2021 is heading to 2022 and most businesses have already started planning their next steps to digital transformation. And as the competitive battles have rapidly shifted to the digital space, companies are growing their budgets for custom software development to be able to compete. IT budgets are predicted to rise at the fastest rate in over 10 years with an average increase of 3.6% in total IT budget for 2022, according to Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs and technology executives. With this, it is getting even more important to strategically think about optimizing your IT projects costs and reducing unwanted spending.
Providing professional IT services, we have helped companies worldwide optimize their operational processes and projects and save up in the short and long term. In this article, we share how you too can reduce costs without compromising on quality. These 9 tactics will help make the most out of your IT budget and set your 2022 projects to success.
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. Therefore, if you have not yet considered expanding your talent pool, you are missing 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.
Involve the right team
A high-performing team is essential to leverage your IT budget and avoid unpredicted costs for custom software development. It may seem logical that involving more specialists bring faster and better results at first. However, that’s not always the solution. What has a greater impact are the roles and skills you bring to the project. For example, engaging a QA specialist at the early stages of your product development will help you ensure the final product is bug-free and works as planned. In case you leave testing until the very last stage, you risk spending more resources and budget on fixing things rather than delivering more value.
Watch the webinar: The ‘A-Z’ of Building a Software Development Team
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 on board a Business Analyst.
Watch the webinar: Business Analysis: From a Role to Mindset
Accelerate the transformation to agile
The way businesses have been adapting to the changes brought on by the pandemic is worth noting. Most companies found that they had to speed agile transformation plans and procedures to remain competitive. Accelerating the agile operating model, rework is reduced to a minimum and time-to-market can be significantly shortened. Teams can more readily reprioritize strategies and deliverables, and thus, create a product that will be in demand by the target audience, even if preferences have changed during the custom software development process.
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 resource 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.
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 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 a return on investment faster.
Read more: The UX Design Process in 5 Simple Steps
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 the 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.
To wrap up
As companies continue to drive the business forward with next-generation software solutions, adapting technologies and strategies that help reduce costs becomes essential. It is not a trivial job to plan the exact amount a software project will cost. However, by following these 7 tactics, you will realize that custom software development can be more affordable than you thought.