Does your MSP Business Need an App?

Scott Calonico

man with appsDo you think your MSP business could benefit from a custom mobile app?

People have become well used to using apps for all kinds of things. To put this in perspective, the average iPhone user has approximately 60 apps on their device according to a report by Asymco.

Many people now choose restaurants, book cabs and check in for flights using their mobile devices. With this in mind, what’s to stop them logging helpdesk calls using them, or checking how you’re performing against your service level agreements?

Before you commit to the time and cost associated with creating a mobile app for your MSP, it’s worth considering whether it really needs one. The following points should help you answer that fundamental question.

1.  Is there an actual NEED for an app?

Have your customers asked for an app, or have they, perhaps, been impressed by an app on offer from one of your competitors?

Building a custom app for your MSP for “wow factor” alone isn’t necessarily a bad idea. After all, if could make your business stand out amongst the competition. However, if you’re not confident clients will use it, you could be spending a lot of money on something that’s really little more than a status symbol.

2. Do you have a clear idea of what you want your app to do?

Would your app be a client dashboard; a call logging system; a system monitoring tool, or a combination of all three?

You shouldn’t start to throw money at developing an app unless you have a very clear idea of its purpose.

apps in machine

3. Is there an “off the shelf” app you could use instead?

There are plenty of existing mobile apps that could work well for your MSP business. You may even be able to rebrand some with your own company identity. Before starting to develop your own, be sure there’s not already something out there that would do the job equally well.

4. Have you considered the need for iOS AND Android apps?

If your customers use mixture of Apple and Android-based devices (which they probably do), you’re going to need two versions of your app. This means more development cost.

5. Would a well-designed mobile site do the job?

If you want to provide your clients with mobile access to call logging facilities, SLA monitoring figures and system status reports, you don’t necessarily need to do so via an app. A well designed mobile website could potentially do the job just as well, without landing you with the support burden of your own app.

You probably feel slightly discouraged about the idea of your own MSP app, having read the above points. They’re not, in fact, intended to put you off the idea. Instead, they’re designed to ensure you’ve thought through what’s involved.

There’s no getting away from the fact that people like using mobile apps, and your customers will probably be impressed that your have your own. Just make sure you really need one first!