Regardless of whether you’re using an off-the-shelf software product or a custom-built solution, software can become expensive. One of the advantages of custom building your software is that you can take steps to decrease your spending, which you can’t with commercial software products. Vendors typically provide their software at fixed fees or tiered pricing, depending on the number of users or features you need. Here are some tips to help you take full of advantage of the financial control that custom solutions provide:
If you don’t have the budget to develop every feature you would like for your software, you can prioritize the essential ones first. This has the benefit of decreasing the timeline for software development, in addition to decreasing the cost. Getting your staff to use a basic version of the software can enable you to see its impact and justify further spending on future developments to the budget decision makers.
2. Hire the Right Team the First Time
While it may be tempting to choose a cheaper development option such as outsourcing, this can end up being more expensive in the long run. At Gravit-e, we have many clients who come to us complaining about outsourced projects gone wrong — where the code is full of bugs and unusable, and they have to start their project from scratch. These scenarios result in a waste of both time and money and can cause budget decision makers to lose confidence in custom software development. By hiring the right developers the first time. you can save yourself from a major headache down the road.
3. Communicate Effectively
Don’t leave your developers guessing, because they may guess wrongly. The more detailed your outline of desired features and functions, the less time and money you will have to spend on corrections. Communicating with developers throughout the process can ensure the software stays aligned with your vision. This is particularly true for projects that are billed on an hourly basis rather than on a fixed-fee structure.
4. Perform a Requirements Analysis
Many software development companies perform a requirements analysis before proceeding with software development. This ensures that all of the business processes are fully understood and that the unique needs that necessitate custom software development are taken into consideration. While this may seem like an extra cost up front, it can save you money in the long run as it will enable the software development team to complete the project faster with less reiterations.
There is no sense in reinventing the wheel. While custom software development may be necessary to meet some of the unique needs of your business, it doesn’t mean all of your business software has to be coded from scratch. In many cases, commercial off-the-shelf applications can be integrated with custom software to provide full functionality without the increased cost of developing a completely custom solution. This is particularly true for accounting and customer relationship management software such as Quickbooks and Salesforce. In some cases, you may find a commercial solution that meets almost all of your needs and be able to build a custom add-on rather than a stand-alone application.
Whatever the project, the best approach to developing software cost-effectively is to have an in-depth understanding of your needs, the available solutions, and the capabilities of your developers in addressing those needs. Experienced development teams such as Gravit-e have even developed their own code libraries to decrease development costs and allow themselves to focus exclusively on what makes your project unique.
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