How to minimize an app development cost
So, you decided to start developing the application, you are full of ideas and you already have a budget for their implementation. However, application development is a rather expensive enterprise and it is due to a number of different factors.
The final cost of this process is affected by the high cost of specialists work, the need to develop for several platforms, maintenance and much more. In addition, there are risks of hiring developers who do not have the proper expertise. Is there a way to minimize costs without sacrificing quality? Of course, and there are even several of them! Today we’ll talk about 6 ways to minimize the cost of application development, while not losing as a final product. Let's get started.
By creating a native application for several platforms at once, for example, desktop and mobile, you, in fact, are developing several separate applications. Yes, their functionality will be basically the same, but nevertheless, developing a separate product for each platform is two times more time spent, and therefore money. The way out of this situation is cross-platform development. The development of universal cross-platform solutions is easier thanks to code reuse. Now, instead of repeating the same code for different platforms, cross-platform services are enough to write once. This saves the time and effort of developers who previously endlessly duplicated code for compatibility with various devices. When you invest in cross-platform programming, you get an application that works on all platforms.
At the same time, this approach has significant drawbacks - your project may simply not reach the release or may encounter serious limitations on the functionality. Such a solution is suitable for simple applications consisting of 5-7 screens and logic located mainly on the backend.
Outsourcing Team of Specialists
The search for specialists or even entire teams of outsourced developers has proven itself in the field of application development. However, there are several important points to consider. The first is to look for a partner company in countries with a more or less similar mentality and business ethics. This greatly simplifies communication. The second point - you should save within reasonable limits. If you look for a development team by the criterion of the lowest price, then the final result may not meet expectations. It is better to proceed from the principle of the golden mean - not too expensive, but not too cheap. For residents of Western Europe and North America, the most reasonable option would be to contact specialists from Eastern Europe, in particular from Ukraine. Read more about why this option is optimal in our article Top-7 reasons to choose software development in Ukraine.
According to Statista, in 2018 the outsourcing market in the world is estimated at $ 85.6 billion, which indicates a huge number of companies using this way to reduce costs.
Minimize risks by proper planning
While coming to the development team with an idea, an approximate list of future application functions and design requirements, they will tell you the minimum cost, which will include all the risks. At the same time, depending on the pricing model (fixed price/hourly rate/dedicated team), the cost can radically differ. Anyway, you will have to write down in detail:
- purpose of creating the app;
- reasons that form its value to users;
- list of devices;
- main features that distinguish you from competitive applications;
- brand book and design requirements;
- and much more.
A lot of work has to be done, resources are limited, and anyway developers will have to conduct a detailed analysis and check your plan for consistency and feasibility. However, there is a reasonable alternative. You can initially turn to a company that provides an IT consulting service. Using this service you will receive significant time savings, as well as the expertise of a team of highly qualified specialists who have created more than one project. Thus, competent coaching and knowledge of the specifics will help to plan your product initially based on the amount of funds that you are willing to spend on it. In addition, a really good company makes pricing as transparent as possible. In the end, you will get the most optimal product implementation options.
Cut off all unnecessary
One option to reduce the application development cost is to eliminate costly and non-priority features. The benefit of each function is evaluated from the ratio of its cost to the results and effect after its implementation. By forming the necessary set, you can eliminate costly solutions that do not carry significant benefits for your users.
For example, the following features can significantly increase the cost of the app:
- integration with third-party services;
- data synchronization;
- offline mode
- audio/video processing;
It’s a great idea to first launch the MVP, a working prototype of the product, with which the demand is tested before full-scale development. The main goal of MVP is to test the idea of an app with minimal cost. In the end, it is better to spend a relatively small amount and understand that a particular idea or feature does not work than to spend the entire project budget and come to the same conclusions. In addition, it would be wise to bring to the market a product with a minimum of functionality, but which can be profitable as quickly as possible. Working according to the flexible Scrum methodology, you can conveniently form a sequence of more important and less important functions, prioritize the functionality and launch the product with a minimum of features, but which will already bring results. Thus, you will not only speed up the development, but also be able to more rationally distribute the budget, and the remaining planned functions can be implemented when the main product will feel more or less confident on the market.
One of the key cost points in developing an app is infrastructure deployment. A huge amount of money is spent on the purchase, installation and configuration of servers, storage systems, databases, operating systems and testing tools. Moreover, all settings and configuration should be performed before the start of development and testing itself. According to Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, these costs account for about 50% of the total development cost.
Thus, the potential cost savings when transferring development and testing to the cloud, when the service provider takes all the preparatory work and operational support is estimated at half the cost of the entire development. Even considering the payment for the cloud services of the provider, you will still significantly reduce costs, dramatically gain in speed and reliability, Hurd added.
High-quality work of professionals
If your app involves a long development cycle, and no less long-term support which includes timely maintenance, release of new versions of the product and the elimination of bugs, then you should think about hiring a development team. In the conditions of long-term development/maintenance, a team familiar with the project from the very beginning will save a lot of money, since there is no need to study an unfamiliar app (as would happen with a new team that started the project at the support stage).
Find a company that carries out a full development cycle (planning, application logic, development, design, testing, maintenance). When several teams are working on a project in different cities, or even countries, communication and coordination of the project is at risk. Different time zones, a difference in the approach to the workflow, a difference in mentality - all this does not come in handy either for you or your project. Delays due to sophisticated communication turn into very tangible additional costs.
Ready-made teams usually already have an understanding of what pitfalls need to be circumvented, where there will be difficulties and how to simplify the development process. An additional plus - the team has already established a workflow and has groundwork, and therefore development will be faster.
If there is no objective reason to change the developer (quality, his principle of work, etc.), do not do this. However, if the work is not going as expected, it might be worth thinking about changing the contractor.
It's no secret that good application costs good money, but a competent strategy, planning and distribution of funds will help minimize losses, both in finances and in time. And the surest way to achieve this is to turn to specialists who can help at all stages of the project development from IT consulting to post-release support. In your searches, focus on finding not just the performer, but a full-fledged technology partner who will take into account your business needs, sincerely care about the success of the product and accompany your project on its path to success. You can find out how to find such a partner in our article How to choose software development company.