12 costs optimization ideas while investing in software development
When does it get to the expensive side? At the moment when not all fine parts are taken into consideration, a development process may require some level of integration with third-party products, without being arranged it contributes to increased costs. Unsurprisingly, you can face constant costs increases in such cases. Consequently, an expensive project calls into question its development. And besides all this, a limited budget is one of the reasons why some clients refuse to develop the software, in this way, losing new business opportunities.
Imagine you transmit your project in the hands of highly qualified specialists with strong skills and knowledge, the picture will change significantly. To create a quality product, and at the same time to reduce costs, requires the efforts of experienced professionals (project managers, business analysts, designers, developers, test engineers, quality control specialists, and others) who know the specifics of each development’s stage. According to this, they can significantly reduce delivery time and costs without losing the quality of the final product.
We have shared a few effective ways in this article about how to optimize software development costs. So, let’s get started!
- Define the best strategy for your project
Plan everything, from idea definition to the final product creation and testing, is the only thing that will lead you to savings. Clearly define a detailed project’s description to avoid errors during the development process, indicating:
- the development app’s purpose;
- which tasks it solves for the user;
- with which devices / platforms will it work on;
- which functionality should be implemented;
- examples of similar apps with explanations of what exactly you like;
- design features, corporate identity of the brand, etc.
2. Test your idea through MVP
MVP (minimum viable product), as a working product’s prototype, allows you to test the app with minimum costs. Also, it permits you to assess market demand before a full-scale launch. Even Uber and Snapchat developed their MVP early before the products’ launch. Remember, test software by MVP with only 2-5 main functions, add the rest in the next versions when you will be completely sure of the app’s relevance.
3. Hire an outsourcing dedicated team
Outsourcing is an important and promising way to reduce costs. You can hire software development services at quite affordable hourly prices, run at a fast pace, and get your project up sooner. You can benefit from a dedicated team who will start working efficiently on your project right away. Do you still have doubts? Discover the advantages of working with a dedicated team.
By choosing outsourcing, you save lots of money as most of the costs of HR, infrastructure, and operating costs are eliminated. You can scale the hired team up or down depending on your needs and thus manage costs effectively.
Approx. 59% of enterprises outsource their IT services. (Deloitte research)
You definitely have numerous questions about this topic, that’s why we suggest you see the 34 most common outsourcing questions asked by a potential client.
4. Optimize product development team
Too many extra specialists can negatively impact the product creation process and inflate costs. It may be cool that you have a bunch of different specialists, but the key is to keep them loaded with clear and strategically defined tasks.
DAS’ certified and qualified developers, designers, business analysts, and project managers strive to create the best version of the software in the development of which they are involved. They monitor the quality, budget, time, and other important details. Learn the advantages of a project manager and why he is so important in every team.
5. Provide timely feedback to the development team
Make sure you keep in touch with the development team at least once every 2-3 days. There are many technical challenges as well as tools that need even customer’s constant monitoring. Therefore, to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes, stay in touch with each member of the team, including developers and engineers, to know the status of a specific project. It’s important to remember that developer time is your money.
57% of projects fail due to breakdown in communications.
Understand better why feedback and efficient communication is key to save money and deliver the project on time.
6. Prioritize features to include
A user-friendly software with attractive features is a success, but success can be lost due to the inclusion of unnecessary functions. If you intend to reduce development costs, firstly, make sure you add only the essentials. Do you remember where also this was mentioned before😊? At MVP, point 2. We recommend to implement the most important features first and postpone others until a later date.
The MoSCoW analysis method will help determine the priorities. The letters of the abbreviation indicate the following:
- Must have;
- Should have;
- Could have;
- Won’t have this time.
Do not add new features unless necessary. You should also avoid complex, expensive components unless you are sure they will actually be useful to your users. The best time to think about expanding product functionality is when you’ve demonstrated a return on investment or increased user base.
To understand how prioritization works, consider an example. Let’s say you want to open an online clothing store. First of all, you need a good catalog with an easy-to-use product categorization, which lists prices and shows what the products look like. Add a shipping service and different payment methods and your visitors will start to turn into buyers.
After that, you can start thinking about adding new features, for example, the “you may also like” section with a list of related products and accessories or special offers for regular customers. The “create online wardrobe” feature helps shoppers get expert advice on shopping at your store. The list of additional features can be endless, but not all of them are needed in an online store, at least at first. One more feature that many like is “notify me” when the desired size is out of stock. This function allows users to get the wanted product size when it will appear again in stock. Exist a lot of features, you just need to add them at the right time.
7. Development costs control
Without sufficient regulation, your project can drag on for a long time, which means more investment. To avoid this situation, try to be involved always in the project development, 2-3 meetings/week with the development team will be enough to keep the situation on the radar.
At DAS Solutions, we always provide fully transparency to each customer, offering access to Azure DevOps or YouTrack. Here customers can monitor all completed/uncompleted/upcoming tasks, amount of work, worked time by each expert, deadlines, and other important notes.
This is a good way to timely identify weaknesses at the starting stages, otherwise, the time for correcting errors will be delayed and will affect the speed of work and the project fail to deliver on time.
8. Choose the right development methodology
What really matters is not only how much money you will pay, but also how much working functionality the selected team will deliver during this time. On this point, the choice of methodology for organizing the development process can have a huge impact on the final project’s cost.
If we’re talking about one of the most used development methodologies, Agile is the choice. Today, this is not only a popular software development methodology, but in addition, it’s the best option for a long and complex project, since changes in such projects are inevitable. Its approach focuses on creating a working product instead of a pile of documentation that may never be realized. Plus, it’s an iterative and collaborative style of development. The software under development is available for viewing after the completion of the iterative cycle. An agile way to develop software saves costs as it helps stakeholders evaluate software in a timely manner and ensure that only the right functionality is built into the application. Also, if there are any changes in the project requirements, they can be quickly taken care of in the development cycle. With its many benefits. An agile development approach is a good way to create your own software efficiently and cost-effectively.
9. Take a closer look at cross-platform technologies
Developing a cross-platform app is cheaper than developing separately for each platform. Of course, native apps are more functional, faster, and make the most of the system capabilities of mobile devices, but these have a high development cost. Cross-platform technologies allow you to save money and speed up product release, but it requires certain trade-offs. At the same time, you should be careful with your scalability strategy which native developments can offer.
10. Pay attention to ready-made solutions and UI-themes
Do not reinvent the wheel, this is not absolutely necessary if the desired task is effectively solved with the help of ready-made elements and frames that only require customization for a specific project.
Feel free to use third-party and open-source components. This is one of the simplest and most useful solutions to reduce the cost of developing mobile apps. To implement certain functions, there are suitable platforms, libraries, APIs, and other solutions that simplify the implementation of your tasks. If you work with an experienced development team, they can advise when to develop a component from zero and when to use a ready-made solution.
Fully customizable software is sure to deliver high user satisfaction and give you a significant competitive edge if done right. However, when the budget is limited and there are several other ways to achieve the same result, why is needed to waste your time and money building something off the ground?
Consider a more modular approach if you’re looking for a less expensive alternative to a fully customizable software solution. There is nothing wrong with building your software from a combination of pre-existing components that provide the exact same functionality you are looking for. You can visit various websites that have a comprehensive list of the best open-source mobile app development frameworks with all relevant SDKs and snippet libraries.
11. Benefit of ready to use UI themes
UX / UI design is one of the most important elements of a highly successful software release. This should definitely remain a top priority in your development strategy as it can be a huge ROI in the long run. However, if your budget is restrained for the full design phase and you need a little extra flexibility during the stage, there is a way to save on costs without sacrificing the quality of your design. Rather than ditch design entirely, you should balance your design budget in favor of user experience, not aesthetics. First of all, make the navigation and layout of your software as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Don’t waste a lot of time wondering what color would be ideal for that particular button.
12. Don’t skimp on tests
Testing is something that you should never skimp on, even when creating small projects. It can cost a pretty penny due to the additional costs of resources and labor if it is carried out again after the release of the product. Therefore, it is best to make sure that consistent testing occurs at all stages. This will make your workflow easier and faster. It will also reduce costs and avoid delays.
It is very important to remember that once your product goes to market, it can cost you a hundred times more to fix each bug than it did during the development phase. This can provoke negative user reactions and damage your company’s reputation. This is vital to help your team streamline the development process, as both manual and automated testing will provide your team with ongoing feedback on the architecture of your software solution and the scope of your functionality. The result is shorter development times, less rework, and protection of your budget from unforeseen problems.
Testing typically accounts for over 30% of software development costs. And that’s okay. However, there are several ways to reduce testing costs:
- avoid exhaustive testing;
- check the critical functionality of the product first; less important functions can be tested later;
- automate repetitive test procedures to reduce manual steps.
To eliminate errors, start quality checks as early as possible. The earlier errors are discovered, the cheaper they are. The cost of fixing bugs at the requirements gathering stage is 100 times less than at the production stage.
It’s an indisputable fact that software development is definitely a skilled job that requires a lot of knowledge and experience. In addition, this process within budget can be a daunting task, but it can be done if you work with an experienced team, choose the right technologies, follow the developers’ recommendations, optimize the functionality, and plan detailed the project development. All this will help you to implement the project at the lowest possible cost while getting the maximum return on investment.