Custom software is tailored as per the request and requirements of an organization to address its particular business objectives. Just as with any customized service, the price to pay depends on a number of factors. In this article, we help you get a clearer idea of how much it might cost to develop your custom software by explaining the different factors influencing it.

What is the Cost of Custom Software Development?

The correct answer to this question is: It depends. Custom-built software is built depending on distinctive requirements, so no two custom software are alike. They all have different scopes, technical requirements, software complexities, and integrations, that reflect the unique goals, values, and objectives of every business. So if you are an entrepreneur seeking some cost reference regarding custom software development services, we can give you some insight by explaining the several factors that influence the cost to build custom software.

Software Size

Like pretty much any product, price and size are interconnected. For example, if you are building software for internal use between employees, the cost to build custom software will be much less than one built to be used by thousands of users. 

The size of the software is affected by the size of the company. On one hand, startups or small businesses usually choose the MVP development approach to launch their product since it targets a small user base for testing. On another hand, big enterprises have more complex requirements, procedures, and internal systems, which may call for a bigger technical team to develop their software. 

Another determinant of a software’s size is the number of pages and sections that it is required to have. The more work it needs to be developed, the more expensive it gets. A small software usually has less than 20 different screens, medium-sized software can consist of anything between 21 and 40 pages, while software considered large has 40 screens and more.

Project Complexity

The complexity of a project is calculated based on two major determinants: Its technical requirements and the complexity of its design. Technical requirements include the number of features, functionalities, and customization it requires. The more complex a software, the more it requires planning, preparation, coding, and testing. It will also need a larger database and more compatible upgrade requirements later on. All of this means a longer development timeline and more work from developers. Also, always take into consideration the complexity of the software’s design which we will address next.

Design

You can choose affordable options, or you can go for extravagant unique designs. Of course, the design does affect the overall user experience and is important to be well thought out. To make your choice easier, your decision should mainly depend on the intended use of your application.

If your software is being developed for the internal use of employees in a company, there are plenty of free web page templates that many institutions choose from. However, if your objective is to develop an entirely unique software application, you will definitely need a customized design. You may want animations, custom artwork, illustrations, etc. which require a lot of work, time, and a dedicated team of professionals to create. Bear in mind that for an enhanced experience, you may need to hire a good UI/UX designer which doesn’t come cheap. Add to that the iterations and re-design that might be requested during the process, and the cost of the project will certainly go up.

System Integrations

Most software products require integration, either with third-party applications, APIs, or integration with existing systems of an enterprise. Integrating with third-party applications or APIs does not usually cost as much as integrating with old systems. 

However, the latter is common among big enterprises. So if you intend to integrate your custom software with any existing systems, you have to expect to run into challenges and obstacles. For example, each software might store data differently. Some systems like payment providers such as PayPal are easy to integrate with, while less popular systems may face more challenges. This results in a stretched timeline and consequently an increased cost.

Existing Data

In case you have an already established system holding your data, you will need to migrate the latter to the new software. Data migration is the process of moving data from one location to another, one format to another, or one application to another. The work put into figuring out the translation between both systems, writing scripts, testing, and making some adjustments all add time and increase the cost to build custom software. 

There’s a common procedure for data migration that you need to know about in order to understand the process and its impact on your software cost:

Get ready to build your own custom software!

1. Explore and assess existing data

Before migrating the data, you must be aware of what the data contains to decide what needs to migrate over to the new software, what is no longer useful, and what is missing. Data mapping is the process of matching fields from one database to another. If there are incomplete data or inaccuracies, you might need to reconsider whether the migrating process is worth going through. Here lies the importance of this step. If a company skips checking existing data, the result could be wasted time and money.

2. Design Migration

Before migrating the data, you must be aware of what the data contains to decide what needs to migrate over to the new software, what is no longer useful, and what is missing. Data mapping is the process of matching fields from one database to another. If there are incomplete data or inaccuracies, you might need to reconsider whether the migrating process is worth going through. Here lies the importance of this step. If a company skips checking existing data, the result could be wasted time and money.

3. Build the migration solution

Remember you will only go through the migration process once, so it’s important to get everything right. A common tactic is to categorize the data into subsets, build one subset at a time, and test it right after.

4. Live Test

It is not enough to test during the building process. Once the migration is done, it is important to test all the migrated data to ensure it is accurate and complete. 

5. Migration and Audit

Once tests are done, implementation of the migration can start, followed by setting up a system to audit the data and ensure accuracy.

Keep in mind that not all steps are needed for every migration since every situation is unique and every development company has its own approach. 

FAQ

How is the software development cost paid for?

When it comes to payment methods, each development company decides its own payment terms. Our payment method at Staggering ROI is based on milestones as we believe it is the most suitable for both parties. It usually includes an upfront payment to initiate work on the project, followed by several payments at different stages of the project’s development cycle.

How can a client remain informed about the progress of the project?

We use the Agile Scrum development methodology, a combination between the Agile philosophy and the Scrum framework. Agile allows teams to work on projects in small steps, while Scrum is one of many types of Agile methodology where projects are broken down into chunks called “sprints”. Clients take on a fundamental part of this development methodology from planning the sprints up until the delivery of the project.

Who owns the software once it is complete?

Once the software is complete and handed over to the client, the latter is considered the copyright owner and has exclusive ownership of the developed custom business software.

Do you have further concerns or questions?