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Total Cost of Ownership for Custom software

When you subscribe to the needs of custom software, you are subscribing to the cost of the software across its lifespan. All benefits from productivity to competitive advantage requires you to first get your ROI calculation correct. The calculation required, must look at custom software in it’s entirety or else you may face unexpected costs. What are these short and long term ownership costs? What is the correct calculation or at least a good means of calculating the return?

The cost of creating the software is merely the first financial outlay. There is an operations cost, for hosting, domain names and other sorts of things. There are also costs involved with staving off legacy, like updating components to the latest versions, or repairing a bug caused by a dependency being upgraded. Consider Google Chrome is updated 6 times during the course of a year, some fundamentals change, as well as the HTML/CSS specifications. Consider that a new linux version, PHP version or Windows Updates have occurred during the year. Even great code cannot foresee what sorts of things will come it’s way in the future.

The cost of ownership involves :

  1. Development
  2. Operations
  3. Maintenance

When you calculate budgets, you should take all three areas into consideration. The larger the development, the larger the operations might end up being. The maintenance may involve a lot of effort, if the development involved lots of dependencies and a ton of features. The simpler the tool, the simpler the operations and maintenance could be.

A recommendation when seeking quotes

Ensure you find out what sort of maintenance and operations will be needed on the development. Don’t just think features, think time to develop, cost to operate and cost to maintain.
Your solutions provider should always present an overall budget for a year of activity, not just the development.

Other factors to consider is the quality level of the code and operations, staff, experience and support. Software is only as good as the infrastructure and people around it.

We tend to provide a development cost divided into iterations, payment plans, time-line, annual budget requirements and operation costs. We provide the very best quality for budget and include training, support and ticketing for bugs and errors.