Cost is often the deciding factor when it comes to custom software. We all know that even though it should not be so, most enterprises keep their purse strings drawn tight when settling on a custom software development partner to reduce software development costs. And very often, this is the reason why the said project fails.
The enterprise was focused on getting its development project done on the tiniest possible budget and forgot that cheap is not always better. But this does not mean that the most expensive partner is the best. The costs of custom software development are a delicate tightrope that needs patience and finesse to maneuver across.
Planning deficiencies and inadequate communication are the two primary reasons for the failure of custom software development initiatives, and costs incurred are a close second. In this article, I will talk about how to reduce custom software development costs without compromising on quality.
How Deep is the Rabbit Hole?
The very nature of custom software development is “custom’, built to suit an enterprise’s unique business needs. Custom software may share a similarity or two with other software, yet the inherent idea and business rationale is always tailored to the enterprise commissioning the project.
Custom software results in the elimination of bottlenecks while offering the enterprise significant competitive advantages.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, one in six IT projects overstep initially projected costs by a whopping 200%. This is a dismal number, one that can strike fear even into the most cash-heavy organizations around. So how does one reduce the cost of custom software development?
Ways to Reduce Custom Software Development Costs
Here are five strategies that can assist cost-focused enterprises in investing smartly and achieving their desired output through custom software development.
Consider Your Outsourcing Options
One of the simplest, most cost-effective methods of reducing software development costs is by outsourcing the project. Your enterprise will immediately experience cost savings in terms of eliminated infrastructural costs, employee salaries, and benefits, as well as a significant reduction in operational, management, and marketing costs. The cost of outsourcing IT services is a lot less than maintaining an in-house team.
Offshore software development is likewise an excellent method to access experienced engineers in the necessary specialized area. Yet, these lower rates don’t necessarily convert into proportionately superior quality. Achieving an output of top quality will require considering a large number of elements beyond expense. With the right outsourcing partner, you will save money and receive a product that meets and exceeds all quality standards.
Draw Up Your Requirements
Uncertainty when it comes to objectives and requirements can be disastrous to your development initiative’s cost. On the off chance that the requirements are confused or not read thoroughly, it can result in sub-optimal designs, inadequate functionalities, and specifics resulting in an absolute debacle.
Before beginning work on your custom software development project or bringing a development partner on board, ensure that you are mindful of your business needs and have requirement analysis drawn up. Appropriate documentation is crucial to diminishing miscommunication that may adversely affect your development initiative.
Your software development team understands what they need to create down to the most intricate subtleties with clarity in requirements. You don’t need to invest a lot of energy in explanatory meetings. This will decrease the consumption of time and, subsequently, costs while offering your enterprise the ability to direct its efforts to other core business tasks.
According to the Harvard Business review metric mentioned earlier, many IT projects end up costing double their projected budget. This happens mainly because of unfeasible and impractical project specs and flux in management and project direction. Frequently changing management rosters can result in miscommunication, rendering descriptions of crucial project aspects vague. This creates a communication gap, and the development team struggles to articulate specs in a way that matches the scope and quality desired by your enterprise.
Communicating the project flow properly to the development team allows them to create a detailed roadmap that considers budgets, specifications, and customer-centricity, minimizing guesswork and resulting in a world-class product.
Involve QA from the Very Beginning
Software development Gurus always propagate the concept of an enterprise beginning testing right off the bat on the software they are developing. Without having a robust QA structure in place from the very beginning can cause errors and bugs to accumulate, resulting in massive costs to eliminate them in later stages of the development cycle. Not deploying a QA team can result in sub-optimal quality and demand re-designs, which means paying twice for a single software.
Involving a QA team from the beginning can identify issues and conflicts and bring them to the surface, enabling the development team to smoothen out these creases in the fabric of their software. Involving QA in the software development initiatives can also bring forth requirements of certain additional functionalities that could add value to the software being developed.
Prioritize Essential Features and Dispense
In software development projects, stakeholders often give free rein to their imagination and dream up feature-loaded software. However, when it comes to execution and the costs of these initial requirements are drawn up, many of these seemingly fantastic features turn out to be fanciful and impractical. It is noteworthy that an excellent end product would take about two to three iterations before release, with budgets being strained by every consecutive version.
The best way to approach software development is to create a bare-bones version and release it to test the audience to evaluate appeal and profitability. Subsequent addition of features and functionalities would address the need-gaps in the software eliminating low-value features and functionalities that have no real-world importance.
This will diminish development costs and assist in market research to figure out how accepting your end-user is of your software.
A Quick Summary
These are a couple of hacks that will assist you with outsourcing software development projects at a much lower software development cost without abandoning quality.
Custom software development is costly, at least when it comes to the initial investment phase. To circumvent these costs, choosing to outsource your software development initiative is a viable option. Depending on your location, custom software development could cost upwards of $150/hr in North America.
Outsourcing to an offshore software development hub like India results in a massive drop in IT outsourcing cost, with the hourly rate of an experienced developer delivering custom software development services being $20/hr. There is a massive disparity between development costs while considering the aspect of geolocation. While choosing a partner, your enterprise must also consider the size of the outsourcing partner.
While a more extensive organization sports better technical expertise, a smaller organization can offer better attention to your development project. India happens to be an established tech hub, and the capabilities and expertise of its coders, programmers, and developers are well known.
The Indian Software development industry is well known for being a tightly run ship with excellent custom software development firms offering superlative project management and sporting capabilities of creating robust, intuitive, and high-value software.
To summarize everything, when your enterprise has a legitimate and robust foundation for the need for custom software development and a clear idea of what the application is being built to accomplish, costs can be reduced massively, and custom software development can be far affordable, effective and cost-efficient.