration dashboard. Depending upon the scale and type of apps, these expenses fluctuate. Some of these are the following.

  • It is necessary to have a previewer app on your disposal. This helps to assess modifications before publishing the app.
  • It should be straight-forward to modify any content in your dashboard.
  • It is quite normal for apps to go through multiple changes. At times, the app has to be carefully resubmitted after each content modification. Make sure a dynamic update process is designed for your app so a single click can enforce the updates.

Infrastructure Services

  • How does an app store data?
  • How does an app deliver data?
  • How is an app hosted?

All of the above-mentioned infrastructural aspects are covered by infrastructures services. For example, you are going to need servers for hosting your mobile app. This hosting is usually purchased from Microsoft Azure, Google, or Amazon. Annually, expect to pay $12,000 for your servers. If you are also making use of paid tools for deployment like IBM MobileFirst, then have a budget in excess of $1,500.

Generally, mobile apps consume and gather voluminous amounts of data. This data storage can cost you somewhere from $3,000 to $3,600.

Are you aware of the CDN (content delivery network)? It is an infrastructure based around distributed servers—app content is delivered by processing a user’s geographic location, a content delivery server, and the content origin. CDN manages can eat off around $3,600 from your annual budget.

Additionally, there is also the maintenance of images that is how are they going to be downloaded, delivered, cropped or resized. For all of this processing related to images, you can expect an annual expense of $4,800.

IT Support

In order to provide technical support for your apps, consider the following.

  • Whether, you design apps for Android or iOS, each of these platforms continuously come up with newer updates, forcing developers to maintain apps accordingly. Depending upon the update, costs can vary but on average, you may have to spend around $8,000 to $10,000.
  • Modern mobile apps depend on 3rd party APIs, especially large-scale apps. While updating these apps, you also have to maintain their APIs. For instance, Facebook’s API is updated a few times a year. If you integrate Facebook in your app then you have to update it each time Facebook updates its API. On this front, prepare to spend around $5,000 per year.
  • No matter how many developers or budget is utilized for a mobile app, it is bound to be hit with bugs. When bugs are not resolved in time then end users are annoyed. You can reserve 10 percent of your budget to fix these bugs.
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