Even though numerous software solutions are designed for specific business needs on the market, many companies choose to create their custom solutions. The main reason is that not every product available on the market is tailored to every need a company might have.
Furthermore, companies that build their software often have a competitive advantage. After all, their software can do something that other solutions can’t, at least for now.
However, creating custom software can be a significant undertaking, especially for startups and small companies that don’t have a well-developed budget yet.
Still, is there a way to reduce the costs involved in custom development? Of course, there is. The key is to map the entire project and planning it efficiently. Therefore, here are a few practical ways to reduce custom software development costs.
The Agile approach
The traditional or “waterfall” software development method is no longer viable in today’s rapidly moving market. Software engineers and experts created the Agile approach to software development as a more efficient and straightforward way to deliver working software, which became widely popular in 2001.
However, although Agile has been around for a while now, many companies still leverage traditional methods. Agile is the way to go if you want to reduce the costs of custom software development. With that in mind, here are a few reasons why Agile is a better approach and a few ways to help you reduce costs, especially in the long run.
- In Agile, both the development phase and the testing phase are conducted simultaneously.
- The project is divided into iterations that last between two and four weeks, called “sprints”.
- After each sprint, a working piece of product is developed.
- Stakeholders are involved in software development throughout the project’s lifecycle.
- Stakeholder feedback is essential as Agile practices indicate working software over comprehensive documentation.
- Agile welcomes changes even far into the project.
- The Agile approach is focused on continuous delivery and simplicity.
Consider your outsourcing possibilities
In most cases, companies often lack the infrastructure or resources to fully develop their custom software in the in-house environment. What’s more, it would be a bit too expensive to bring in every necessary department full-time.
That’s why it’s vital to consider outsourcing as a way to proceed. For example, you can always consider efficient DevOps services for custom software development. But what exactly is DevOps? DevOps is a set of practices that automate various processes between IT departments and software development.
These practices allow for a faster, better, efficient, and cost-effective way for software to be produced, tested, and released. You may lack the resources to create such an environment, but that’s why there’s always an outsourcing solution to consider. You can take the help of Custom Mobile App Development Services. Outsourcing has a fixed cost; hiring professionals to help create your software can have more significant long-term expenses.
Focus on the essentials
Creating a custom software solution can be simplified. You can do this by focusing on essential features and requirements while ignoring the so-called nice-to-haves. If you’re building the software, any non-essential features can be implemented later if there’s room in the budget.
On the other hand, if stakeholders are involved, it’s essential to communicate the costs of implementing the non-essential features into the product. For example, in Agile practices, stakeholder requirements are translated into the so-called “user stories”.
The development team then considers whether or not something is possible to develop. Therefore, if it’s possible to build, the costs for individual features, i.e., user stories, can be roughly estimated. For instance, here’s an example of a user story.
- As a (Persona) I (Want to), (So that)…
By communicating the expenses of implementing features that are nice to have but not necessary, stakeholders, who are generally not tech-savvy all the time, will understand the need to reduce the costs whenever possible and instead focus on features that will bring value.
Automation of various processes can not only save you a lot of time, especially when it comes to testing, but it can also vastly reduce the costs of custom software development. Any process that can be automated will save you both time and money in one way or another.
However, automation can quickly become a double-edged sword if you aren’t careful when it comes to custom software development.
If you overcome the everyday challenges of automation, you won’t have to worry about potential problems. Therefore, here are a few common obstacles when it comes to leveraging automation in software testing.
- Automated tests cannot be valid for a prolonged time. After a while, automated tests will become obsolete and should thus be removed and replaced.
- Maintenance costs can skyrocket if automation isn’t kept in check. After a while, your regression test may start showing false-positive results or bugs that aren’t there. The costs of finding a culprit when there isn’t one can quickly increase and fast.
- Frequent changes are possible on either your part or that of the stakeholders. Any automated test is at risk if you don’t include the changes.
Developing custom software can be a challenging and costly endeavor. However, there’s always a way to reduce the costs if you’re willing to make an effort. If you plan your project correctly, you can find the means to make it cost-effective and reduce any unnecessary expenses that will burden your budget.