The market for custom software development and complex IT solutions is very heterogeneous. By sending a request with the same input to a dozen companies, you can get completely different prices for the service. However, by leveraging 20+ years of customer experience and industry expertise, Velvetech has named the key cost drivers for custom development.
As it turned out, there are different criteria that affect pricing. Starting from the number of screens and ending with data security. The more complex and functional the project, the more expensive it is. Yet, according to Velvetech, it is possible to point out the main factors which influence the pricing:
Type of software
The team responsible for the development
Availability of integrations with third-party systems and devices
Need for maintenance and support
To get a better idea of where you might fall on the spectrum, below are the detailed factors that Velvetech found have the biggest impact on a project’s cost.
Type of software
The first thing that weighs the final cost of developing custom software is determining the type of solution. Do you need a mobile app or a website? Do you need something with data science capabilities, cloud computing, or both? This will determine the complexity of product creation, and respectively its cost. In fact, the more complex the type of software, the more difficult it will be to develop, test, and deploy.
Project size plays an important role in determining the cost of software development. It is usually the number of screens, pages, or modules available in the required solution. For example, a small-size application has no more than 20 screens. A medium-size application has 21 to 40 screens. And a large-size application has more than 40 screens.
There is no doubt that optimization and testing processes for large, complex projects require more time and effort than for a small one. Thus, the more screens/modules you want your software to have, the higher the cost you have to pay.
The cost of software development is also affected by the number of people working on your project. After all, the time and effort of every project manager, developer, UI/UX designer, and other participants cost money.
When it comes to the price of the software solution, you should also consider the type of team you have. Regardless of which development methods you choose (in-house or outsourcing), it will affect the project costs. For example, outsourcing may be more expensive, but it ensures the quality of the software product.
Software development costs can vary depending on project deployment platforms. Each platform has a different number of devices on which the software product will be deployed. Hence, the costs that you have to invest in each of them will also be different.
The tech stack is a set of tools for implementing an intended IT idea. The stack consists of programming languages, frameworks, libraries, various development tools, and project management approaches. The synthesis between all of the above predetermines the viability and competitiveness of your product. As well as its functionality, scalability, and further maintenance.
To pick a tech stack, you need good technical and architectural experience and knowledge. For a competent selection, it is necessary to be guided in the subtleties and differences between each programming language or framework. Therefore, an IT developer is someone who knows better what, when, and where to apply. So, the project's total cost depends on the choice of a particular tech stack that the developer will turn to.
Availability of integrations with third-party systems and devices
Data integration and migration requirements also determine software development costs. Currently, most applications have integration features to connect to third-party systems. These are ERP/CRM systems, payment gateways, etc. They are not always easy to develop. Hence, software development costs can increase.
Similarly, some software products or applications require data transfer functions. As you can imagine, meeting this requirement can take a lot of time and effort and also add to the total fees.
The cost of software development will also depend on what the software will look like. A pleasant design and intuitive interaction with the product can attract potential users. UX/UI designers are responsible for this. Commonly, IT companies use the following design variants:
Rough - mostly suitable for prototyping, at the stage of testing, to check the functions and correct possible errors;
Standard - created based on custom scripts and user interface elements offered by the platform;
Unique - the most expensive type of design. This may include the animated design or game design.
The last factor that affects the cost of software development is its support. Any program requires updates, refinement to meet certain changes in business needs, bug fixes, implementation of new functionality. If you plan to do this yourself, you can save some of the company's funds. However, all the above actions require certain knowledge and it is better to entrust this matter to the developers of the software itself. Then it will definitely incur an additional financial investment.
To help clients better understand what their budget consists of, Velvetech shared its observations and accumulated experience in the field.
Each project has its own peculiarities: implementation of functionality, design, number of elements. All these variables make software development value estimation a creative process.
Based on the above arguments, it is possible to identify signs of fair pricing for the services of an IT contractor:
Transparency in logging hours and billing
The contractor should provide you with all of their billing. You should have access to reports on each employee's work at all times so you know what the time you're paying for was spent on.
A high development culture and an in-house team mean that the company is interested in improving all production processes.
In the long run, this is beneficial to the customer: the project won't get bogged down in bug fixing.
The contractor must show you the entire team so that there are no "dead souls" on the project. The number and qualifications of developers should match what you will see in the payment invoices.
Velvetech is a Chicago-based custom software development and consulting company with more than 20 years of experience. It offers a range of technology services and software solutions, including enterprise software application development and electronics design, Web and Mobile App development, product development, digital marketing & sales automation, managed IT services, and systems integration. Velvetech operates within various industries and specializes in solving technology problems by creating fully customized digital solutions. For more information, visit: https://www.velvetech.com
It is safe to say that the cost of your product will depend on the amount of work and time that the team will spend on development. The main factors that affect the timing and budget of software development, we discussed above. Based on the combination of these and other elements, their complexity and depth, the specialists of IT companies form an assessment of the project. It expresses the time and money spent on the development of a particular product.
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