Moving into 2020, there is a new sense of urgency. Businesses are now in competition with mobile-first companies that have already disrupted the market with new competitors coming in from everywhere.
This can be attributed to the ever-increasing numbers of smartphone users across the globe. With 2.7 billion smartphone users, it’s becoming imperative for organizations to appraise the potential impact of enterprise mobility trends. While organizations understand that mobility is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’, many are still struggling to make the mobile transformation at scale.
Given all the technological disruptions, the need for immediate solutions can be best met with ready templates. Leveraging templates for specific types of applications can be important for business users who require a quick, basic solution.
What are templates?
Templates are used as guides to make something- you use the ruler as a template to draw a precise line, a presentation template for your sales pitch, a spreadsheet template for your financial budgets, a template for that Facebook post, template for your first website and today, you also have templates to build mobile applications.
From an enterprise perspective, until a few years ago, the template business-focussed mainly on website templates and WordPress templates. This is quickly changing now with the templatizing trend being picked up by the mobile app ecosystem as well.
App developers and tech experts say that the majority of app development is a repeat process. This is particularly applicable to scenarios where organizations are building apps that may not be exact clones but are actually using very similar components in them. This gives rise to the modularization of the app development process. App templates are ready-made, preconfigured solutions that give a headstart in the development journey.
With the growing rise in app-based startups, it is imperative for developers to use a modular way of app development which costs least time and money. That is where app templates come in.
What are the templates good for?
Imagine you are the HR Head who has set out to establish an HRMS for your organization. What are some of the must-haves? Attendance and Leave management? Payroll? Employee Database management? Benefits management? Onboarding? Learning and Training? Analytics & Reporting? Now imagine getting each of these components in the form of a ready-to-use template from a Marketplace of apps that can be customized as and when required. You can plug into it your business logic and get it ready for your organization. This way you save a ton of development cost and time.
Template apps have the following major advantages to them:
- Cost-effective: You instantly save thousands of dollars that are spent in UI development. This is a crucial stage where many enterprises end up spending a high amount of time and money in app development [rather than other important necessities].
- Fast (faster time-to-market): You save months of time which otherwise would have gone in the designing and developing of the app’s UI. Faster time to market is often the deal maker or breaker for an app development solution.
- Small teams: You do not require to hire employees only to develop the app. Using a ready template nearly halves the efforts. The need to program or understand coding is very little to none at all.
The need for app templates is only going to rise
- Increasing apps for traditional businesses :
In order to counter the rising mobile-first enterprises/competitions, many traditional businesses are also slowly moving up in their app-sphere, even if just to support their brand image. These types of apps do not require complex functionality and can be best made from app templates.
- Apps for shorter time-periods :
At times organizations require time for shorter spans of time such as for events, one-off deals etc. For such situations, hiring developers to create UI from scratch is mostly overkill. Hence, app templates are going to be popular in such cases.
- Everyone wants an app :
According to new research, Americans check their phones 80 times a day. Even for simple school assignments, institutes are using apps. For quick turnaround time, an app template is an ideal solution.
Who are these marketplace templates for?
The templates are ideal for both technical and non-technical users alike. Project managers and line of business leaders who have a deep understanding of the requirement can get started in no time with the ready template apps and can further customize them without any coding required. At the same time, these templates will help our fellow developers/coders speed up their app development projects where they get a baseline module ready.
Where to get started?
There are now app development platforms offering ready templates. These platforms cater to a variety of needs and target users. Some noteworthy once include:
Microsoft’s PowerApps a low code app development platform that offers a bunch of ready templates. These are ready-made applications that present a final solution to specific requirements (Help Desk, Budget Tracker, Leave Request etc) that you can add to your environment and edit and use them. Their platform focusses more on the enterprises and the outcome is most fitting for businesses that are licensed users of Office 365. What about the rest?
DronaHQ is a popular SaaS-based No-code app development platform. It offers a Marketplace of ready templates like HR apps, finance, sales, admin and operations, procurement, inspection checklists and so on. Each template is made on their no-code platform so users from any background can get started, (endless) customize and start using the app without any IDE installations. The platform is ideal for businesses large and small.
Another popular low code platform, Mendix also offers its users task-based templates such as Approvals, forms, trackers and more. It does, however, require the users to install an IDE. Their solution is more suited for developers. The business users would like to see a more business-oriented modeling environment in scenarios where they do not want to rely on outsourced solutions.
- Zoho Creator
Zoho’s low code app dev platform Zoho Creator showcases an App gallery of most popular, ready-to-use business apps like Sales and Order Management, Employee Management, IT Asset Management, and more. The platform has found home mostly in SMB companies.
Besides these, there are plenty of services out there that will let you build simple mobile apps without the need to learn how to code. The trick is to find the right platform that provides businesses with a bridge between their fundamental mobility goals and more complex features.
The templates should act as baseline module that companies can deploy in just a few clicks. Ideally, one should go for a platform that provides the following:
- Infinite customization: Options to customize the template apps for complete adherence to requirements and easy integration with other enterprise systems. This also allows you to extend the more rigid functionalities of certain enterprise systems.
- Backend integration: While the choice of back-end technology may vary for different companies, it should not be difficult to quickly switch from the already existing setup to that of your choice.
- Architecture: Get a ready-made structure with examples/pre-filled data for your understanding; somewhere where you do not have to spend too much time thinking about element use or placement.
- Possibility to edit structure and code: Option to make significant modifications to the structure of your selected template.
Before choosing a mobile app development platform or template provider, sketch out your concept and decide what features and capabilities you really need as per your requirements.