The beginning of 2020 put the world in a hard situation. The coronavirus outbreak and its distribution has affected not only particular countries but the global economy on the whole. SMBs and enterprises worldwide are experiencing the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To cope with unexpected difficulties, companies are compressing their budgets and searching for the ways to reduce their costs. They are striving to optimize a number of processes to cut app development expenses and save efforts since they have no extra money to pay for outsourced development services.
What exactly can a company do to minimize app development resources being under heavy economic pressure? Can anything in their traditional workflows be transformed?
We’ve defined the key practical tips that won’t allow your business to fall victim to COVID-19.
Reorganization of the Work Approach
The main idea here is to organize remote work for your employees to keep them safe. Of course, if you and your staff are used to working from an office, it may be hard to adopt the new conditions. For some time, your team members will have to admit they won’t be able to come to each other’s desk to check how the work is going, or just gather at the watercooler for a small chat. However, health should be of the highest priority, especially in the pandemic times. So make sure to pack your employees with everything they need to work from home comfortably and relieve them from the necessity to put their health at risk on the way to work.
And yes, managing a remote development team may be challenging, especially if you lack the relevant experience. There is a variety of articles with tips and tricks on managing remote development teams effectively. Change your physical watercooler with a “virtual watercooler” Slack channel, for example, so that your team will still have a place where they can talk during lunchtime, or relax chatting after a productive working day.
Tools for making remote work effective (Google Drive, Airtable, Trello, Slack, Zoom, etc.)
Automating Remote Work
Work automation has a range of advantages. It relieves you from the need to hire additional people to conduct mundane tasks, and lets your employees focus on the most critical work without being distracted by the things of less importance.
In the case of a remote work approach, the use of work automation software is a necessity. It allows you to minimize the need to micromanage your team. With work automation tools, you will be able to monitor the working progress of each team member remotely and see their achievements without constantly controlling them.
Pay attention to such tools as:
Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams – to ensure instant communication between your team members.
Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype (again) – for video conferencing.
Trello, Monday.com, Asana – for effective task management.
Airtable, Notion, Google Drive – for keeping everyone on the same page due to the use of one database.
Automating the Entire App Development Cycle
The traditional app development approach loses its attractiveness when time becomes crucial. Within the classical development process, different silos do their work – designing, coding, testing, deploying – and nobody sees the whole picture.
Constant communication ensured across the team is not everything that is needed to boost the app development process. Automation tools cannot be ignored as well.
Let’s see how, where, and what tools exactly to utilize within the app development cycle to accelerate the entire process, and make it run more smoothly.
Using No-Code Development Tools
Within the whole app development process, there’re a lot of types of software that can be helpful, for example, Sketch and Figma speed up design, HubSpot CRM, and Salesforce are powerful CRMs, Zapier and Parabola are great workflow automation tools.
But what about app development itself? When you’re under economic pressure and experience the lack of time, human and technology resources, no-code app development software is a silver bullet. With such visual development solutions as Webflow, Bubble, Wavemaker, UI Bakery, preparing the back-end, writing the front-end code, and integrating the back-end with the front-end is conducted visually, and thus simpler and faster.
No-code app development software relieves you from the necessity to hire front-end and back-end developers. One citizen developer who knows how to use visual development tools can create a solution you need quickly and effectively in several days or weeks.
Moreover, a lot of no-code or low-code app building platforms provide you with a variety of free templates and dashboards you can use to avoid building apps from scratch and save app development costs.
Using Test Automation Tools
A testing stage is not the one to skip within the development cycle, and it’s surely the one that can be automated, at least partially. Such tools as Selenium, Appium, Katalon Studio are designed specifically to conduct unit, functional, integration tests automatically, and promptly notify if any bugs are found.
Thus, the tests cover the largest possible scope of your app functionality, there are much fewer human errors and post-release bugs occurring in the manual testing process, and the release speed is increased.
Using Deployment Automation Tools
There is a great variety of well-known solutions like Jenkins, Bamboo, TeamCity, etc. that allow for continuous app deployment, testing, and releasing. However, to use these tools to the full extent requires particular knowledge, coding skills, and experts (DevOps experts in most cases).
Although, there are visual development alternatives (Wavemaker, UI Bakery) that allow you to not only create a front-end without coding, but also connect data and back-end to it, and deploy your app right within the platform. So there’s no need to find and configure a separate solution for it.
To Sum Up
To survive in the “global economic storms” like the current one caused by COVID-19, companies have to keep up with the dynamic changes these storms bring. The remote work approach is becoming the norm, and organizations have to get used to these new conditions. Automation is not optional anymore but a necessity. The demand for effective app development solutions allowing for creating apps faster and cheaper is reaching stratospheric level.
Luckily, there are a sufficient number of out-of-the-box app development software you can choose from and use to speed up app development, designing, testing, deployment.
Let it become the choice that will help you evolve your business, and stay afloat in the tough times.