The right choice for your business
While it may be fair to say there's no right answer here, one approach clearly brings more risk than the other. Training and cultivating a new developer from within your own ranks is a tough proposition that offers no guarantee of a great app at the end of the process.
However, the cost of that risk can be surprisingly low in comparison to the cost of a development contractor. Sending a $60,000-a-year IT worker to dev training and giving him or her a few months to create an app can set you back less than $30,000. By contrast, a single fully customized, data-driven app built by an outside consultancy can easily cost you $30,000 to $50,000.
So if you've got time on your side and you'd like to build up some development talent within your organization, investing in in-house development resources can be a smart move over the long run. If, however, you need the assurance of rock-solid reliability and security within a shorter production cycle, you're better off enlisting the help of a proven development contractor.