The IT industry has always been changing rapidly and the current pandemic situation has only accelerated this process: the emerging trends we see today will probably no longer matter in the upcoming years, while the others will only increase in their popularity.
In general, today’s software engineering trends are strongly related to the optimization and automation of the developing processes, security, and compliance improvements, and, finally, software development cost reduction – one of the core aspects that plays a tremendous role in IT products development.
Gartner’s latest forecast shows that worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022, with a CAGR of 5.1% from 2021, and up to 9% of these costs will be invested into software development, according to Statista.
However, along with the increasing investment tendency, more and more companies start searching for effective ways to optimize software development costs and get the most profitable outcomes from their projects.
In this article, Intellectsoft will explain the major factors that impact the cost of software development, as well as share the profitable tips for reducing the spending on software development and calculating software development costs.
What Factors Define Software Development Costs?
First of all, before you start learning the most critical aspects that influence the final cost of software development, it’s essential to understand which factors really matter in the process of digital product development.
Overall, the software development pricing is formed depending on the specific features your product has to include, its scope and size, delivery timelines, and many more.
Nevertheless, being aware of all these elements will help you not only to better understand the process but also to calculate software development cost and find the most profitable approaches to their optimization.
So, the major factors that make an average cost of software development are:
- Project Scope & Its Complexity. This aspect describes the overall development environment used to build your app, including time and workforce required, the in-process challenges developers face, and effort input. Additionally, you should also consider the unexpected events and security measures, yet understand that the leverage-cutting technologies will surely require higher investments.
- Software Functionality. Get ready to pay more for the feature-rich software solutions, as it not only requires more time but also much more effort, complex processes, innovative approaches, and detailed testing to deliver a high-quality product.
- UI/UX Design Implemented. Any technology should be wrapped into an engaging design and clear navigation and intuitive interface to get more people encouraged to come back, so you will surely want to make a custom design instead of using standard templates, and deliver the best experience to its users and provide the highest level of usability.
- Software Integration. Making your product more agile and compatible with other popular services, apps, and technologies used today can put the software on a completely new level and enhance its competitiveness on the market. However, integrating the technologies like blockchain, IoT, supply chain management, CRM or other solutions will naturally boost the software development costs.
- Human Resources Involved. Last but not less important is to mind the workforces needed to get your project done. To develop even the most simple MVP, you’ll need not only developers but also designers, QA specialists, testers, project managers, and many more. And, their level of experience will also impact the final software development cost!
Now that you know all the essential software cost factors and can conduct a thorough software development cost estimation for your upcoming projects. However, before getting started, let’s review the effective tips on how these costs can be reduced!
Tips to Cut Off the Cost of Software Development
According to BCG, cost optimization today is an urgent priority for nearly every company. Amortization of software development costs is no longer an option but a necessity, as it can significantly save up the costs required to deliver first-class software products without losing on their quality or time.
Additionally, it can help to optimize the app delivery process and ensure your company is utilizing the most profitable approaches for the project’s successful development and use.
Outsource Software Development
One of the core ways to reduce software development costs is by employing the outsourcing model, which so far remains the most effective and popular software engineering method. Why? IT outsourcing enables a wide range of different opportunities for the companies, as they become able to:
- Access the large pool of skilled specialists
- Get better workflow flexibility, regardless of the location of your outsourced team
- Achieve greater productivity while saving costs on the employee training
- Focus on other essential business activities (which is extremely important for the companies in non-IT niches)
- Win on the knowledge of the industry and innovations
- Employ first-class technologies in your projects
- Reduce the risks of project failure
These are only a few benefits companies can get with software development outsourcing, and according to the recent research by Deloitte, nearly 60% of companies prefer this approach due to its cost-efficiency.
Unlike the traditional hiring model where you need to hire and train new employees, spending lots of time, effort, and resources, the outsourcing model involves a dedicated team of developers that features enough expertise in the scope and can start working on the project delivery from day one.
Additionally, outsourcing is an effective solution for software development costs tax treatment, as you can search for professional software vendors in countries with much lower tax rates in terms of IT development, such as Ukraine, for example.
Plan the Project Objectives & Finalize Requirements
Another proven way to achieve capitalized software development costs is to always provide detailed project scope and requirements to your developers, no matter whether you’re working with an in-house team or decided to outsource to IT specialists.
When it comes to launching any project, you will need to clearly state the scope, goals, and essential features you’ll expect to get with the project delivery.
This approach not only impacts the costs but also the overall time developers will need to get the project done, yet avoid missing deadlines and spending money on doing the same tasks.
Launch an MVP & Collect Feedback
One of the most common mistakes that experienced companies and prospective startups do when working on their software project is overlooking the MVP launching stage and targeting full-fledged software directly.
In fact, working on minimum value software products helps to eliminate time and resources needed for the full product development, while providing valuable insights regarding:
- The success of your final product
- Various performance issues detected during the utilization process
- The product relevance for your potential users
- Different aspects to be improved: features, bugs, and more, as well as provide feedback regarding the software usability
Additionally, MVP can show the potential of your upcoming product, accelerate the time and costs for the actual development, and even attract investors!
Involve QA Specialist
A good option to achieve capitalized software development costs is to employ a professional quality assurance specialist that can track the development process, analyze the product performance and ensure the product doesn’t have any bugs or errors. The major reasons why companies hire professional quality assurance experts include:
- Saving up on time and money without the quality loss
- Ensuring the product quality and its competitiveness on the market
- In-time vulnerabilities detection & enhanced software security
- Guaranteeing the best user experience
- Business reputation protection
As you can see, the professional QA specialist can provide full assistance in the early stages of the product development, thus eliminating the chances to get tons of performance issues that may impact the final costs and delivery time.
Consider Cross-Platform Development
If you’re targeting users on several operating systems, considering the cross-platform development approach can be also a great opportunity for amortization of software development costs!
This method implies the usage of specific cross-platform development tools like React Native, Xamarin, or Flutter and enables the building of a single application that works perfectly on different operating systems and devices.
So, instead of writing multiple code variations specifically for each operating system or device, you’ll get a more agile product. Along with cutting out the spending, your company will also win a lot on the time of product development!
Implement the Right Methodology
Using the proper type of methodology is simply a must to organize an effective software development process. Based on the major goals and requirements of your project, this practice is basically a “backbone” of the entire development process that can impact the costs, time, and resources needed to deliver a high-quality software solution.
In most cases today, businesses prefer using the Agile method of software development – the approach that enables issue detecting and elimination in the early stages of software development. However, if you’re searching for the one that will work best for you – feel free to review our recent post regarding 12 Software Development Methodologies and what projects they fit best.
The properly defined methodology enables providing better estimates, delivering stable systems, keeping the companies in the loop about the latest project news, and ensuring software engineers have a clear understanding of the entire development process in general, not only the stages they’re responsible for.
Once you choose the most beneficial methodology and conduct a thorough software development cost estimation, you’ll be able to see that this approach is an integral part of any software product delivery.
To sum up, it’s more than possible to optimize the software development cost and boost the project performance without losing on the quality: from hiring a dedicated team of developers and reconsidering the project planning processes to entrusting the entire project delivery to the professional software development services outsourced.
Having implemented at least a few of these practices, you and your organization will be able to see the improvements from day one.
At Intellectsoft, we continue to search for innovative solutions and approaches that will help our clients and their workforces to perform effectively and make the most of their business. Are you and your organization looking for some?
Talk to our experts today to discover the most beneficial approaches for enhancing software development and what profit these can provide exactly for your business!