Do you need custom software?
Are you considering custom software development?
While there are already plenty of software options available for common business tasks, such as accounting or HR, there are situations where commodity software won't do. For example, if you have a unique business problem or product, or the software on the market today doesn't match your business needs, custom software development may be the solution.
But what does custom software development cost?
- Small projects, like MVPs, can be as little as $25,000/€23,000 for one, full-time developer for 1-2 months.
- Medium projects are $50,000/€45,000 - $250,000/€225,000 and take 3-6 months for one or two full-time developer(s).
- Very large projects for enterprise customers and government entities are more complex and take more people and more time. They can be 6 months to several years to complete, so they can cost well over $250,000/€225,000 - $1,100,000/€1,00,000 for three to five full-time developers for 6-12 months.
How we estimate custom software costs
Unlike building a basement or a house, custom software pricing is not straightforward.
At Volare Software, a custom software development company, we don't provide fixed bid contracts. Instead, we estimate the monthly running cost for a development team, and the duration and total cost are given as ranges based on the minimum and maximum estimates for the modules in the system.
We are transparent with potential customers that the total cost and durations are estimates constructed by adding up lots of smaller guesses, so the margin of error is very high. However, we can commit to the cost of the development team for each month, and we can resize the team and monthly budget up or down as needed.
What takes one developer six months does not take two developers three months. There is communication and code integration overhead to account for.
Having more developers usually means you get the software delivered more quickly, but there is a point of diminishing returns. We've found that three to five developers can be as productive as ten.
Avoid fixed bid pricing
Fixed bid contracts require all project details to be known and documented up front. However, we've never been on a project where those initial plans didn't change, and they usually change significantly.
Fixed bid contracts put the consulting company in the position of arguing with their client that the new thing or the change or the different interpretation they have was not in the original specifications and was not included in the price they were given. This model of constant contract negotiating with your customer is not a positive experience for either party, and it adds to the overhead of the project.
Instead, we prefer to say "yes" to customer ideas and changes, telling the customer the impact of the change. Ultimately, the customer decides if it's worth the extra time and cost.
Deliver the most important software early
At Volare Software, we use an agile software development process where the most important features of the system are built first. These are usually the highest value modules in the system.
By building the key modules early, we bring the value and the risk forward in the software project, ensuring the software meets your goals and can be a successful product.