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Moving to a new digital supplier: how we reduce risk and disruption to your product roadmap

Kathryn WhartonProcess

Finding a new digital partner to manage your existing app can be a daunting prospect. 

You want a partner agency with the right expertise and a transition process with as few disruptions as possible. 

With over a decade of experience developing mobile and web apps, hedgehog lab has nurtured many apps that were built by other agencies. That experience has shown us how important it is to reassure our clients that we have the know-how to keep their app safe - and to help it achieve its full potential. 

If you’re looking for a new supplier to manage your app, here’s what you can expect from us. 

Understanding your needs

We’ll start by getting a thorough understanding of your needs. 

You might have immediate issues to solve or a to-do list of maintenance tasks to process. Your key aim could be to develop your app by introducing a range of new features. 

Whatever your situation, we have the expertise to help you. 

Our support team will work with you if your main focus is maintenance. They’ll assess all of your needs, recommend one of our packages to align with your requirements and budget, create a timeline for completing the work and keep you updated as each task is completed. 

For development plans, we’ll bring our product and design teams together to create a roadmap that sets out all of the new features you want and how and when you can achieve them. We’ll give you an honest assessment of how feasible it is to deliver the new features, including the associated costs, timescale and technical requirements. For instance, if you’d like to create a version of your app for tablets, we’ll assess whether the existing code can auto-adapt to tablet format or if it was designed just for mobile use. Each scenario has a different roadmap so it’s important that you have an accurate appraisal of your needs. 

We’re committed to building trust with our clients and will always be upfront about the limitations and opportunities of your app. 

Understanding your app

We’ll spend a lot of time getting to know your existing app. 

It’s vital that we understand how it was built and how it functions so we can give you the best support and development advice possible. 

Here are some of the things we’ll assess through a coding review when we start working with your app: 

  • Code integrity - the quality of the code and its adherence to coding conventions with defined standard architecture. 

  • App structure - the modularity, flexibility and constraints of the existing code, including the localisation and layers of the user interface. 

  • Security - any vulnerabilities within the code, such as unencrypted keys, data storage or authentication issues. 

  • Maintainability - an assessment of how bespoke the coding is and whether it can be managed by any developer.

  • Third parties - any third party application programming interfaces (APIs), tools or libraries that will affect the running of the app. 

We’ll identify any quick fixes that can be rolled out immediately to improve the performance and functionality of your app. Our review will also determine whether your existing code can be repurposed or reused and how easy it is to change parts of it to achieve your objectives. 

A major part of our coding review process is to understand how fit for the future your app is. Our developers are experts in digital product development across iOS, Android and web, and can future-proof your app to comply with upcoming policy, standards and framework updates (including Google, Apple, React, Python and .Net). 

Ensuring a smooth handover

One of your primary concerns will be the safe transition of your app from one supplier to another. 

We’ve been both the incumbent and the new supplier so we have lots of experience in managing smooth handovers. 

The first thing we do is identify any known issues that might affect the transition of the app. We create that list following the coding review outlined above. 

We then map out the deployment process. We’ll work with your existing supplier and internal IT teams to understand exactly how the app is used and accessed to mitigate any risks during the transfer. For example, that could include identifying which devices your employees use to access the app to ensure the hardware is compatible with the app once it is transferred and updated. 

We also aim to have an overlap period with your existing supplier to provide extra security during the transition. We’ll freeze the code so your previous supplier can’t change it and we take responsibility for it. Your previous supplier will stick around for a month so we can call on their knowledge of the app to help us manage the handover and first few releases. That gives us some additional support during the transition - and provides you with the reassurance that the handover is being managed carefully. 

App admin is an often overlooked but essential part of a successful handover. We’ll check that all of the accounts associated with the app are in your name, not the previous supplier’s, so you can make any necessary changes, payments or updates during the transition. This avoids admin bottlenecks that could hold up the transfer of your app. 

We aim to make moving to a new supplier as safe and as easy as possible. Our customers rank us #1 in the world for mobile app development because they trust our expertise and value our commitment to building supportive relationships with our clients. Take a look at some of the work we’ve delivered for our global client base here

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss how we could support your existing product and transition of supplier, get in touch today. Or, if you would like to get up to date industry news then sign up to our newsletter here.