The 10 Ways to Reduce Software Development Costs Without Losing Product Quality and Scope
The 10 Ways to Reduce Software Development Costs Without Losing Product Quality and Scope.
2022 was another year of opportunities and options for successful web application development. Your idea for a web app might have also the potential to change the market as we know it and garner millions of fans. But your project’s success hinges on your ability to make smart decisions that will help reduce the cost of software development. Read this article to learn how you can cut costs and make your software project a success.
A few words about software development
A successful business is impossible without a well-functioning software application. It allows businesses to grow, provides customers with needs, and helps establish competition.So sooner or later, both a large enterprise and a promising startup will feel the need to create an application for relevant growth.
One of the first questions is how much it will cost to create such software. Yet, there is no single answer. It varies due to the app’s complexity, implemented features, chosen platform, backend development, UI/UX design, etc. Challenges do not stop after calculating the approximate price and determining your budget.
You’ll face another vital question: how to reduce product development costs, adhering to the aim of quality? It’s no secret that software development requires funding. What does it take to create an effective and successful digital product? A team of professionals and investment in design, frontend and backend development, testing, and promotion. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Each additional function complicates the task, expanding the timeline and increasing the budget. So most of those who want to develop an app look for options where an affordable price doesn’t imply a deterioration in quality. Is it even possible? Let’s find out.
In this post, we will discuss five tips on reducing software development costs that won’t affect quality. Our team has experience with this topic and understand it deeply.
The most common risks in software development
Creating a web app is not as simple as putting together a website. In order to make sure your application is successful, you need to follow a complex process that will help you turn your idea into a reality.
These are the most commun risks to mitigate:
1. Tight Schedules
Project managers are often under pressure to finish their projects before the due date. This can be for many reasons, such as insufficient resources, ineffective planning, or technological difficulties. Having software developed specifically for your needs can be really difficult.
In some cases, all you need is more resources. For example, in project management, there is a strategy called ‘crashing the schedule’ where additional team members are assigned to the critical paths of the project. This can reduce required time significantly; however, it also has the potential to create chaos if not managed properly. Additionally, finding qualified engineers can be difficult. As a result, some companies outsource their software development projects to external vendors for assistance during the duration of the project timeline.
Alternatively, going offshore and building your own team of software developers and scaling it quickly, can also prove to be beneficial, especially in the long run. That being said, one must also be aware of the risks in offshore software development, especially when engaging with the wrong partner.
Some facts regarding custom software development costs A PwC study of over 10,640 projects found that only 2.5% of software development projects were completed successfully. The rest either failed to meet some of their original targets or missed the original budget or deadlines.
Another strategy that can be implemented when faced with a tight schedule is fast-tracking. For instance, two teams can parallelly work on requirement analysis and development at the same time. As long as both software development teams practice good communication, this technique can help deliver projects at a faster pace.
2. Budget Changes
Scope creep is a primary factor in why budget changes so frequently, especially during software development projects. When you have set out with clear and concise requirements but they keep getting added to or deleted as the project wears on, all that’s left is an unmanageable mess.
Other times, your engineers may fail to understand the specific requirements of the project and add extra functionalities in an attempt to deliver an improvised version of the initial project. Even if the client didn’t ask for it, they are left with a better product but with a bigger price tag attached to it.
Ensure that your team comprehends the requirements of the project entirely. Talk to them about how they should only work on what is approved and outline the change control process. If there is a rapidly growing list of requests, it might be time to halt and see which changes will result in a better outcome vs those that won’t make much difference. It’s essential to remain close to the original goals without diminishing output quality.
3. Technical complexity of the software project
Data security, information privacy, large-scale system implementation, software integration, and compliance are some areas where you are likely to run into unpredictable problems.
In these types of situations, identifying and managing risk is crucial. This means figuring out which risks are the most important in software development projects, what effects they’ll have, how to stop them from happening, and keeping track of all of this. A good place to start is by making a list of all the controls that are already being used to manage risk. The risks that remain after using these controls are called residual risks, and you need to come up with strategies (known as risk mitigation strategies) to address them.
Risk mitigation may involve one or more of the following – transferring the risk to an external party, financing it, avoiding it entirely, or accepting it. Developing the right strategies will help manage risks to an acceptable level. At the end of the day, the goal is to mitigate the risks to the point where the cost of mitigation outweighs the potential benefit.
4. Poor Project Management
It’s often forgotten, but good project management is key to the success of any software project. Many people might point to budgeting problems or time constraints as reasons for a project’s failure, but at its root poor management is always to blame.
To ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible, it’s important to have a good understanding of the development process. Every step should be documented
The average software development costs
The average custom software development costs depend on the complexity of the project, including the number of features and technologies used. These costs also depend on how quickly you need it done, as well as the region in which your team of software developers is based. Generally speaking, software development can cost anywhere between $60,000 and $1 million for more complex projects.
The software development pricing is usually agreed in range through the process of product discovery. It can be also calculated hourly (Time & Material model) – giving a lot of flexibility for both parties.
Software development cost breakdown:
The software development cost breakdown usually includes the following: – Requirements gathering and analysis; – Software design and architecture; – Coding & debugging; – User experience design and testing; – Maintenance & support.
Clearly understanding each of these components is essential for making an informed decision about the cost of your project. The cost of each component will vary depending on the complexity of the project and your requirements.
The Major Factors That Drive Software Development Cost
We know that topic of web app cost is complex and requires a lot of time to go through all the factors affecting price. However, we also think that subject is very important, therefore we described all we know about web app estimation in one material.
As you already know, web app development isn’t a low-cost game to play. It’s especially difficult if are not experienced and you don’t know what actions you can take to reduce cost, but at the same time, to not lose the quality. The good point to start from is to know which process components are of particular importance when it comes to affecting costs.
According to McKinsey’s research, average large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time. So how come that software development is so risky and high-priced? There are several reasons for this, including both objective factors and pitfalls that can be difficult to predict.
The latter can be bypassed only by those who know where these risks hide. When creating your digital product, every mistake can lead to additional software development costs and inflate the budget. Knowledge is power, and the sooner you learn about potential risks, the less likely they are to catch you by surprise. So our first tip is to get prepared, weigh the pros and cons of each step, and act wisely.
Before finding a way to save software development budget, let’s determine which factors impact the price the most.
The type of your app has a huge impact on the development cost. Apps differ in the services they provide and the functions they include. A simple basic app takes much less time to develop, and, accordingly, the price is lower. In contrast, an advanced one with a full set of complex features will be significantly more costly due to the expanded timeline.
In most cases, developing an MVP first is the right solution. It gives you a chance to test your app and reduce spending at the very beginning of development. You can add more sophisticated functions later.
You have to make some decisions before a professional team undertakes the development. MVP will deliver valuable information about the users’ reactions and your product’s strong and weak points. But it still can be too late (or too expensive) to change the vector dramatically. Select the approximate number of required functions during the planning stage. Each element you decide to add later will increase costs.
What is your project scope? Which features are your must-haves and which you can give up and thus save time and money? Defining the product’s scope is a difficult and quite complex process. Why? First, you need to know the business value behind the final product. To know the value you have to know your target audience – their needs, problems, and how your product will solve them. Exploring the users’ needs and how to respond to them is the field of UI UX process. It can be hard to conduct the research on your own, so again the best way to handle this is to decide on outsourcing the development.
Every good quality software development company has resources to examine and help you to understand how potential users can benefit from your software product.
At NxTide we are true advocates of React.js, Node.js or Java technology, as we built many successful digital products using this technology.
If you are interested in more details, check out our software development services page.
Choosing the right technologies is the first step in building a successful web application. With such great availability and diversity of programming languages, web application frameworks, servers, and libraries, the choice may seem to be challenging.
Finding the proper tech stack to build your software product is another aspect you need to pay attention to. The tech stack has a significant impact on the app development cost because it gives the direction of the development workflow, determines the cost and possibility of app growth (scalability), and regulates the commercial risk grade. Again, if you are not experienced in building apps, it’s always better to discuss the issue with a software development company that will advise the best possible technology.
Frequent priority reorientation
The software development company estimates costs based on the product’s requirements. The product’s requirements result from the business value which covers users’ value. The more you are aware of your priorities: the market, users, and your business needs, the more precise cost estimation you get. However, the thing is, the web application is rather a custom-made product and its requirements are born during the project. They simply evolve with the project. Nevertheless, it’s always good to do your homework first, investigate your priorities, and be prepared for the project.
If you are not able to set in stone the list with project requirements, it’s better to decide on time and material model pricing. It lets you define the core features but it gives you the freedom to adjust the requirements to the evolving product. Choosing the time and material contracts allows you to be agile with your web application and that just makes the product better. T&M supports also the changes in your product demands, and this protects your budget.
The choice of platforms for your app has a major impact on its cost. There are two main approaches you will consider. Making it native will let your app work on a single platform. Many developers prefer this approach because it lets them focus on the environment and adopt the app to all its requirements. A native app has more advanced functionality and fully uses its capabilities.
The cross-platform approach is another popular solution since it is cheap and takes less time to develop. But a cross-platform application may not function at full capacity. The most expensive option is to develop two individual versions of your app for both iOS and Android. However, such a solution may be too hard to cope with initially, taking a lot of time and requiring a doubled budget. So it’s highly recommended to start with one platform initially and create the other one later if necessary.
Your product’s design is another factor to consider. Even when developing an MVP, the software’s functional and user-oriented quality plays a vital role. You should test User Experience resistance throughout the development lifecycle. But, you may not attach too much importance to animation, graphics, and other UI elements initially. Interface design is essential for distinguishing your product from competitors and defining your brand identity. Still, it becomes a priority at later stages of development.
The development team costs
Software development cost majorly depends on the team’s location and type. In-house shops are often several times more expensive than outsourced ones. Your primary goal is to find a dedicated team offering affordable services. In today’s remote world, it is not so important where exactly their headquarters are.
The other important condition is to find the software development team which may propose a full range of services, including app maintenance. If you need your collaboration to be long-lasting and developers aware of your product’s needs, don’t dwell on temporary options.
The wrong scope of work
Without a well-managed scope of work, you can face problems at any production stage. It is often the result of poor communication and planning. Thus, you are running the risk of falling out of deadlines, which invariably leads to an inflated budget. The issues during the workflow can also be caused by an incomplete set of specialists or their narrow profile. A good team always has the right balance, which is harder to achieve if independent contractors work on the project.
Consequently, the contract you sign should make all requirements certain and transparent for both sides. A pricing model like Time-and-Materials will help you keep your budget under control, providing you with information about the working hours of each specialist.
A regular and consistent dialog with the development team is one of the keys to success. It may seem insignificant, but miscommunication actually has a direct impact on the project costs. If you don’t have direct involvement in the workflow, the situation may get out of control. Delayed deadlines and incurring extra costs are inevitable if you don’t have transparency in relations with the developers’ team.
If you are estimating your budget for development, don’t forget that the app’s release is only the first finish line. You will continue your collaboration with the chosen team of developers even after the launch. Costs spent on maintenance and adding more features to your app after its release may seem like a long-term prospect, but you should still consider them in your calculations.
The further expenses may not be so large, but regular investments in your product’s technical support are crucial if you want it to keep evolving and improving.
The cost of building a web application depends on the technology partner’s rate. However, choosing the right software development company for your project shouldn’t be only a matter of money. The important is the code quality, experience in similar projects, and valuable reviews of other clients.
Moreover, you will pay more if you hire developers from countries where the cost of living is higher like the USA or Canada. The development team from Central Europe will cost you less..
Having an idea for a new software product you believe in is a start. That is the point where web apps begin the journey. Second, comes the budget. Try out to make it more specific and answer the question of how flexible or limited it is. It’s always better to know the truth, even if it is not the best scenario you can imagine. Knowing your budget is a crucial step, you can start with materializing your idea. A defined budget will help you to set the rules, plan, adjust all that impacts the web app development cost, and make your idea ready to happen.
Let’s say you know your budget, you have thought it through and you are fully aware of what you can afford and what is beyond your reach. Potential conclusions you can have may look like this: – I think it could be tight to produce all the must-have functions so I need to save some money. – I will be able to deliver a core set of features but I haven’t taken risks into cost consideration. I need to have some extra money. – I don’t know exactly what are the average web application development prices, so I need to have a financial buffer.
There may be many more scenarios as above, but they will all communicate one thing – it’s always good to save money and look for ways to reduce app development costs.
We know that is not an easy issue to figure out, so based on our experience we want to share with you some tips on reducing the web app cost. The first and most important piece of advice is to begin saving money from the beginning. Yes, just after you got the idea, defined the budget, and did the market research – start to think about development cost reduction.
The best ways to reduce software development costs (project cost)
Saving money on the web and mobile app development process is not an easy task to perform. This is because the development process is complicated and consists of several stages. There are also many unknowns and risks and that’s why you need experts to do it well.
Despite the complexity, it is worth thinking from the beginning, in a way that makes it easier to spot areas for cost reduction. Below you find our pieces of advice on what you can do to hold your costs down while maintaining quality.
Prepare well your project requirements
As already mentioned the amount of work that must be done, before the development process starts is huge. The idea you have must be adapted to the market, audience, and budget you want to spend. The more accurate you will be, the better for the development team: developers and project manager.
A very helpful piece of advice to apply is to prepare a document with the requirements you want to reach. Try to include there already mentioned factors: your vision description that focus on business value, market, and users’ needs with the features you want to offer as a core of your product, define the platforms you want to launch your application on, set timelines, and budget.
Don’t be very worried if you are not able to list all features your application should have, or if they change during the development process. First of all, you need to have the defined business value you want to achieve with your product and your target audience’s pain points described. Having this set of information, the software development company will help you to discover and list all the features, and you will be sure that they will cover the users and business value.
At NxTide we conduct workshops with the potential client during which we define the values and the core set of users’ needs, and together with the client, we prepare a proposition of the features the product should have. The workshops clarify the vision and requirements and allow for presenting the most accurate cost estimation.
Plan appropriate and detailed software development process
Having a detailed plan is essential for successful product delivery. It should include research, analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment. It’s important to note that the more prepared you are with your ideas or requirements for the software engineers, the faster they will be able to create your app and reduce costs in the process.
Choose the right technology stack (programming language)
Choose the best development partner
Find the technology company that will understand you, support your vision with proactive solutions, and will be a reliable partner. The experienced and pro-client software house will help you also to reduce app development costs. How? They know their work and surely they will advise you what can be done to save money. Besides, choosing a partner with great specialists will save development time and thus money also.
When choosing the partner to develop an app, communication, and chemistry between you and the company are also important factors. During the project, you will have a lot of joint work and discussion, so a good understanding of each other will facilitate and improve the project delivery.
Build-in technology adapted to the product’s goals
Technology stack is a key issue to discuss while thinking of ways to reduce web app development costs. An appropriate tech stack allows you to save money and time spent on development but also stay away from major programming errors, scale up the product when applicable, and secure the data of the audience. The best technology to build your product will depend on its needs and demands.
Choosing the tech stack whose usage is cheaper is not a good approach and leads to poorer web app quality. So how can you reduce the cost with a tech stack? By choosing the most appropriate one. Taking into account the cost point of view, the solutions supported by open-source tools can have a significant impact on reducing web app cost. Open-source solutions are usually free to use, so they are an obvious way to save money.
Secondly, it’s always good to think if the frameworks or technology we want to choose are supported and known as reliable. This is crucial to avoid a situation when in two years, the tools you used to build the product cease to exist.
Another aspect worth considering is to work with tools that can be easily integrated with third-party solutions. Such action will save development time, as you will not have to build each piece from scratch.
As you could have already thought, the decision about tech stack, tools, etc requires technical knowledge and experience. For such a decision it’s wise to follow the experts. The reasonable step to take is to choose the right software company and together choose the best technology.
Start with a simple design (Agile software development process), improve in full swing
The sophisticated design needs time. The designer has to dedicate a lot of work and energy to making your web application stand out from the crowd. The more complex and time-consuming the design of your product is, the higher cost you will pay.
Surely a well-thought design will help your product, especially from the marketing point of view. The question is, does your web application need to have a complex design from the beginning?
One of the ways to reduce development costs is to decide on a simple design when launching your product, and come back to the case when you will be sure your product rocks and people need it. Start simple, check whether it works, and improve in full swing. Following this rule can surely help you to save money and secure your product’s growth process.
The second option to save money without losing the code quality is to use ready-made UI kits and libraries. Talk with your technology partner about the idea of using the ready UI kit, and certainly, you will find solutions helping you to reduce web app development costs.
Bet on MVP (minimum viable product)
When it comes to technological products, it’s good to be cautious, verify your ideas and then develop them as they become successful. Therefore, building MVP is often way the entrepreneurs choose for materializing their ideas.
MVP is a scaled-down form of a digital product with minimal numbers of features that reach the goal – brings the business value and benefits the users. Launching MVP is faster, and cheaper, and allows for gathering audience feedback needed for further product improvement.
But what are the minimal features that should your MVP include? Try to answer if the features in your MVP support your product. – Are they feasible? Will the experts be able to implement them? – Are they desirable? Will they solve the problems of your target audience? – Are they viable? Will they bring business value and fit into reaching your business goals?
Test the features with the prototype
How to be sure that all developed features are 100% needed? The best way is to prepare a clickable prototype of the application which allows you to check you get everything you need. We assure you, it is the best option to test the product with users before the development phase begins.
Prototype testing allows you to reduce app development costs without additional effort and time. You will know if users understand the product and its features, but you will also find out how user-friendly the design is. Just let the people click the app through and listen to their feedback. This way you will develop only needed and essential features.
For more information regarding software developers rates rates please take a look at this article: https://nxtide.com/offshore-development-center/global-offshore-software-development-rates-comparison-by-country/.
Web App Development: Recommended Approaches and Technologies
So, what are the most recommended technologies for web development? Obviously, there are many promising trends and approaches. Let’s catch a glimpse of some of the main techniques and directions for building functional web applications that we believe will be significant in 2022.
The most popular web development frameworks, libraries, and tools are:
- Angular – a TypeScript-based open-source web application framework led by the Angular Team at Google. It is one of the most popular choices for developing SPAs.
- PWA (Progressive Web Apps) – a type of web application that behaves like a mobile app. They are designed to provide a great user experience and can be used offline.
The benefits of using these technologies include improved developer productivity, increased satisfaction, shorter time-to-market, and reduced development costs. However, there are also some limitations to consider, such as hardware support and native app functionality. PWA development is a growing trend thanks to its many benefits, including a better user experience, faster page load times, and offline functionality. Companies that use PWAs notice an increase in customer engagement and conversion rates.
– React-powered websites are SEO-friendly and high-performant.
– The library is easy to learn, compared to others.
– React.js development delivers excellent UI and UX.
– React ensures code stability.
Although React.js obviously has some disadvantages, with poor documentation being one of them, it’s still one of the most popular and loved web development libraries.
And what are the other React.js trends? React is the most popularly used technology among developers, and its usage has only increased in recent years. However, Svelte (66%) and Vue (63%) are becoming more appealing to developers. We remain React’s potential closely.
What are the main benefits of Node.js development?
– Node allows for the building of highly efficient websites, web apps, and one-pagers.
– It supports data streaming, so it can be used for developing visual and social media channels. This is why Node.js is used by market giants such as Netflix, Uber, Twitter and PayPal.
– Node ensures a great caching ability. This means it stores data for future requests.
– The technology enables cross-platform web app development.
– Node helps to achieve great scalability without decreasing speed and performance.
– Node has gathered an active and engaged community of developers from all around the world.
To name but a few of Node.js drawbacks, it is not recommended for developing financial software and complex CPU calculations, as it doesn’t provide enough precision and can lead to errors that are unacceptable when dealing with finances.
Additional trends in Node.js web development are:
– Its popularity is spreading worldwide. According to Web Survey Report 2018, 32% of Node users come from the US or Canada, 44% from the EMEA region, 18% from APAC and 7% from South America.
– Node.js can reduce development costs by 56%. This is why it is more and more frequently chosen by startups.
– Node.js can increase developer productivity by 68%, and satisfaction by 62%.
The ways you can reduce software development costs give you many options that you can take advantage of. The most difficult aspect is that they require knowledge and experience. Thus the wisest decision is to choose the right development partner that will help you to go through this path.
Of course, it’s good to investigate the possibilities of smart moves you can take to save money and time, but in the end, we advise you to follow the experts. From your perspective, be sure that you are well-prepared thanks to planning and organizing the execution.
At NxTide we focus on engaging partnerships and delivering products that work well, for the users and the business. So if you have questions regarding your web application plan or you are pretty sure you need to materialize your idea – we are here to help you.
When choosing a web development technology, it is important to consider your project requirements and the available resources. If you need help deciding which technology is right for your project you might find it useful to contact professional Web Application Developers.
Would you like to hire top Node.js and React.js Experts?
Over our 7-year company activity we have helped many US and EU companies to successfully build Software Development Teams and Software Development Centers in a variety of locations in Poland.
Interested? – Let’s discuss your case on a call.
Marcin Dziedzic, CEO of Pragmatic Coders and NxTide.
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