CEO Blog Series #3: Time-to-market, no place to lose revenues

Bitbar, the mobile devops company. Logo, large

One of our customers used to do agile development, with typical 2 week sprints, and then combined that with 4 weeks manual testing cycles. So, they ended up doing 2 additional development sprints before developers got feedback from the manual testing on the 1st development sprint! That was huge waste of resources, and ended up in a mess and missed and delayed deadlines. The solution was to go really agile, do continuous integration, continuous testing and automate the testing on real end user devices, all the time during development.

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Shorter time-to-market drives up your top-line. The earlier you launch, the earlier you start generating revenues. With high volumes, every day counts. You know your Monthly Active Users (MAU)/Daily Active Users(DAU) as well as your other mobile KPIs, like average revenue/value per daily active user (ARPDAU). It is very easy to calculate the impact of delay of the release on your top-line.

When you release your new app or old app with new monetized features 2 weeks earlier than previously using agile combined with automated mobile testing, that is 14 days shaved off from every release cycle. If you do 6 releases per year (every 2 months), it is 84 days saved annually.

The maths for lost revenue is really simple

  • Suppose 100 000 DAU
  • Suppose $0.05 ARPDAU
  • 14 days * 6 release/year * 100 000 * $0.05 = $420 000/year/app more to your top line.
  • If you have a portfolio of 5 apps, total would be around $2M from faster time-to-market.

You can achieve all this by shaving off 2 weeks in every release cycle. Not all apps are directly revenue generating, for example banking apps, so replace ARPDAU with your specific value for each mobile user.

Time-to-market is improved with integrated development and testing process. This is the case for all software development, but in mobile app dev it is the only way to do development efficiently. There is a huge number of end user platforms (ie. devices), that your apps should support and ever increasing complexity in apps that need to be tested on those end user devices in every release. In Enterprise apps world, bring your own device policies (BYOD) create the same need for organisations’ internal apps. In large organisations, there are easily 30-50 different devices from tablets to smartphones to be supported and tested with every release. At Enterprises, daily volumes are naturally lower, but value per mobile user is much higher than with consumer facing apps & games.

You can automate huge amount of testing, and do it on real devices after every new code checking and/or nightly builds. This will shorten your Dev&Test cycle, improve defect-fixing times and result in improved top line.

Faster time-to-market also keeps your competition at bay. They will not get a chance to promote their offerings over yours, which is always a danger when your releases start to slip. You can release more often with more confidence in the quality of your releases.

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