Monday 5 October 2015

The Cost of Custom Software

From individual programmer to multinational companies with exuberant software development divisions, Custom software is developed every second.  As we speak there are programmers digging into technical Pandora’s and writing hundreds of lines of code.  So what constitutes the cost of custom software development and why does it costs more than off the shelf products?

The answer lies in series of components that are part of the costing equation. From my experience with customers, I am hoping to provide you some insight as to what you can expect and prepare for while considering the custom software development for your business. Below are the top 2 components that constitutes the costing equation.

I. Start with Vision:

I cannot stress this enough, you can’t buy a random ticket and get into a random train and expect to go to a particular place. Custom software is such. You clearly need to define what exactly that you want the system to do.  And once you agree with your software consultant, avoid making changes. Even the minimal changes according to you, might demand the huge change (like tables and fields change) in the software. It’s like you agree on the blue print to the contractor, and then change the layout after the building is made.

How to avoid this?

Always ask for prototype before beginning the development process. It could be just hand drawn screens or complete working prototype. See, verify and agree before developing. This would help in reducing the changes and in the ultimate extra costs.

II. Choose the right partner

As I said at the beginning of this post there are individual developers to MNCS offering the custom software solutions. Choosing the wrong consultant purely on cost might create several issues such as:
  1. Not completing the project on time.
  2. Low quality software, which will cost you more to manage.
  3. Non scalable software, with respect to technology or usage.
  4. Not serving the sole purpose of its creation. Etc.

How to avoid this?

Choose the company not purely on the cost but also on the following factors.

1. Experience

a. How long they are in business?
b. What projects have 
they developed?
c. What industries does their software serve to?
d. What is the size of projects?

2. Expertise

a. What technologies they use?
b. What are their specialization?
c. What is their existing client’s feedback?
d. What’s their approach to project management?

3. Communication

a. How clear is the proposal?
b. How fast and precise is their communication with you?
c. How can 
you track or influence the projects?

Conclusion: Investment or Spend?

I think the most basic problem lies in the attitude towards the custom software solution.  What is cheap and fast cannot be good in quality. If you need state-of-the-art innovation in your software with latest technology then you must consider the cost it takes for any software firm to keep its resources updated with latest technologies both in terms of hardware and software.  

Information Technlogy landscape changes every second, and you need your solution to be built strong, scalable and sustainable for the future. Consider custom software as the investment and make affirmed decisions while attributing for it. You may wish to take a look at  5 reasons why you shouldn't choose a large consulting firm for IT services and Buy, Build or Outsource? Custom software dilemma posts. If you have any questions regarding outsourcing your software please don't hesitate to contact us. 

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day!

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Srivatsan Aravamudan

Public Relations and Social Media Manager

Srivatsan Aravamudan
Telephone:+65 62689551
Fax:+65 62689858
Public Relations and Social Media Manager

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