Software development is changing the way we live our lives. Virtual environments have revolutionized business processes and created countless opportunities for companies of all sizes, from startups to multinational enterprises with offices worldwide. 

This growing sector will continue expanding in scope and depth over time due to its ability to provide functionality, which was previously impossible. However, several business owners are still a bit confused about software development. 

Today, in this blog, I will clear all your doubts regarding the cost, features, and security measures that come to your mind before building software. 

However, to illustrate the growth in this sector and how it’s forming the general economy, I’ve researched and gathered some of the most exciting software development statistics. So, let us have a look at this first.

A Glimpse into the Software Market 

So, how big is the software development market in your view? Does the industry have a bright future? As companies adapt to post-pandemic consequences in 2021, it is essential to recognize the resulting variations in the software sales and marketing landscape globally. Let’s have a look at the software development market in 2021.

A Glimpse to Software Market

  • The systems integration, software, and IoT hardware services market will expand to $520 billion in 2021.
  • The IT sector is presently recovering and will come back to growth in 2021. It is projected to restore and surpass its pre-pandemic state by 2024, with an approximated 5% CAGR.
  • The e-Commerce field will proceed to develop after Covid-19. Statista mentioned that companies would continue with the trend. Besides, by 2023 the eCommerce market is supposed to rise to 22%, in contrast to 14.1% in 2019.

What Factors Decide the Cost of Software Development? 

Software development cost depends on multiple factors, and some of them are-

What factors decide the cost of software development

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  • Development Timelines

Longer development timelines lead to higher costs. In general, the more time a software developer has to work on a project, the greater the quantity of work that can be completed in that period. 

Familiarity with the software being developed and any related technologies is another factor that may increase or prolong development timelines. If project requirements change, this will also add to the overall timeline and increase development costs.

  • Quality Expectations

The quality of a finished product is directly related to the time and effort that goes into its creation. Simply put, when deadlines are tight, or budgets are cut, projects tend to suffer in terms of their final product’s quality. The more time and resources a software developer has to work on a product, the higher the quality of that product.

  • Application Complexity

Complexity is another major factor in terms of project cost and time. This context refers to how many different functionalities are being built into a single application or system. This can mean more code, which can equate to more time.

When projects are large and complex, developers need to focus on the entire system rather than specific components. This means that less experienced or well-rounded software designers can often be found working on these larger projects. In addition, there is a greater chance of human error because multiple people will have been involved in writing different elements of the codebase.

  • Team Skills

The skill level of the software development team is also a significant factor in terms of cost and time. More specifically, developers lacking in certain areas, such as specific coding languages or experience using certain technologies, may drive up project costs. Additionally, if outside contractors need to be brought onto a team to augment their skillset, this will also drive up project costs.

  • Product Design and Architecture

The architecture of a system in terms of how it’s designed can also have a significant impact on development timelines and costs. In particular, if the existing codebase has poor coding practices or is poorly written, this will also add to project time and cost. 

Additionally, when designing software systems with thousands of lines of code, the impact of a single typo resulting in an issue with an application can significantly drive up overall costs. This is why you should always choose a reliable offshore development center to avail the best results.  

  • Testing and Integration

Software testing services are quite crucial as testing drives up software development timelines and costs as well. More specifically, this refers to testing all functionalities individually and during their integration into the final product. This step is crucial to avoid the effect of bugs or other issues appearing after product launch.

  • Tools & Process, Methodology

The use of specific tools and processes during software development can also significantly affect overall timelines and costs. In this context, the methodology that a team uses to develop a product is a vital factor. Additionally, the availability or need for specific third-party tools may add to project costs as well.

  • Third-Party Integrations

When developing software, it’s not uncommon to build integrations with external systems, such as databases or existing business apps. The setup and integration of these systems can affect project timelines and costs as well. In the best-case scenario, a team is fully aware of all required third-party integrations from the start of a project. If this isn’t the case, this can introduce additional project delays and costs.

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Also Read: Why is India preferred Software Outsourcing Centre in the world?

Some More Clarity on the Cost Factor

Some More Clarity on the Cost Factor

  • Straightforward Estimate

One of the simplest techniques to evaluate software development project cost would be Project Resource Cost x Project Time = Project Cost.

However, it is not that easy. The first issue is specifying the resources. How many developer hours (in a year) should we use as the basis of estimating? What about testers? Architects? Project managers? Business analysts? Quality Assurance engineers and test technicians? Database administrators and data modelers, training staff, technical writers, and user interface experts? 

Each role has slightly different working hours, some require more or less experience than others, and knowledge of more than one role would be beneficial. 

  • Rough Estimate

To get rough cost estimates, let’s use the following numbers:

Note– These numbers don’t display the accurate pricing of software development.

  • ~$1,000/day – for a programmer
  • ~$10,000/week for a team

Several factors affect a technical resource and team’s pricing, including location, role, experience, and more. 

What are the Features of a Great Software? 

What are the Features of a Great Software_

When developing software, many factors contribute to the overall success or failure of a product. Here are the top software development features-

  • User-Friendliness

High-quality software is designed with the user in mind. From the design of the logo to the interface, everything should be done for a simple user experience. This means that samples and documentation provided with the product are easy to understand.

The software needs to have appropriately labeled controls so users quickly know what they do by just looking at them. They shouldn’t have to browse through a comprehensive user guide just to understand what they do.

  • Speed

No matter how great the software is, if it takes a lot of time to load or use, no one will be interested in using it. What makes the software a good piece of code is that it does its job quickly, and it should not take more than a few seconds for any action to start working. 

For example, you could have video analysis software that shows some results. The time it takes for the information to be displayed on screen makes a big difference in making your product stand out from others.

  • Efficiency

The software should work at the optimal level and produce the required results. It shouldn’t need too many system resources to run and should be compatible with a wide range of systems. A good piece of software will ensure that it doesn’t hog your memory or other system resources instead of using them efficiently for a better user experience.

  • Reliability

Software should be developed with proper measures to ensure that it works without malfunctioning, even when faced with crises. It should contain enough functionalities to avoid any sudden bugs or crashes, keeping your customers satisfied at all times. 

A good piece of software doesn’t have any significant bugs or errors so it can be used ultimately. If your software is completely bug-free and still it fails to provide the expected results, then you’ve missed one of the most important things about creating a piece of software.

  • Security

No matter how user-friendly, speedy, efficient, and reliable your software is, no one will use it if it doesn’t have proper security measures in place. You’d be surprised to know how many users are concerned about their data security these days. 

It can be anything from personal details to crucial business information. Data needs to be kept safe so that only authorized personnel can access it and none else.

  • Features

Features are the main reason why any software is successful. If your software does what it needs to do but doesn’t have any extra features that make it stand apart from the rest of the software in its category, it will be difficult for you to sell it. People simply want more than just an average piece of software. 

They are looking for features that go above and beyond what other components of software offer. For example, you could have video analysis software without extra features like social media sharing options, text-to-speech features, etc. 

  • Flexibility

Your software needs to remain flexible and adjustable. Developers should always keep the future in mind what their users might want from their product to work on it accordingly and be prepared for any such updates. 

For example, if you’ve developed a video analysis software that does everything perfectly, but later on, you hear that your users want to expand their business and branch out to other verticals like facial recognition. It would be good of you to incorporate such features into your product. 

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What is the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)?

SDL is a software development approach that helps developers understand security mechanisms, implement best practices, and confirm that their code meets a baseline level of security.

Its 3 key benefits- 

  • Higher security. In SDL, constant monitoring for vulnerabilities outcomes in better software quality and a reduction of business dangers.
  • Cost reduction. In SDL, early notice of flaws significantly decreases the effort needed to recognize and fix them.
  • Regulatory compliance. SDL promotes a reliable attitude toward security-associated laws and regulations. 

Best Practices of SDL

Before we consider how to follow SDL practices in software product development, let us examine common development workflows.

The waterfall workflow is linear, with a single stage occurring after the other:

What is the Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

The agile methodology, on the other hand, goes through multiple cycles, each of which includes a similar set of stages:

Six phases of agile life cycle

Six Phases of the Software Agile Life Cycle 

As mentioned, the Agile software development life cycle consists of six phases. Let’s examine each of these Agile phases in more detail.

  • Concept

The first phase is to develop the product concept. This is where you define what you want to build and how it should work. It’s all about planning, so there isn’t really any development yet. The goal of the phase is to set expectations for your project, and you should start this process at the beginning of the project.

It’s essential to have all the key players define what you are trying to accomplish in this phase. You should also incorporate your customers, management, marketing or sales staff, and other key players such as graphic designers and quality assurance (QA) staff.

  • Design

The second phase is to design the product by creating a blueprint, otherwise known as an architecture document. This document outlines all of the technologies and components you plan to use for your product. 

Not only will this help you gather input from everyone involved in the project, but it will also assist you in identifying and addressing any potential problems. This phase is where many projects get bogged down because design discussions can go on forever. 

The necessary thing here is to get the team to agree on a plan for building your product early in the process so that everyone knows what they are working toward.

  • Coding

The third phase requires you to write the code, where features are turned into working software. There are multiple techniques of doing this, but it should be done in small chunks to deliver at least some value to the customer. 

While writing the code, developers will find bugs that they can use to update or change functionality during this phase. This phase is completed when the developers can pass their code on to the QA group to be tested.

  • Testing

The fourth phase involves testing your product to make sure it’s working properly and meets customer expectations. Different tests can be performed here, but they usually include unit, integration, and system testing.

During this phase, developers also need to verify that their code works automatically, so there will be no manual testing later. This will give them relevant insight into how they made changes when working on specific features.

  • Maintain

The fifth phase is maintenance, where you fix any bugs that were discovered during testing. This means you continue to update your components and modules with new functionality, even after the product has shipped. 

For example, e-commerce sites often get new features or product updates throughout the year to improve customer experience and make it simpler for them to shop on their site.

  • Deploy

The sixth and final phase is the last step to deploying your product. This involves ensuring that your product is working as expected and getting it ready for use by customers. 

Usually, this includes packaging, publishing, and other tasks to get the software ready for launch. While there are many different phases of the Software Agile Life Cycle, the key thing to remember about this process is that it’s a repeatable cycle. 

This means you should go through each phase and continue to do so until your product is successfully developed and launched. Once a team has gone through the six phases of the Software Agile Life Cycle, they will build any software product much faster. This process doesn’t just apply to building web applications but also can be used when building mobile apps or other complex projects.

Top 5 Software Security Tips 

  • Think Security From the Starting  

When it comes to application security, it’s essential to think about this issue from the beginning of the software development process. Secure Software Development Lifecycle (SSDL) best practices ensure that security is considered at each phase in the product life cycle, which ensures that all stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities throughout the entire process.

  • Build a Secure Software Development Policy 

Ensure that your outsourced software development company and existing employees are aware of the importance of security. To boost overall awareness, consider creating a flexible policy that covers best practices for development.

  • Use a Secure Software Development Framework

By implementing a secure software development framework, you can eliminate most security vulnerabilities at a fraction of the cost compared to an ad hoc approach. SDLC frameworks support both source code analysis and application fuzzing for testing web apps, mobile apps, IoT devices, and their backend services from start to finish.

  • Hire a Dedicated Software Development Team 

Make sure your staff has experience in testing and understands the complexities of software development. A dedicated team can stay consistent with security standards as new products are developed, tested, and launched to market.

  • Create Software with Best Practices to Fulfill Security Needs

Developing an application with today’s best practices can go a long way to ensure that it is secure. Secure software development involves:

  • Reducing the attack surface by eliminating unnecessary services.
  • Providing granular permissions for each service or user.
  • Managing encryption throughout the entire application lifecycle.

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Top Software Development Trends for 2024

  • Growing Use of Blockchain

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will become a reality in 2020. These decentralized, open-source currencies were secure and efficient, so it was only natural for people to use them when making online transactions rather than traditional fiat money. However, many countries passed laws that attempted to outlaw the use of crypto-currency, forcing criminals to discover new methods to exchange goods and services.

  • AI & Machine Learning are Fundamental

By 2021, the Internet of Things reached its full potential. Almost everything is linked to the internet, from virtual assistants to wearable devices. But this results in a massive amount of data every day. The development of self-learning algorithms allows for more efficient use of network resources and the application of these algorithms to business processes.

  • The Rise in Progressive Web Apps

The need for users to access their apps regardless of network conditions or storage limitations makes Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) more popular than ever. As such, PWAs are expected to overtake both native and cross-platform/web apps in 2021.

  • Expansion of the IoT

More companies are expected to invest in the IoT in 2021, further driving up demand for employees who can design and program connected devices. For this reason, IT professionals must gain experience with different types of IoT hardware. 

Wrapping it Up 

That is all! I hope you have an idea about the cost, features, and security measures of software development. The software industry is a highly competitive industry that influences every sector — it will expand and become more diversified with each passing year. Thus, to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to ensure that you follow the right tricks. 

Besides, you also need a trusted offshore software development company to get amazing offshore development services and meet your business needs. Still, have questions? Mention them in the comment section below.

Also Read: Automation in Software Development- A New Stream of Revolution

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is SDLC?

The acronym ‘SDLC’ stands for Secure Development Lifecycle, and it is related to the process of developing secure software. The main objective of designing this framework is to help software development teams develop secure applications with security standards in mind while keeping them affordable.

2. What are SDLC stages?

The SDLM process is divided into five stages/phases:

  • Requirements Analysis: The client communicates the application’s scope and functionality to the development team during this phase. Together, both parties identify system requirements that must be met before they can complete project development. 
  • Development: This stage involves the actual building and coding of the software. This involves both the client and the development team to create a product that fulfills their requirements. 
  • Testing: During this phase, developers test each application component to ensure that it meets business and security objectives. If there are issues during this stage, both parties will revise their work and begin the development process again. 
  • Implementation: This phase involves preparing the application for production use. It is also when the client hands over the project to key stakeholders to test it for accuracy and efficiency before releasing it to their customers or users. 
  • Maintenance: While this stage is often thought of as part of the initial development process, it has its own life cycle. This phase encompasses all activities performed after the application goes live in production. Some examples include updates, bug fixes, improvements, and patches. These activities take place throughout the software’s lifetime.

3. Why hire a software development company?  

Small and medium business owners often do not have the expertise or time to dedicate to software development. Most of them rely on trusted offshore software development companies for their IT needs. These professionals can meet any size of business requirements in terms of digital marketing, mobile applications, B2B portals, content management system (CMS), etc.

4. Why hire a software development company in India?

The development cost in India is way lesser than in other countries. It’s because there are more software developers available here than at any other place in the world. The rate at which they are gaining expertise is much higher than anywhere else, and hence you can expect to get high-quality work done at affordable rates. Apart from that, the job market here is constantly expanding, which means more opportunities for professionals working in this industry.

5. What is the average time taken to develop and deliver custom software?

The time taken to develop and deliver a custom software project depends on several factors. It can vary from some days to a few months, depending on the features and functionality you need in the product.

While there is no defined formula for how much time should be spent in each SDLC phase, you must understand why this process was created and how it applies specifically to your building product.

6. How much does software development cost?

The total cost of software development depends on how complex it is. Complexity can be defined in terms of features and functionality you need in the product, protocols and programming languages to be used, scale/size of the application, etc. It can be broadly classified into three categories:

  1. Custom Application Development
  2. Mobile and Web Application Development
  3. Open Source Customization

7. What are the significant challenges faced by software development companies?

The major challenges faced by software development companies are:

  • Lack of skilled human resources.
  • Lack of efficient project management.
  • Client’s unavailability to provide complete business requirements at the beginning.

Also, if the product is complex to develop, it takes more time to show results which creates pressure for both parties to deliver on time without compromising quality.

8. What are the qualities of a good software development company?

An essential quality that makes an offshore software development company stand out is its human resource. When you hire software developers in India, they must be talented and experienced professionals. Apart from these two factors, the company should also have a proper project management system to manage projects effectively. 

9. How to find the best software developer?

Finding the best software developer is not easy, especially if you are looking for talented and experienced professionals. 

  • The initial step should be to establish your business requirement properly so that it gives clarity to both clients and vendors about what exactly you want. 
  • Also, make sure to give proper time to the vendor to understand your business requirements. 
  • If possible, try to get help from other existing clients to find out how they hired developers for their projects.

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