I think you may have missed the point on why this is happening. It isn’t so much to save money, it’s part of the wider RAF ASTRA program. It’s the RAF that will be making the app, not us.
Where the mention of saving money has been made is about not printing any more books between now and when the app is ready as it would be a waste of money to do a full print run when soon they won’t be required. Cadets also aren’t losing out on physical ways of remembering what they’ve done. We still give out certificates for most things. Or badges for the brassard.