4 min

How to Choose the Best App Development Approach for Your Business

Select the right type of mobile app for your business and better reach your customers by considering factors such as audience demographics, customization requirements, platform preferences, budget and future needs.

For businesses of all sizes, creating an app is an important step in reaching more customers and delivering a unique experience. A mobile app conveniently delivers your business to a consumer’s fingertips, opening the door for more revenue, increased brand awareness, strengthened customer loyalty and more.

Consider these statistics:

  • 85% of Americans own a smartphone, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center fact sheet.
  • There were over 12.2 billion app downloads in the U.S. last year, according to’s State of Mobile 2022 report, with a consumer spend over $42 billion.
  • U.S. mobile phone users spent an average of 4.4 hours on their device each day in 2022, according to the report.

But how do you decide what type of app is best for your business? Developing an app can quickly become overwhelming considering the various tools, frameworks and programming languages available to use.

Envisioning Your App

Before kicking off development of a new app, it is important to think about your must haves. For example, do you need a highly customized app, or are you looking for a simple solution? Is it necessary for your app to access the device’s hardware, such as the camera? Does your market lean toward a certain platform more than the other?

Think about the level of security you will need, any necessary third-party APIs and future features or updates you would like to add.

Once you establish what is necessary for your business’ minimum viable product (MVP) for an app, determine a budget, evaluate resources and constraints and identify a realistic timeline, it becomes easier to narrow down what app development style will work best for your company.

Mobile App Types

Native Apps

  • Ideal for companies who want to provide the most optimal experience for a certain platform, such as iOS or Android.
  • The app is written for that specific platform vs. using one version of code for all, resulting in fewer bugs and technical issues.
  • Enables access to device hardware and capabilities not accessible through a mobile browser interface.
  • Commonly used for gaming apps.
  • Good for organizations looking to tap into the Internet of Things where precise Bluetooth communication is necessary.
  • Most costly and time-intensive to develop, plus requires more updates.

No-code and Low-code Apps

  • A good solution for organizations that need a quick, simple solution and lack development resources.
  • Offers drag-and-drop features and templates for common features, such as e-commerce capabilities.
  • Does not require deep technical expertise, but some platforms do require basic coding skills.
  • Limited to what features and design styles are offered by the vendor.
  • Security can become a concern.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

  • Is built on and lives on the web, but looks and performs like a mobile app. 
  • Does not require users to visit an app store or local device storage but offers the ability to add a shortcut link to the home screen.
  • Offers increased accessibility since PWAs can function on every platform and even work on older browsers.
  • Performance can vary depending on the user’s device.
  • Some users place more trust in an app downloaded from an app store.

 Cross-platform and Hybrid Apps

  • Developers only need to write the code once for multiple platforms, which makes development less expensive since you don’t need separate specialized teams.
  • Easier to maintain and deploy than a native app but doesn’t offer the best performance.
  • Provides ability to tap into common device hardware, such as a phone camera.
  • Able to deliver various customization and features.
  • Not ideal for apps with complex interfaces or heavy animation.

Taking the Next Step

Depending on your company’s resources and the complexity of your app, it may be helpful to find a trusted partner who can guide you along the way, especially if you are envisioning adding customizations and features down the line.

Our CDW Mobile Studio offering can help you collect, analyze, define and prioritize high-level requirements, constraints, needs and features. We will develop a user journey map to provide you a better understanding of the user’s perspective and help you identify IT requirements and prioritize features.

Story by Matt Schmitz CDW Expert

Matt Schmitz

CDW Expert
Matt Schmitz, mobile app and custom development expert, is a credentialed architect and engineer in a variety of technologies for hosting, tooling and general platforming.