Software development is essential for all businesses in the digital world. Even if you don’t need custom software development, your functions indeed depend on software support. The value of custom software development can vary greatly, as many factors contribute to the final price.
To estimate the cost and difficulty of custom software development, you must first determine what type of software you need for your business. In this case, there are many aspects to consider. Some of them are the platform, the intended features, the required functionality, specific problem areas, etc.
Once you have provided the software vendor or developer with all the relevant information, they can overview the cost of software development and the challenges associated with the process.
The most popular forms of custom software are mobile apps and web platforms. Most companies and organizations rely on them to integrate with their systems. But even these types of software can vary. Here are the basic types:
- Mobile apps for business management
- Desktop applications for offline work and security
- Big data applications for business purposes
- Content management systems for managing websites
- Customer relationship management systems
- Real-time data tracking and analysis applications
- Software for automating business processes
- Web portals for customer meetings
- Online shops or e-commerce websites
| Virtual workplace
There can be many other types of custom software. Depending on their complexity and features, they can be essential, intermediate, or complex applications. Each type requires a different development time and cost.
To create helpful custom software must first be answered. One of the first questions must be what the user base of the product is. Depending on who will use the software, the software developer and the business owner(s) can determine the functionality, the interface, and difficulty level.
Different groups can consider this question. Custom software may be designed for online retailers, in which case the platform must be suitable for e-commerce. If HR professionals use it, they must add additional functionality for workforce management.
If it is intended for customers, their requirements must be taken into account. If students are the target group, the package should include educational aspects and functions such as assignments and data logging. Depending on the end goal of the application, development requirements should be included.
If the requirements for software development are not precise at the beginning, it will only make the whole process longer and more complicated.
What are the tasks of the product?
Another essential thing to know before setting a price is what tasks the product will perform. The software platform can be used for various functions, including data processing, report generation, communication with customers, product sales, etc.
Before quantifying the price, the software developer should be aware of the following aspects.
Product idea: The idea of the application must be clear, and it must be clear what is to achieve.
Thread model: What are the requirements for the application? It is essential to understand the structure and priorities of the site.
Features: definition of features that must comply with web design rules: includes which elements must be present, and which can be discussed and avoided.
References: if it is a web page, it must be completed with additional information: it is instrumental in having a point of contact before diving into the creation of the product. Competitors’ websites or similar examples will suffice in this respect.
Since the cost of developing software changes as features are added or removed, it is essential to have a clear idea of the complexity of a software product before committing to a price or development time.
How will users access the software product?
The access platform plays a vital role in the development and implementation of a software product. It also has an immediate impact on value and functionality. First, you need to decide whether the software will run on mobile platforms or desktop computers, or both.
Front-end and backend software development varies according to the application and platform, so this aspect is essential. Some of the possible platforms are:
Factors concerning the cost of custom software development
1| Software size and user base
Once you’ve answered all the questions you need to ask yourself before developing software; your next priority is to compile a list of factors that affect the cost of software development. One of the most important factors is the size of the software solution. Small platforms are often based on hourly rates because they don’t require a lot of time. However, if the software project is large, it will cost you much more per hour.
The same logic applies to the user base. If only a few people need the platform, it requires less work on the backend and feature integration. If you want a product that you can use globally, it requires much more development effort.
2| Software complexity
As mentioned, the software can be a simple application, a moderately complex application, or a fully complex application. The more elaborate the application, the higher the investment.
The cost develops depending on the number of screens the software is to contain. It is cheaper to create small applications with 20-30 screens than large applications with more than 40 screens.
If your software product intends to integrate with another application, you can leave some responsibilities, such as software security and data support, to the host. On the other hand, it requires more extensive programming if its design is a stand-alone application.
3| Design requirements
Design requirements include UX/UI design, architectural design, and basic design of website elements. All these aspects together form the design aspect, which in turn affects the cost of software development.
Each platform appeals to users primarily through its visual aspect. The optimized interface design makes the platform user-friendly. It allows customers to use it seamlessly—similarly, the font, color, and background of the interface influence the user’s perception of it.
If you are willing to work with free templates and designs, the cost of the software is low. However, if you need custom images, illustrations, and animations, the cost of software development will undoubtedly increase. It is even more true if revisions and redesigns are required after the software development.
4| Approach to software development
The development approach refers to the method by which you conceive and create a software product or service. The entire software development lifecycle, including software development costs, depends on it.
Depending on the software product you are developing, you may choose a predictive, incremental, agile, hybrid, or iterative approach. There is a change in process, methodology, and workflow in each of these cases, even if it is a subtle change. Therefore, this circumstance must be taken into reckoning when calculating the cost of custom software development.
Typical approaches to software development are incremental, spiral, or waterfall methods. The entire process involves needs analysis and delivery in a series of incremental software developments or builds. The spiral approach involves risk-based prototyping with some control mechanisms, while the waterfall approach is based on sequential or linear growth. Each of these systems works differently and has different costs associated with it.
5| Independent developer vs. development team
You control the cost if you have an independent developer work on your custom software. On the other hand, if you have to pay an entire development team, the price per person will increase. However, this assumption is not absolute. The amount also depends on the expertise and experience of the developer.
If you only employ inexperienced newbies, the process may take longer and require rework. On the other hand, hiring experienced and knowledgeable software developers can optimize the entire workflow. The ideal solution is to employ a combination of experienced and intelligent software developers and young people with new ideas.
Determining the cost of a custom software development project depends primarily on various project management options. With proper planning and estimating, it is easy to find the number that best fits the company’s software requirements.
In any case, software development costs can be estimated based on a number of the factors listed above. And the most remarkable thing to remember in this case is that each custom software has different requirements.
Based on precisely what you need from the product, you can easily calculate the price accurately. Once you have gone through all the project planning steps, you need to send a proposal with a quote to the software developer. Based on the developer’s response, you can renegotiate some of the finer points of the project.
The purpose of the developer is crucial in any custom software development project. Their pricing for services, expertise, and numbers can significantly impact the project, its cost, and its success.
Working with a developer or development team can also change the estimation technique. Several experts online can help you develop a plan for a custom software development project.
As this is an essential task with a long-term impact on the business, you need to be clear about the requirements, priorities, and budget before investing time and money in the development process. It is also helpful to document the process to be used as a reference in the future.
Before estimating the cost of software development and calculating an average amount, make sure you have done proper research to understand how the development process will work. If all goes well, you will have a compelling product that meets all your business needs while fitting into your company’s budget. If you are looking for a software developer there are many software development companies that can help in building software for your projects at affordable rates.