February 26, 2016

Why Is Software So Expensive?

Why Is Software So Expensive?

You have a need for software, but don’t have the skills or bandwidth to do it in-house. So you search for a while to find a reputable agency, but their project estimate gives you serious sticker-shock. Why is software development so freaking expensive?


There are three key reasons.

1. Software development is complex.
This may seem obvious, but custom software usually requires some level of third-party application integration. Oftentimes software acts as a bridge by automating process which use a combination of legacy systems and brand-new technology. Or it could be an entirely new system that requires careful architecture and incredibly detailed execution planning.

2. It takes a village.
Every software development project is unique and demands a diverse set of skills, technologies and expertise. Because technology continues to rapidly evolve, it is critical to have a team that is on the leading edge and has a fundamental understanding of legacy systems.

Beyond smart developers, project management is critical. A good project manager ensures proper scheduling, risk management and is an excellent communicator so issues are resolved quickly and the project stays on time and on budget.

Finally, truly great software requires strong user experience (UX) strategy to ensure that the users it’s intended for will actually enjoy using it. UX requires interactive concepts, thoughtful user insights and an eye for brilliant interface simplicity. They call these folks unicorns because they’re so rare.

3. They don’t know what they need.
Users rarely know what they want until they see it. Creating a great experience requires understanding the real need, not just what users say they want. By involving real users in the analysis and requirements stage, you can get to the root of their need so a solution can be created to address it. This type of analysis and requirements gathering requires people who know how to ask the right questions. And it takes research to get to the real user need.


To determine if the software solution merits the cost, you can look at it from two angles. Are you trying to save time and remove the errors that come with manual entry? Or are you looking to generate revenue with an improved service?

For example, if this solution is to automate business processes, compare the cost of development to the amount of staff hours saved. If this software solution is designed for consumer use, project revenue generation or increased customer retention.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your software development needs, you’re in the right place. With over 20 years of experience, Gate6 fuses killer ideas and brilliant execution to produce solutions that work. Our proven two-week design sprint defines the minimum viable product (MVP) requirements, including critical screen layouts, so you know exactly what you’re getting and how much it will cost. This approach delivers applications that are built on actual user needs, not just assumptions.

Contact us to learn more. We’d be happy to discuss your project with you.

Manish Mamnani

Written by Manish Mamnani

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