Top Factors that Determine Software Development Costs
November 29, 2021 (Investorideas.com Newswire) As some who has nearly a decade of experience as a software developer, I can assure you that the most frequently asked question for developers and software development companies is about software development prices. I often meet potential clients and the first thing they ask me is "I have a so and so software idea, how much do you think the development work will cost?" I dread this question, because well, it is really difficult to say. Custom software development pricing is dependent on a number of factors - from technical complexity to design. It is nearly impossible for anyone to ballpark the cost of development for your software idea without fully understanding the requirements and scope of your project.
Here's a rundown of all the top factors that determine software development costs. These will help you understand how the size and scope of a software development project are defined and what features influence the cost of development.
1. Technological Complexity
The complexity of the software refers to the difficulty level of the logic behind the software application. As users, we only interact with the frontend of the applications, but our every click or scroll is only made possible by the algorithms in the backend that perform the functions allowing us to use the app.
The complexity of the software logic determines the time and effort it requires the developers to write the software code. For instance, an application that is based on simplistic logic can be written in under 600 hrs, but a large and technologically complex application like a fintech app can take upwards of 1500 hrs of development work. Therefore, the complexity of your software is one of the major factors that determine the custom software development pricing for your project.
2. Type of Service
There is a wide range of software development services that are offered in the market. The specific type of service that your project requires, plays a huge role in determining the final cost of development. Custom software development services can include:
- Development of bespoke software solutions from scratch
- Extension and improvement of an existing software system
- API development and system integration
- Software support and maintenance
- Quality assurance and software testing
Developing a custom software system from scratch is the most comprehensive service out of all and hence it is the most expensive. If your project only requires support and maintenance services or it needs integration with a custom API, then the software development costs can be significantly lower.
To read up more about this, see: https://www.goodcore.co.uk/company/pricing/.
3. Choice of Platform
Software development pricing is also greatly dependent on your choice of platform. The first requirement that is considered by software development companies is whether you require a mobile application, a web-based application, or a desktop app. The cost of development can vary depending on the platform that the application is being built for. When it comes to mobile app development, the choice of operating systems such as iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, or Windows OS can have a huge impact on the development cost. Mobile app development for Android is more expensive than the development of iOS apps. This is because Android is the most common operating system and is compatible with a large number of devices; developing an Android app means building the app and testing it for a large number of devices.
4. UI/UX Design
How your final software product will turn out depends on its User Interface and User Experience (UI and UX). Design is a major component of the software development process, and your design requirements are an important consideration for the cost of development. A complex UI/UX design that involves virtual or augmented reality, gamification, 3D animations, and custom illustrations can drive up the cost of development significantly. These design features will make your software appealing for the users, but in terms of development and design effort, they require a lot of time to create. These will increase the total development time, scope, and cost of development.
5. Hiring Option
Who will develop our software application? Will you recruit an in-house development team, or will you outsource the development work? If outsourcing, will you hire a software development company or freelance developers? All of these are important questions to ask yourself when starting out with your software projects. Your hiring option is another important factor that can influence the cost of development.
With an in-house development team, you will be required to search for talent, recruit them, and manage them for the duration of the project. You will have to pay their salaries and closely oversee their work. Therefore, in-house development is a time-consuming and expensive option. It is only suitable for large scale software projects that involve the development of a SaaS or white label product from scratch and its maintenance.
With outsourcing, you have a wide range of options depending on your project and the budget. You can either opt for freelance developers which is a cost-effective but risky option. Freelance developers cost less but there is no guarantee for their quality of work or if they will complete the project on time. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with freelance software developers.
Another option is to hire a software development company. A professional company that is experienced in custom software development can your software idea into a feature-rich, high-quality software system. It is a reliable option because you can vet the company based on their portfolio, reviews, and past projects using platforms such as Clutch, Manifest, and Good Firms. Hiring a software development company will be a significant investment but it is the safest way for software sourcing. Depending on the location of the software company the software development rates can vary. For instance, companies located in India or East Asia have low per hour rates than companies in Europe. App development costs in the UK can fall anywhere between $18 per hour to $70 per hour depending on the seniority level of the resource.
Many factors that influence the cost of custom software development such as the technological complexity of the software, UI/UX design requirements, choice of deployment platform, size of the software userbase, and the hiring options. It is advised to always analyse these factors and do market research for current rates and prices while deciding the budget for your development project. It is also helpful to get in touch with different software development companies about your project and ask for quotes so you can compare them and make an informed decision for your software project.
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