Hidden software development costs
Months of intensive work are behind you, and your software enters the market. But product costs may not go down immediately because hidden software development costs arise even after the product launch. Let’s figure out what a business needs to pay for when a software project enters the market. How to avoid hidden costs after the development process is over?
Software maintenance costs
Launching a software product is like buying a house. When you change a small apartment for a big house, maintenance costs may increase drastically. The situation is the same with software development. As a business expands, its needs and costs grow as well. The software optimizes in-house operations, but it’s important to maintain it. We’ll explain what costs this can involve and why.
Work on a product doesn’t end once the project is complete. The software solution will develop along with the business. IT specialists will include new functions, remove old ones, fix errors, scale up the platform, and improve its UX/UI design. Otherwise, the program will become stagnant and unfit for business. The audience may stop using the app if it does not correspond to market trends and does not meet their vision of perfect functionality. New users will go to competitors who do not stand still and keep on developing their products.
Look at such tech giants as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Countless engineers are constantly improving their apps. Any program needs experts to support vital features.
Medium researchers estimate that most mobile apps receive updates once every six months. Once every 30 days, developers update a third of mobile apps. New models of devices and innovative software solutions come out, and system requirements for app operation constantly change.
Normally, IT specialists update web apps every two to four years. It is necessary to change elements of a site after a new version of the programming language it is written in appears. With new standards of quality and security, specialists resign interfaces and build new sections and pages.
Most probably, you will continue to work with the software development team after the app release to keep your program up to date.
Hosting takes a substantial part of the total cost of services for custom software development. To make your app work, you need to host it somewhere. This can be a mail server, analytics server, push notification server, or other types of servers that are hosted in local data centers. The choice depends on the app type.
In 2022, about 60% of businesses have moved their workforce to the cloud.
App servers can be hosted in AWS, Azure, Google, and other cloud storage. A cloud provider offering hosting services also requires a monthly fee. However, the less space an app uses, the lower the cost.
The cloud also allows you to be flexible and instantly scale up the resources you use (storage) and distribute the load as the audience grows. This ensures that your app will run smoothly.
Developers and DevOps engineers handle the app and hosting support. They keep track of platform updates, fix breakdowns, control cloud costs, and perform other important tasks.
Changing the development team that has been supporting the app can also incur costs. Even experienced developers find it difficult to perceive the logic and behavior of a software solution on the spot. It takes some time to understand the business model and become familiar with the infrastructure.
To find, hire and train a new employee, an average American company needs to spend 52 days and $4,000. This figure is higher in IT. Custom software development companies have found an easier solution to this problem. For example, they use modern Agile methodologies and development principles that help optimize the cost of onboarding new employees.
Refactoring is improving code quality and optimizing the architecture of an app. Developers rewrite code to make it simple and clear without changing the functionality of an app itself.
In the beginning, the code written by developers suits the release of an app. But any program becomes obsolete with time: its programming language improves, and new functions, libraries, operators, and frameworks appear. Therefore, even perfect apps need to be refactored. Programmers must replace old code sections with simpler solutions.
Typically, custom software developers perform refactoring when they find it difficult to work with code or when they need to introduce the same changes to different parts of it. Without refactoring, they build or add new features more slowly. It is harder for new team members to understand a project. They have difficulty estimating how long it will take to fix bugs. The program owner won’t be able to change the partner software development company or maintenance specialists.
Organizations needn’t carry out refactoring often. Sometimes, businesses ignore this procedure and simply maintain the legacy code base and continue to build new functionality.
How to save on hidden software development costs
How to minimize hidden costs after the launch of a project?
- Invest in employee training
As we have found out, employees are one of the most valuable resources of an enterprise. When specialists change frequently, business processes are suspended. To avoid this, train your employees and invest in their development.
- Optimize hosting costs
Hosting is cheaper than maintaining a server independently. The owner of an organization does not need to spend money on equipment, electricity, and the salary of a system administrator. Of many hosting options, the company can choose the one that suits the type, size, and scope of its services.
For example, for a standard site with little traffic, shared hosting is enough. For a large enterprise with many branches and several projects, cloud hosting is better. The company can either expand or narrow the parameters to suit its needs.
- Find a strategic IT partner
To maintain your app, update features, and implement new solutions, find a reliable IT partner. The development team will understand your company’s needs, respond quickly to your requests, and save time.
Software development costs and maintenance are justified, but you need to foresee them. Therefore, consider hidden costs to plan your budget properly and maintain software quality.