Costs of Software Development - What to Know & Save

Kamil Sobiszewski - Business Development Engineer at Sunscrapers

Kamil Sobiszewski

17 October 2023, 6 min read

thumbnail post

What's inside

  1. How Much Does Software Development Cost?
  2. Why is Software Development a Significant Investment?
  3. What Factors Impact the Cost of Software Development?
  4. What Causes Software Development Projects to Overrun?
  5. The Takeaway

In today's digital age, every business venture into software development is akin to a high-stakes poker game: the potential returns are enormous, but so are the costs.

The pressing question is, can you get a tailor-made software solution without burning a hole in your budget? Dive in as we demystify the costs associated with custom software development and unveil strategies to get the most bang for your buck.

How Much Does Software Development Cost?

There's only one answer to this question: it depends.

Factors like project requirements, application features, size, complexity, and more can influence the price. But to provide a clearer picture, let's categorize projects based on complexity:

  • Basic applications: These are straightforward and require 500-700 hours, costing between $20,000 and $80,000. Examples include simple mobile apps with limited features.

  • Medium-complexity applications: Taking about 700-1200 hours, these apps have more intricate features and can cost between $80,000 and $150,000.

  • Complex applications: Projects exceeding 1200 hours demand sophisticated architectures and can include enterprise-level apps with intricate business logic or extensive integrations.

Why is Software Development a Significant Investment?

Building software isn't just about coding. It encompasses contributions from UX/UI designers, data analysts, and QA analysts.

Expert tip: Prioritizing Quality Assurance (QA) in the development process is essential. Detecting issues early can save you both time and money.

Custom software caters to a business's unique requirements and goals, justifying its higher costs.

What Factors Impact the Cost of Software Development?

These factors greatly impact the price of building software, so keep them in mind when working on your idea for an app.

Who You Hire for the Job

  • Freelance developers: Cost-effective but risky regarding product quality and timely delivery.

Read more: Hiring Developers - Software Companies vs Freelancers

  • In-house teams: Allows better control over the project but comes with higher overhead costs.

  • Outsourcing: Provides access to experienced developers at a potentially lower cost.

Read more: Preparing an Outsourcing Plan for Software Development - A 4-Step Guide

The Level of Seniority Required

Software developer costs vary by their expertise, categorized as junior, mid-level, or senior.

Junior developers are beginners needing support and typically handle simpler tasks. Mid-level developers with a few years of experience can tackle complex technical challenges independently. Senior developers possess deep expertise, ensuring optimal code quality, architecture, and a balance of technical and business objectives. They also guide in technology choices and reasoning.

Where You Hire

The rates of software development professionals vary a lot between different regions of the world. That's why the location where you hire software developers will impact your project's final price.

To learn more, read this:

What Causes Software Development Projects to Overrun?

Before we move on to our tips and tricks for reducing software development costs, let's take a quick look at the most common reasons why such projects exceed their budgets:

  • Lack of proper planning: This step is key in estimating software costs. To be accurate, you need to know the requirements and all the tasks needed to complete the project within the specified costs. Planning is a critical step in resource allocation and management.

  • Lacking communication: It can develop in two directions: over-communicating and micro-management or under-communicating. Clear communication is a must for a successful software project.

  • Underestimating the role of testing: Some companies forget that testing is a key phase before the actual work while the code is in production. If you don't test your product, you risk releasing a buggy piece of software (and then overrun your budget when trying to fix your mistake!).

Consider Outsourcing

While it might seem pricier initially, outsourcing to seasoned agencies can offer long-term savings. You save on in-house salaries, benefits, office equipment, and more. Plus, you gain access to global talent pools. Experienced outsourcing agencies have streamlined processes for efficient communication and collaboration.

Document Project Requirements

A detailed project specification eliminates ambiguity and helps keep costs in check. By establishing your requirements clearly from the start, you safeguard against misinterpretations that can lead to design flaws, functional missteps, or low ROI. This documentation aids in obtaining accurate quotes from developers and helps you maintain a focused approach.

Prioritize Essential Features

Be pragmatic about your application's features. Opt to develop the most crucial functionalities that deliver immediate business value. Postpone less critical elements to a later phase, ideally after the core product generates revenue. Adopting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach can be cost-effective and strategic.

Future-Proof Your Project

Software evolves. Change is inevitable due to customer requests, market shifts, or technological advancements. By planning with the future in mind, developers can build a flexible application that accommodates growth and changes with minimized costs.

Engage Quality Assurance Early

Incorporate a QA team from the project's onset. Early testing identifies design flaws or requirements inconsistencies, ensuring they don't balloon into costly errors during development. This proactive approach prevents expensive redesigns and maintains a high standard of quality.

Adopt Agile Methodologies

Embracing Agile keeps the development process adaptive and collaborative. Regular feedback loops implement changes during the development cycle, greatly minimizing the need for expensive adjustments later.

Read more: 7 Agile Best Practices You Should Know.

Opt for a Proactive Development Team

Whether building an in-house team or outsourcing, choose professionals who provide constructive input. A proactive team can offer technical solutions aligning with business goals while managing costs. A comprehensive scoping session with your team can often lead to a cost-effective and strategic development plan.

The Takeaway

Custom software can be a significant investment, but by following these tips and partnering with a knowledgeable development team, you can optimize costs and receive a valuable return on your investment.

If you're seeking experienced developers, contact us and discover how Sunscrapers can transform your ideas into high-quality software without unnecessary expenses.

Take the leap towards cost-effective innovation now!

Kamil Sobiszewski - Business Development Engineer at Sunscrapers

Kamil Sobiszewski

Business Development Engineer

Kamil is the Business Development Engineer at Teams by Sunscrapers. His most outstanding achievement was the transition from the electrotechnical industry to the IT industry. When studying at Warsaw University of Technology, Kamil was involved in plenty of student projects as he loves working with new technologies and was developing his business skills. At Teams, he is responsible for client acquisition, contact with clients, and the overall sales process. In his free time, Kamil likes playing the guitar. He’s also interested in electric vehicles, economics, and the psychology of sport.


Recent posts

See all blog posts

Are you ready for your next project?

Whether you need a full product, consulting, tech investment or an extended team, our experts will help you find the best solutions.

Hi there, we use cookies to provide you with an amazing experience on our site. If you continue without changing the settings, we’ll assume that you’re happy to receive all cookies on Sunscrapers website. You can change your cookie settings at any time.