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Custom Software Development: 7 Tactics to Reduce Costs in 2021

The past year has been challenging for the business. Some industries had to speed up digitalization, while others had to prioritize their innovation initiatives. In all scenarios, reducing custom software development costs has become one of the companies’ top priorities. Business owners, CTOs, CIOs need cost-saving strategies in place to ensure business continuity.

Providing custom software development services, we have helped companies worldwide optimize their operational processes and projects and save up in short and long term. In this article, we share how you too can cut costs without compromising on quality. These 7 tactics will help you set your 2021 innovation initiatives off to success and minimize the effect of the global economic crisis.  

Expand your talent pool

Finding a top IT talent is always a challenging task. Limiting your search to a local talent only makes it even more difficult. With the global lockdown turning remote into the new normal businesses have been faced with different recruitment opportunities. The distance has been shortened, and it matters less which country your remote software development team is based at. Therefore, if you have not yet considered expanding your talent pool, you are missing on two major benefits. First, bringing onboard remote professionals will save you thousands for recruitment and talent retention. Second, expanding your search geographically and taking a talent-everywhere approach will ensure that you have constant access to talents and critical jobs can be filled timely.

Reassess your IT outsourcing partnerships

IT outsourcing is an essential strategy for any company that wants to reduce costs for custom software development. Whether you are currently partnering with IT outsourcing companies or not, you should reassess your options every now and then. The market is quite competitive and is constantly changing. Companies like Accedia now offer more than just competitive prices but rather provide an additional business value like industry expertise. Pay special attention to choosing the company that is reliable and prompt in exceeding your requirements. Keep in mind that the cheapest price may turn into poor-quality product delivery.  

Read more: IT Outsourcing: A How-to Checklist

Set clear requirements

Clear requirements make for accurate estimates. While this tactic might certainly mitigate potential risks to your custom software development vendor, it also means that you will receive higher bids on fixed bid projects, because the chosen vendor will potentially be accounting for more hours than would be necessary to accomplish the scope of work. Be aware that higher bids often mean better visibility upfront, which may become costly if discovered later on.  So, before starting a project, make sure you are completely aware of your business needs and have your detailed requirements prepared. If you need help with identifying those and drawing up proper documentation from start to finish, bring onboard a Business Analyst.  

Watch the webinar: Business Analysis: From a Role to Mindset

Optimize costs for cloud services

The cloud offers businesses unlimited scalability and lowers IT costs by only charging for the resources you use. However, the truth is that major vendors like AWS and Microsoft Azure charge per resources turned on, whether used or not. Therefore, reducing your overall cloud spend by identifying mismanaged resources, eliminating waste, reserving capacity for higher discounts, could save you a lot. This includes knowing your expenditure in detail, how specific services are billed, and the ability to display how and why you spent a specific amount to achieve a business outcome.

Read more:  Reduce Azure Costs with These 6 Best Practices

Prioritize usability

When it comes to software projects, stakeholders usually have big plans and limitless ideas for features. All this before the costs are drawn. With custom software development, an entire solution might take years to roll out. Start with the most essential functionalities and prioritize usability over a getting trapped in design iterations and scope add-ons creeping in. A software product that has a lot of unnecessary features significantly increases development and maintenance costs, all for something the end user might never use. Think about what your customers can not go without and make it user-friendly. This way, you can speed up delivery and product release and can start bringing in return on investment faster.

Invest in automation

Investing in automation today will save you a lot tomorrow. Make sure manual processes are reduced to a minimum as they may lengthen the time for development and leave probability for a human mistake. When your team is freed up from time-consuming tasks through automation, they can instead contribute more to other aspects of the project. An easy place to start with automation in software projects is to automate testing to ensure quality. While it’s true that automated tests initially may take longer than manual tests due to the time spent coding, once the tests are written they can be re-run as often as needed. This is therefore one of the first and best places software teams should look to for cutting costs.

Manage risk

Foreseeing and managing risk helps you minimize unpredictable and often very high costs. It needs to be done throughout the software development cycle. For all risks, they need to be identified, understood, analyzed to determine their severity, prioritized and followed up. To understand how risks can be mitigated, you also need to explore the reasons why risks exist in the first place. Some of the causes might be incomplete requirements, unrealistic expectations, no planning at the organizational level and project or sprint level, complicated architecture and more. Transparency and open communication amongst teams and stakeholders is essential. Prioritize and plan out the high severity risks and regularly inspect them.
 

Read more: Planning for Resiliency: The Art of keeping your Business Alive

To wrap up

When the appropriate foundation for a project has been laid, custom software development can be more affordable than most companies realize. As companies continue to drive the business forward with next-generation software solutions, adapting technologies and strategies that help reduce costs becomes essential. Applying these 7 tactics will not only help minimize costs but ensure the delivery of a quality product at the right cost and in the least amount of time.

Violeta is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Accedia, promoting the value of developing software innovation. Social Media savvy, passionate about writing and traveling. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch via LinkedIn.

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