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Why is software development so expensive?
I get this question a lot, and it often comes from startups and SMBs who want to build software or mobile apps for their business needs. Some of the common reasons are higher salaries, software costs, longer software development time, and maintenance costs. Simply, software and apps are cheap but the engineering & design talent, poor development practices, expensive tools, etc make it expensive.
Though we can’t control some of these factors to reduce the cost, we can reduce the cost by adopting the best development practices. In this blog, we’ll discuss five effective ways that have helped us to cut the cost of software development without sacrificing the quality of the product.
Reducing Your Software Development Costs
1. Use Open Source Software(OSS)
The most common advantage of using OSS is they are free to download. OSS eliminates higher pricing games and traps that come with commercial sales and negotiations. According to research done by RedHat, the lower total cost of ownership is the leading advantage to adopt open-source software. Despite maintenance costs, OSS is widely used because it is secure and efficient while being overall less expensive. In addition, you get higher quality support from OSS’s active communities, and what’s more, community support is free.
Below are some essential open source software used by developers worldwide:
2. Reduce Software Development Time
Agile software development
Adopting the agile software development approach helps to build the software lean and facilitates better collaboration among software developers and stakeholders throughout the entire development process. Every iteration ends with gathering feedback from clients and end-users. The development team uses it to improve the product. All the changes are made during the development process, and the risk for rework reduced to zero.
Moreover, an agile approach facilitates the addition of new features on the go. It also allows changes at any stage and lets customers provide product revisions.
Implementing DevOps helps to achieve higher functionality, better speed, and improved performance. It also helps to create better communication and collaboration between the team of developers and stakeholders. Above all, DevOps gives on to better integration, automation, measuring, and monitoring of the software development lifecycle.
3. Involve Software Testing Early in SDLC
Developers and testers should start “testing” as early as possible to reduce the rework. Involving the QA team in the initial stage of development can save from several issues during the software development process. It does not only identify issues but avoid sub-optimal application quality, the cost for redesigns for mid-projects, and a red flag for the release. As we all know, additional bugs during later stages of development require lots of rework. It can push custom software development costs further up. Therefore, embracing manual and automation testing from the initial stage can bring potential issues and appear to surface.
4. Save on Cloud Spending
Cloud computing makes things easy and fast but it can be very costly if you don’t optimize its usage. Usually, overspending on cloud services is common during software development. Below are some important cloud cost optimization strategies:
- Clean up old storage data: Deleting unused data from the storage can save you a huge amount of expenditure on cloud storage.
- Optimize use of instances: Instead of running instances when they are not required, implement auto-scaling for production workloads and automated scheduling for development environments to run only during working hours whenever needed.
- Take advantage of discounts: It is important to save costs by leveraging discounts from cloud providers and resulting in significant savings. Every cloud provider has different approaches to its cuts; however, the basic principle is the same for using them, so don’t forget it!
- Design workloads for scalability: Scalability is a critical factor of any public cloud. It uses event-driven compute instances like AWS Lambda or containers like Google Container Engine to scale core services for workloads, such as microservices. These approaches are designed to use computing when it is needed.
5. Hire Full-stack Developers
A development team comprises different types of developers like front-end, back-end, database experts, DevOps person, testers, etc. One way to reduce the cost is to keep the development team small without compromising the work. For that, you need some full-stack developers in your team. They can work on both front-end and back-end development. Also, there will be time-saving in terms of communication and discussion.
As companies continue to enhance their businesses with digital transformation, they have to consider the above cost reduction tips when it comes to developing the software or even outsourcing. These tips not only help reduce the cost but reduce the development time and improve software quality.