What Is the True Cost of a Software Development Team?

Most modern companies rely on software to keep their business running and limit the number of tough decisions they have to make daily. Often, the first thing they consider when choosing that software is whether the expenses are worth the reward. But what happens when you need custom software development to expand your capabilities or replace your existing software? This article will explore some of the costs associated with a good software development team and why it makes sense to choose a high-quality partner.

Unless a person is part of the software development crowd, there's a good chance that they don't know how high the actual costs of building a high-quality application or program are. While this may lead to sticker shock and the decision to partner with a different, cheaper development partner, this is often a huge mistake. Anyone who goes down that path will likely end up with a finished product that doesn't actually meet their needs.

Software Development Team

Exploring Software Development Costs at a Positional Level

To help better explain the actual cost of a software development team, I thought it would be good to look at the median salary associated with each individual position that may be needed to create the finished product. These expenses make it much easier to determine what functions are required to complete the custom software development project and justify those costs.

Software Architect

Role: Software architects are expert-level software developers that communicate with clients and businesses to develop and execute solutions with a team of software engineers. Often, a software architect will make executive design decisions and act as a designer, developer, and communicator to ensure a project remains on track and is completed on time.

Median Salary: $119K

Database Administrator

Role: A Database Administrator (DBA) oversees the security and maintenance of a company's databases. In a custom software development scenario, the DBA will be involved in developing, planning, and troubleshooting databases to meet the needs of an organization while ensuring that data continues to run smoothly and securely.

Median Salary: $68k

Software Developer

Role: Software developers are often concerned with several distinct facets of the software development process. In most cases, their work involves researching, designing, executing, and testing software; however, they may also be involved in UX/UI design, computer programming, or software project management throughout a project's life cycle.

Median Salary: $107k

Software Developer

UX/UI Designer

Role: A UX/UI designer, or user experience and user interface designer, is often focused on maximizing the usability and user experience of software, mobile devices, applications, and much more. This position ensures that interfaces are aesthetically pleasing and aims to ensure that interfaces are also easy to use. Without this position, completed custom software projects would not be as efficient and straightforward as possible.

Median Salary: $72k

Software Tester

Role: A software tester is responsible for designing and running test scenarios for software usability and preparing reports that explain any potential bugs or improvements to the software development team. When custom software development teams incorporate testing, the software will be more reliable and can be delivered with fewer errors.

Median Salary: $66k

It seems a little overwhelming, doesn't it?

If you were to take on all of these positions as a business, you would be on the hook for roughly $432k in salaries alone to complete your custom software project. To make matters worse, that doesn't even include the equipment and software needed to build the frameworks required for the software. Even from a monthly standpoint, that is still $36k. How many businesses can spend that amount of money?

What Resources Are Needed for a Successful Software Development Team?

Once you have hired your software development team, you will need to ensure that they have the resources, tools, and software required to complete the custom projects you have in mind. As you might imagine, this will lead to substantially more costs – and the requirements needed to get started may surprise you. For example, let's look at some of the software costs that Maennche Virtual CMO utilizes for clients.

Integrated Development Environments

Use: An integrated development environment, or IDE, is a software application that includes a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger for computer programmers. Some IDEs also contain necessary compilers, interpreters, or both, while others do not – making it critical to choose the right one for your needs. The most common IDEs are Microsoft Visual Studio, JetBrains, and IntelliJ.

Average Monthly Cost: $49*

Software Development Repository

Use: A software repository, or repo, is a storage location for any necessary software packages. These central file storage locations are critical for storing different version systems that can be retrieved as needed for continued development or bug control. Some of the most popular repositories include GitHub and Bitbucket.

Average Monthly Cost: $3*

Testing Software

Use: Software testing tools come in various package types to meet particular needs. While it would be impossible for us to list all of the testing software we utilize to ensure a perfect finished product, we will note some of the most common tools. These include the open-source, automated Selenium and xdebug.

Average Monthly Cost: FREE*

Project Management Software

Use: Project management software is utilized to help plan, organize, and manage resources. At Maennche Virtual CMO, we have developed our own proprietary CRM system to meet our specific needs – and we can do the same for you! Although some standard commercial options include Zoho, Salesforce, and Asana.

Average Monthly Cost: $49*

Project Management Software
Project Management Software

Developer Collaboration Software

Use: Communication is key to keeping a custom software development project on track. Fortunately, it is easy to make this a priority with many of the tools that are available free of charge – meaning everyone has the same opportunity to use them as long as their systems are capable of running them. Some of the most popular options include Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom.

Average Monthly Cost: FREE*

Container Licensing for Development Environments

Use: Container licensing creates a set of one or more processes that are isolated from the rest of the system where any required files to run are provided from a distinct image. These are needed as a supplement in conjunction with the target operating system to assist in running the containers in the host software. One of the most popular container licensing options available is Docker.

Average Monthly Cost: $5*

Server Monitoring Software

Server Monitoring Software

Use: Server monitoring tools help software developers identify application performance or hosting issues by monitoring the performance of a target server. With this insight, these issues can be corrected by the software developer or may signify that there are issues server-side that need to be addressed. Some of the most popular server monitoring tools include SolarWinds, Sematext, and Datadog.

Average Monthly Cost: $50*

Anyone keeping score will already know that is a minimum of $156 extra each month just for the required software. Even worse, the * next to the pricing signifies that it is just a starting price and that they can scale up based on the needs of your software development team. With the combined salary and tools costs, there's a good chance you are looking for a more affordable alternative.

The good news? There is one!

Why Does Custom Software Development Make Sense?

While it is unrealistic for a business to hire its own software development team, the costs associated with doing so would be monumental. With a clear picture of the associated costs, there's a good chance that you can better understand why custom software development comes with the pricing that it does – particularly if you want it done correctly.

The average cost of custom software development can vary between $10k to $100k, depending on the project's scope. Compared to the costs attributed to each position required to complete a custom software development project, it's much easier to see why the costs are justified. In fact, there is often minimal mark-up associated with the sticker price, given the time and effort required to complete most projects.

Maennche Virtual CMO has helped countless businesses expand their growth opportunities by developing custom software. The best news is that our team can help make it a reality no matter what you are dreaming. There is no limit to our capabilities, from mobile apps to a complete CRM, and we want to create the perfect software to meet your needs. All it takes to get started is a phone call to discuss your needs!

What Custom Software Do You Need?

No matter what size your business is or your budget, Maennche Virtual CMO has a retainer-based custom software development plan that will work for you. Take the first step today to learn if our approach is the right fit for your business! Schedule a meeting with us to see how your business could benefit from our knowledge and expertise.

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