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How much does Custom Software Cost?

How much does Custom Software Cost? Great question! If you are considering investing in bespoke software, you are on the way to giving your organisation a competitive advantage. However, there are some factors you need to consider before committing your budget.

Working out the cost of bespoke software can feel like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’ However, there are some key factors influencing price that it is important to understand, to ensure you invest your software development budget wisely.

1.     Size of the application – The more modules, screens, and interfaces in your application will determine the physical size of the code base that needs to be created, updated, and maintained. The more complexity, the more code, the more expensive as a rule.

 2.    Complexity – Complexity is usually determined by functionality. Does your application need to perform analysis based on complex algorithms?  How many interfaces are needed, both within the application and externally to third-party systems such as payment gateways, and billing applications? Is your application for internal users only or is it consumer-facing? The User experience (UX) and User interface (UI) can vary significantly and broadly speaking a consumer-facing application will be more complex in its UX/UI than a B2B application. Another factor that people often underestimate is whether that application needs to import significant amounts of data from an old legacy system.

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3 axis that affect price when looking at a Custom Application

 3.    Size of the User Base – Is this an internal application that will be kept within a company or is it an application that will be sold to other companies? The size of the user community will also impact the overall scope. A very large volume of users requires more complexity to manage within the application than a sophisticated but niche B2B application that is only going to be used by 50 people.

 4.    Your Resourcing Model

In addition to dimensioning the application, as a client, your choice of resourcing models can make a huge difference, not just to the cost of developing your software, but also maintaining it.

You can choose to source an internal team – where you have the full-time cost of recruiting, managing and training a full-time team. Not an easy option in today’s digital world where software development skills are in short supply.

Software Development outsourcing either onshore or offshore is becoming a much more popular option. You get more flexibility, and lower costs but need to think about how the communication and project will be managed.

And to add to the complexity, outsourcing companies can offer several different business models:

·      A Dedicated Team that is recruited to solely work on your account. You are part of the decision process and manage the staff that reside on your outsourcer’s payroll. Alternatively, you may opt for a time and materials contract which can work well if you are supplementing an internal team for short-term resourcing.

·      Some companies will also provide a Fixed Price Contract, although typically this is only where there is a clear set of business requirements against which the project can be priced.

·      Finally, a hybrid model which could be a combination of the above.

Whichever model you opt for, within a development team you will find several different roles. Not all of these will be full-time, but they are required in the overall project. These are the resources required to build the project once the requirements have been finalized, and the rough % of the time you can expect each to play on the project

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To provide a rough guide of how long it takes to build an application, the following table looks at different software development projects and the size of the application

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Typical Duration of projects

 Looking at industry averages, you can translate this into a price for a new application ranging from:

Custom Software Cost
Typical costs to build an application using industry averages

5.    Methodology

Finally, the methodology or approach you adopt for your custom software development project can make a huge difference, not only to the cost but also to the timescales for your project. SCAD Software has pioneered an approach to building software that significantly reduces the complexities of building bespoke software.

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Comparing the SCAD Software approach vs Traditional Software Coding

The SCAD Difference is that we can significantly reduce the time to build an application for clients. In our experience, we would expect to reduce the amount of time by up to 75%. The larger and more complex your application, the better the economics of using our framework.

Table Of Contents

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Dawie Martins

Head of Client Success and Product Management

With an illustrious career spanning three decades, Dawie Martins has cultivated expertise in diverse technology-related businesses across various sectors, including Retail, Hospitality, and Consultancy. His journey, which has taken him from a developer's role to Product Management, uniquely positions Dawie to lead the charge in Customer Success and Product Management services for our clients. 

In his role as Head of Customer Success, Dawie operates at the intersection of commerce and technology. His mission is to ensure the seamless translation of commercial imperatives into highly effective software applications that not only meet but exceed the outcomes specified by our clients. 

For clients engaging SCAD Software to build applications destined for the market, Dawie and his team offer Fractional Product Management Services. They become invaluable partners in crafting and maintaining a product roadmap, assuming the mantle of the product champion within the client organization. This collaborative approach ensures that our clients' visions are realized efficiently and effectively. 

Dawie's wealth of experience and his dedication to driving success for our clients make him an indispensable part of SCAD Software's commitment to delivering excellence in every project we undertake. 

Shawn De Wet

Chief Technology Officer

Shawn De Wet brings to SCAD Software over two decades of unparalleled expertise in software systems delivery. His career exemplifies a relentless pursuit of problem-solving excellence and a commitment to end-user satisfaction, achieved through meticulous system architecture and design. Proficient in core enterprise ERP systems, Shaun's recent achievements stand as a testament to his prowess, including the conception and successful launch of two cutting-edge SaaS products on the robust Azure platform. 

While Shawn's professional accolades are impressive, his vitality extends beyond the confines of the office. An ardent lover of the outdoors, as evidenced by his passion for mountain biking, Shawn's dynamic and adventurous spirit infuses our technological endeavors with a fresh perspective and boundless energy. 

At SCAD Software, Shawn leads the charge in Operational Delivery of Client solutions. He heads the development team and works closely with our valued clients to ensure they realize their desired outcomes from our technology solutions. His commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction is a driving force behind our success. 

Andy Fensham

Founder, Chief Architect

Andy Fensham's journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to reshape the software development landscape. With a background in global banking software consultancy, he founded SCAD Software in 1998 with a visionary goal – to address the mounting technical debt that was becoming a liability for businesses worldwide. 

Andy's unique blend of technical expertise and business acumen empowers our clients with pragmatic, robust software solutions that yield tangible results. Recognizing the risks posed by outdated software, he pioneered an innovative approach to custom software development, consistently delivering large-scale projects at an astonishing pace – 75% faster than traditional methods. 

Andy's dedication not only safeguards our clients' future but also cements SCAD Software's position as an industry trailblazer. He continues to lead our innovation roadmap, constantly seeking new ways to enhance our offerings with more examples of how we can turn “minutes to seconds”. 

Shaun Orpen

Group CEO

With an impressive career spanning over three decades in the Technology and Telecoms sectors, Shaun Orpen brings a wealth of experience to his role as Group CEO. His journey began with the groundbreaking entry of Microsoft Excel into the UK market, a stepping stone that eventually led him to play pivotal roles on the UK Executive Board during Microsoft's meteoric rise from £10 million to £1 billion in revenue. 

During his tenure at Orange, Shaun spearheaded the division responsible for catering to Small and Medium Businesses in the UK. Since then, he has continued to shape the success of a number of small and global technology enterprises, leveraging his strategic acumen and commercial leadership. 

Shaun's unwavering commitment to the convergence of technology and business is evident in his track record of elevating every organization he's been a part of. As the driving force behind SCAD Software's commercial endeavors, Shaun is leading our expansion across the UK, Europe, and the USA. 

His steadfast ethical stance, mirrored by his partner Andy Fensham, forms the bedrock of SCAD Software's principles, defining our approach to client interactions and business dealings. 

Stephen Moore


Stephen Moore's illustrious career speaks volumes about his leadership capabilities. With a rich background spanning diverse industries such as Retail, Events, Technology, Telecoms, and Media, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to craft and execute growth, differentiation, and exit strategies in highly competitive markets. 

As the visionary Founder/CEO of multiple successful ventures, Stephen has guided five companies from their inception to remarkable exits and IPOs, including the noteworthy £117 million listing of Expocentric Plc on Techmark 2000. His track record extends beyond entrepreneurship; he has played a pivotal role in over 40 companies as a Non-Executive Director, Chairman, Consultant, and Advisor, raising more than £85 million in private and public markets. 

What sets Stephen apart is his global perspective, cultivated through extensive work in the UAE, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and EMEA. This international experience enriches SCAD Software's strategic direction, making him an invaluable asset in our mission to navigate the complex landscape of digital transformation and empower our clients to achieve enduring success.