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How much does it cost to develop software?

Developing software is a complex process. And it costs accordingly. The complexity also means that it can be difficult to estimate what the cost might be when you as a customer come to us with a request. You can read more about this in the article Why is it difficult to estimate the cost of customized software?  

And that must leave you wondering - is it not possible to state a price at all? Well. We can always estimate – and we're giving it a shot here.

"It depends”

The answer to the question of how much it costs to develop software – and we know you don't want to hear it – is that it depends (but if you keep reading, we'll give some concrete examples of what it might cost, we promise!). It depends on several factors, all of which are so business-specific that we need to know as much about your company as you and all your colleagues combined (and maybe even more), in order to be able to answer correctly.  

With that said, there are some software solutions we can estimate a price for – for example an app, a customer portal and an after sales solution.  

Focus on stability and sustainability

At Meta Bytes, we build all software with a long-term mindset where the focus is on a stable, scalable and high-quality solution with long durability. We always build a good foundation on which the project can stand, meaning you can also reuse it for other purposes. Due to this mindset and approach, it’s most likely possible for you to find a cheaper supplier, but then you run the risk of having to compromise on quality. Or ending up with a partner who doesn’t understand your organization’s challenges and goals.

To start working on a software solution without a stable foundation can be compared to skipping the groundwork when building a house. Walls and roof are put in place and you get your house – but at what price? When we build your house, we will lay a solid foundation right from the start. This foundation will also extend outside the house itself (without being visible, of course), so that you can easily build add-ons as time progresses. This way, we are already prepared to have your solution grow at the same pace as your company.

App with basic functions - from idea to app store

Below you’ll find a description of what the cost could be to develop an app. We have divided the development into four different parts and priced them separately. It’s important to keep in mind that this is about taking an app from an idea and all the way to distribution, i.e. the whole journey and not just development. It should also be mentioned that the app in the example below has very basic features, i.e. no integrations, complicated business rules or non-functional requirements to consider.

Step 1: Start-up and planning

Regardless of the type of software solution we develop for our customers, we always begin with a start-up and planning phase. Together with you, we plan a full or half day where you tell us all about what you want to build. We listen, ask questions and discuss what you want to achieve. Our task is then to create concrete deliverables, a roadmap, wireframes and solution proposals. If your idea includes something graphic, we also produce mock-ups of the solution so that you get a sense of what you will get. Together, we also start to plan a backlog where we, among other things, divide the upcoming work in order to prioritize certain tasks over others.

The cost for the above is estimated to be around SEK 75,000.

Step 2: Set up of basic infrastructure

Basic infrastructure refers to quite extensive technical work – including things like the setup of environments, prerequisites for monitoring, logging and error handling and CI/CD pipelines etc. CI/CD pipelines are set up so that code changes can be delivered both more frequently and in a safer way through automation to the infrastructure environments. A lot of focus here is also on making sure that quality assurance, including automatic testing, is set up correctly.

This part of the work to develop an app is extensive and we estimate the cost to be around SEK 150,000.

Step 3: Development

This includes the development work itself, both in the backend and frontend as well as the integration between them. From databases, storage and APIs to appearance and ease of use.

The backend and frontend work to develop a simple app costs around SEK 100,000-150,000 each.

If you want to have more advanced functionalities, which aren’t considered in this example, these would also be developed here. This includes things like integrations, business rules, more views in the user interface, etc.

Step 4: Administration

The fact that the app is fully built doesn’t mean that everything is ready. It must be delivered to and approved by mobile platforms, such as the App Store, before it can be used. The app must go through tests and pass several different reviews, ranging from GDPR to performance and UI/UX.

The work of distributing an app is not free and can cost up to SEK 50,000-100,000.

Overall, an app usually costs around SEK 600,000 to develop.

Customer portal

In a customer portal, you as a manufacturer and supplier can communicate with your customers and keep them updated about their order. It’s also valuable for your internal processes as you can keep track of customer orders, conversations etc. Which will reduce administrative overhead – for both you and your customers.  

Creating a customer portal basically contains all the parts outlined in the app example above. In general, the different parts into which app development can be divided apply to all types of software solutions, excluding the administration and costs associated with app distribution.

There are often many functions that must exist in a customer portal and it is mainly these that affect the price. Common functions include user management, a back-office interface, an onboarding flow and one or several integrations with other systems.

Developing a customer portal, without the functions mentioned above, costs from SEK 500,000.

Solution for after sales service

If you are a company that manufactures and delivers machines or other types of equipment that require maintenance, and need to digitalize this work, we can develop a solution for your after sales service.

We have previously helped Lagafors with their after sales service where we, among other things, developed an app that made the work of the company's service technicians significantly more efficient. All work related to after sales is now done on a single portal and the technicians no longer have to be in the office to perform certain tasks. Read our customer case about Lagafors to find out more about how we helped them.

A solution for after sales service costs from SEK 500,000.

It is important to remember that the price estimates we have made above are exactly that – estimates. Additionally, since the amount is “from prices”, the final price for you as a customer can be significantly higher. It all depends on a variety of things and there are also some concrete factors that we know will increase the cost. This is something you can read more about in the article What can make the cost of software go up?

You can also read about how you can keep the cost down for your software project.

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