How much does custom software development cost? Custom software development is the design of software apps for a specific user or group inside a company. It aims to meet their needs in the best way possible. As a result, this makes it better than general traditional software.
Most often than not, the creators of this kind of software create it just for that specific company. Said creator can be part of a contractual third party or internal group of developers. In other words, it isn’t packaged to be sold in a wider market.
In this article, we will address one of the first questions our clients ask us. How much does custom software development cost? This is a hard question to answer. After all, many variables affect the cost of custom software development.
The two types of business software
Software apps are vital for all modern businesses that want to optimize their performance and create more revenue. In short, you as a manager or CEO can choose between two types of software. These are factory solutions based on sets of set modules and customizable bespoke apps that you can adapt to your needs.
Let’s take into account that custom programs have a lot of potential in terms of return on investment. So, let’s find out how much does custom software costs. Besides, we will analyze the cost components and the factors that affect prices.
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is the creation of unique technology solutions. These are often more expensive than out-of-the-box software options. After all, they have different steps that take into account the customer’s needs. On the other hand, it needs a detailed plan.
It’s also the design of software apps for a user or groups within an organization. Such software is designed to address the needs of these users. For this, it aims to be better than off-the-shelf commercial software.
Custom software is often created just for this specific business by an external or an internal group of developers. Because of this, custom software is not packaged for resale.
The cost of software customization versus the cost of factory software solutions
First things first, it is crucial to realize how two types of software differ in terms of costs. For this, you must compare its definitive features:
These are universal combinations of the most in-demand modules. Any kind of customer can get them without any customization or with minor changes. These also often come with an initial license price and monthly fees. These also have added costs for updates, support, training, and customization.
This kind of apps is unique. After all, developers create them exclusively for each client. They come with pre-analysis, in-depth research, MVP release, testing, and more. Besides, the client can define which modules they want to add or remove. This way, they can get software able to meet their business goals. On the other hand, it often just needs one payment including all expenses.
As you can see, this is more profitable than the first option. With it, you can see how much you need to spend and ensure no pitfall. Besides, this software often includes support, training, and upgrade costs in the final price. So, this is the main question: how much does custom software development cost consider all its benefits?
What affects the cost of custom software?
The size of the software
The more screens your software has, the more work you will have to do to build your application and the more expensive it will be to deliver. Small applications range from 10 to 25 screens, the medium size is in the range of 25-40 and the large size is more than 40.
What constitutes a screen? In general, it would count everything the user sees when they first access your app, and then every single screen behind every button clicks, link click, or menu click. A screen for viewing customer information and a screen for editing customer information are two different screens, although they display the same information.
Complicated logic means more coding and testing time. What if your custom software application does a lot of heavy analysis, scoring, or number calculations? What if your “secret code” has many nuances and permutations? Your application is likely to have a certain complexity that requires special attention.
Creative design in custom software development is where you can choose different fonts and color palettes, among others. Just like when you are designing and decorating a home, the more extravagant your design is, the more expensive it will be.
Integration with external software offers many new variables into the equation. We just don’t know how well the other system allows information to enter or get out. Nor do we know the obstacles it must go through in the process.
Sometimes this process is easy and other times, it’s very hard. Typical integrations like payment providers like PayPal or Authorize.net are very easy to integrate. The same goes for Equifax or Experian credit check services.
Older or lesser-known systems can pose a challenge and increase the cost of the project.
Migration of existing data
That is if you have data on an existing system that you need to get into your new app. Assuming it’s more than you can write by hand, you will need the migration. Migration is nothing more than custom scripts that pull data from your old system, dust it off, and reformat it so it can fit on your new system.
The steps in the process are fairly straightforward, but there are many questions and decisions to be made as the two systems will store the data differently. Most migration efforts run multiple times after the software ends. This way we can make sure that everything has been translated correctly and that the new system is using the data as desired.
The effort of figuring out the translation rules, writing the scripts, and performing a series of tests and adjustments adds time and cost to the project. So, when you are analyzing software development costs and budgeting for your custom software development, these factors should be considered.
Designing to the budget
Similar to building a house, the software can be designed to fit a certain budget. A good software development team can take your ideas and create a design with a target budget in mind.
Once the initial design and cost estimate is complete, certain features can be added or removed to reach your target number. It’s worth putting a reasonable number in your target budget when starting a project.
Breakdown of software development costs by stages
The main thing to remember at this point is that custom apps take longer to launch than factory alternatives. The point is that developers have to make a product from scratch instead of implementing pre-programmed software. Because of this, customers must be ready to wait.
In short, the process consists of many stages starting with initial business research and ending with ongoing support. Each stage has its own expenses that affect the price. The next four sections represent the most important steps in software product development. Read them to know how much you should spend.
Starting with the analysis, the development stage is the essence of a product. During this process, developers and analysts work together with stakeholders. This way, they can define the vision for the app. Here, they discuss the overall scope with exact modules included. Added to this, they take into account a lead time, more precise cost budgets, additional services such as training or maintenance.
The development itself takes from a few weeks to years. It all depends on the complexity of the app. The result? A fully functional product.
Here, the finished app is installed on your server or set up in the cloud with remote access. This stage should include proper testing and performance evaluation. This way, you will ensure that the software works well. By doing this, you will also avoid losing core data or integrations after switching to it. During deployment, 24-hour control over applications is crucial.
Without good training, your employees can hardly get the most out of the new software. Most often than not, custom solution developers deliver internal or remote lectures for this. Some even offer practices with basic application information. If this option isn’t part of the final list of services, be sure to request it. It doesn’t matter if it adds another cost, it’s worth it!
As you can imagine, the development life cycle does not end after launch. Instead, it moves on to the next evaluation, updates, support, and technical maintenance. Similar to training, these options may come as part of the price or may be available for additional costs. Again, you want to get them from developers who know how the program works. So, you shouldn’t partner with third-party teams that aren’t familiar with this application.
Factors Affecting Software Cost
Besides the basic stages that define software pricing, there are many other factors. All of them you must consider when looking for custom software. After all, each point can increase or decrease expenses and, in turn, help the company avoid going over budget.
The next factors are common across all software apps no matter their industry. However, you must focus on your market sector and industry requirements.
For example, complexity and features are very important for large companies focused on getting everything covered at once. Meanwhile, Integrations with external programs are vital for companies that work with different partners.
Now, let’s take a look at the things that affect the final cost of customizing the software.
Size and scope. How much does custom software development cost?
First of all, the cost of each project depends on hard it’s to make. For example, a simple list-based mobile app for a small electronic store that has only a catalog and a personal account will be really cheap.
There’s not a lot to do with this kind of software. In contrast, huge ERP platforms are expensive and difficult to deliver. This is because they require CRM, warehouse management, and financial security. After all, multinational banks or logistics teams use them. So, we suggest defining the desired features early on. This way, developers can estimate prices.
Budget and time. How much does custom software development cost?
Last but not least, the final price is strongly related to the money you can spend and how long you are ready to wait. These things go together because more urgent projects have additional costs. After all, developers have to work harder. So, you must know your funds and time expectations before signing a contract. This way, both parties can discuss the terms and reach a final decision.
So how much does custom software development cost?
It depends on a wide variety of factors. At Innatos Software we offer a custom software development service tailored to your needs. Contact us today and ask for more information.