When making a decision to build a mobile app by applying the services of an outsourcing vendor, one of the most sensitive matters is, inevitably, cost estimation. With no doubt, every product owner strives to find opportunities to reduce the development costs without loss of quality, and the trademark of a truly conscientious and experienced vendor is to provide such savvy options with no overpricing.
About the project
When we take on new projects, Touchlane team always employs an individual approach to project estimation, and one of our recent collaborations with a large-scale beverage producer was no exception. The scope of tasks implied the full-cycle development of the iOS and Android applications for advertising promo campaigns as well as the creation of a functional administration panel to manage these apps.
Understandably, the project involved engaging a considerable amount of tech solutions, resulting in certain financial expenditure, so our client expected us to suggest ways to optimize the process and cut down expenses.
In the following, we’ll provide tips and actual examples of solutions we invented within the framework of our partnership to make the development project more cost-effective.
5 ways to optimize the software development costs
1. Prioritize vital features & never skip the MVP stage
The first thought that should occur to you, as a business owner, is what kind of app your company really needs. At this stage, we recommend putting your desire to be in trend aside as you have to take an unbiased look at what value you want to provide to your clients and what basic features can help you cope with it, not stuffing the product with excessive and sophisticated feature set and UI design.
By implementing the MVP strategy within our project, we gathered all the necessary data about the apps’ basic mission to launch the pilot versions with only vital functionality and check if the apps are really handy to users. As such, our team set only the strategically important features, sufficient for the very first release.
2. Make use of in-memory platforms to optimize the backend
Given that our client opted for setting an integration with the cloud-hosted service Firebase, providing the “payment per data transfer” pricing policy and being quite expensive in operation, our backend experts were to find the way to optimize the flow.
Our developers invented a unique solution to this issue by elaborating on the integration between the Realtime Database and the in-memory platform Hazelcast. This solution allowed us to make a single request to the Realtime Database and save all the required data in the distributed cache instead of making thousands of paid requests to the Realtime Database directly. In this regard, the distributed cache solution helped to save several thousand dollars monthly.
From this perspective, we’d like to highlight the importance of a profound approach you should employ to the choice of the back-end architecture as, in addition to the system reliability, it will ensure significant cost-effectiveness for the whole project.
3. Select the optimal integration set
Driven by your strategy and vision, your application may have some functionality that would demand certain integrations with third-party services. The thing is that you should put this question into thorough consideration or leave the choice of services to professionals, able to select only optimal integrations that your app really needs and calculate the costs specifically for your case in advance.
Our project required several important integrations, and Touchlane team did its best to pick the most budget-friendly services that would help to enhance user experience. Speaking of the realization of map navigation, we chose the integration with Mapbox, while barcode scanning was performed by integrating the Scandit SDK. Both solutions provide the most generous free tier among similar services as well as ensure flawless in-app operation for both iOS and Android versions.
4. Simplify the application management
Experienced vendors know that, when planning the budget for a software project, it is important not to forget to initially store up a certain amount for post-release support. Consequently, here is one more way to avoid excessive costs - to streamline the app administration.
As for our project, the scope of work included the development of a smart admin panel that would help to launch and manage all in-app promo campaigns, including the addition of new hotspots on the map, fast user search, easy prize management, etc.
To save up on this point, we put much effort into the UX, making the admin panel maximum interactive and user-friendly. As a result, our developers eliminated the necessity of a multiperson app management so that the client needed only one administrator to run all processes via an admin panel instead of 3 initially planned.
5. Involve the QA team from the very beginning
Based on our development practice, we always suggest not to neglect QA testing early in the development lifecycle. Since errors are an inevitable part of any development process, they may accumulate during the workflow, thus pushing the costs for further debugging up. QA testing, in its turn, may nip the issue in the bud and save both, time and money.
In fact, opting for a trusted outsourcing vendor, able to carry out the detailed cost estimation and select the most optimal tech solutions, can greatly reduce the final development cost of your project. With regard to the particular case described in this article, the solutions developed by our team allowed to cut costs by 35% from the initially planned budget.
We hope that this piece was informative and helpful, but if you need an experienced view on your software project now, feel free to contact our Touchlane team for professional assistance!