How to Plan Your Existing Custom Software Budget in 2023?
Planning your existing custom software budget for the coming year is something that most companies exercise. Custom software is chosen by companies for a myriad of reasons - either as a proprietary solution to streamline internal processes, to sell to clients or customers, and more.
New software development projects and their software budget planning cycles are mostly considered. Although, it is critical to address the demands of your existing custom software platforms that you rely on regularly for the following year.
Partnering with a credible custom software development company is a major undertaking irrespective of the type of software you intend to build. Making a software cost estimation for your existing custom software is essential in ensuring that you do not overpay for development.
Budgeting a reasonable software cost for your existing custom software platform is something you cannot skip. Establishing such a software budget for the coming year guarantees the smooth functioning of your business operations. And with that, let's get down to business.
Factors Influencing Existing Custom Software Budget
The software budget planning for your existing custom software is completely influenced by certain factors making it vital for you to be totally involved in the same. To acquire the end output your team requires, there are a few additional aspects that influence your budget.
Considering all these aspects will help you get an accurate software cost estimation for your present custom software platform.
Things Covered in Existing Custom Software Budgets
Most development firms stick to a common development method known as the software development lifecycle (SDLC).
Instead of focusing just on the project's development stage, you should consider the full process and how it affects your software budget planning.
By partnering with a seasoned custom software development company, you can expect the following:
1. Analysis and Planning
You and the development team establish how the project connects with the company's goals throughout the analysis and planning stage. They will next review their resources and availability to arrive at an approximate software cost estimation and timeline for your existing platform.
The development team will establish the technical requirements for your program after gaining a good grasp of the project goals. They will design a project plan to lead the project as they determine how they will fulfill each target according to your projected software costs.
3. Designing and Prototyping
Even your present custom software platforms must be designed before development can begin. This is much more than simply how the platform appears; the design process also considers the software's functioning. Creating wireframes, charting the software flow, and generating prototypes as needed are all part of this process to arrive at your feasible software budget.
Depending on the nature of the project, development might take weeks or months. Although each software development team takes a different approach to your project, the primary aim is to provide a software product that matches the standards given at the start of the project and your software budget planning requirements.
5. Software Testing
Software testing or software quality assurance is one of the most critical parts of the development process for your existing custom software platforms. It includes discovering, tracking, and repairing defects. It assures that the software runs smoothly once started.
6. Product Launch
Whether you are releasing the product for internal usage or want to host several million users, deployment is critical to the software's success. To assure the project's success, most developers will create a launch strategy apart from software cost estimation. This includes a marketing plan, issue fixes during launch, and any necessary support or training.
Regardless of how well the development process goes, the software must be maintained and updated. Several software development companies provide ongoing maintenance and support for a fixed monthly software cost/fee.
By budgeting with each stage of the development process, you'll be able to correctly predict how much it will cost to engage a service provider. And you will also become more mindful of where your money is going with the right software budget.
2023 Guide to Software Budget Planning for Existing Custom Software
1. Basic Operations
Any software has a basic set of operating costs. This encompasses things like your hosting infrastructure, licensing for any third-party components, DevOps, pipelines, and so on in software applications.
These recurring software costs for your key existing platforms required to keep your business functioning efficiently should be recognized and budgeted for.
Don't know how to create a software budget for it? Begin by listing your current spending from the previous year, which should serve as a solid beginning point. Consider your platform's projected growth in usage as well as possible storage growth from the associated transactional data buildup. Conversations with corporate leaders who rely the most on the software program are sometimes insightful. What are their budget projections for the coming year? If their software cost estimations indicate business growth, consider these projections to forecast probable growth in your basic operations expenditures in the future year.
2. Optimization for Software Performance
Apart from essential baseline operations, you should also budget for software performance optimization throughout the year. Your software products require periodic maintenance to work well and avoid breakdowns. They do not have to be large efforts, but they should be factored into your software budget planning process.
Don't overspend on software performance optimization. Rather, analyze some of your software's crucial chokepoints. Addressing only a couple of these will often result in major gains. Consider the time and effort required to perform basic system monitoring and performance analysis throughout the year, as well as the time required to remediate. And make sure you incorporate this in your existing custom software budgeting plan.
3. Handling of Technical Debt
When you've considered your high-value, rapid software application performance optimizations, evaluate your software program's larger spectrum of prospective demands. Strangely, every software platform accumulates some level of technical debt over time. You don't have to tackle all these software costs in a single year, but neglecting it entirely is a terrible choice.
Think about the following to evaluate how some of these requirements may seem:
- Operational duration of your software platform
- Proactive management of the platform
- Whether its operation was in a PaaS environment that is Cloud-native
- Whether your staff devotes more time on basic support and maintenance
- User satisfaction with the system
The answers to these questions will assist influence your technical debt planning as well as possible 2023 software cost estimation demands.
4. Break-Fix Support
No matter how carefully you manage your technical debt and do preventative maintenance, your software platform will require some break-fix support throughout the year. Your custom software applications will require some additional maintenance that you should prepare for ahead of time. Looking back three years can frequently give useful insight into what to expect in the next year. It might be beneficial to have an open talk about how successfully you've been resolving technical debt over time. If you've overlooked it owing to a lack of resources or other competing objectives, you should plan your software budget for increased break-fix support charges in the future year.
5. Development of New Features
Lastly, don't overlook new features and functionalities that the business team may wish to add in the coming year in your software budget planning.
They might be minor enhancements to current functionality or new components that generate additional income for the company.
Developing additional features and functionalities within an existing software platform can sometimes provide a higher return on investment than attempting to build new or fresh applications.
Interacting with the application's product owner will provide you with a solid idea of what these prospective possibilities look like. If the program does not have a formal product roadmap and accompanying backlog, some interactions with the business team that is most reliant on the custom software application should give insights into potential new features for your software budget in 2023. Instead of attempting to estimate them all in-depth, undertake some high-level prioritization and planning to provide some basic structure. Use the T-shirt sizing or the MoSCoW technique of prioritizing to inform budget planning procedures.
The software budget planning for your existing custom software should always be an iterative process that takes several cycles before you get to a final version that feels correct.
The above guidelines will assist you in building a budget for your existing platforms.
At the end of the year, you should be confident with your 2023 software budget when you have the support of a seasoned provider of custom software development services. They will definitely help you begin the new year smoothly.