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What can make the cost of software increase?

Developing software is a complex process, which often makes it difficult to estimate what the total cost of development might be. In addition, there are several factors that can make the cost go up and thus have a big impact on the final price you will pay – factors that you as a customer may not have reflected on.  

In this article, we will take a closer look at those factors that can increase the cost of software. If you want to see more concrete examples of what different types of software can cost, we suggest you read How much does it cost to develop software?

In this article, we will take a closer look at those factors that can increase the cost of software. If you want to see more concrete examples of what different types of software can cost, head over to our article How much does it cost to develop software?

Factors driving up the cost of software

The following factors will result in a higher cost for your software, most often due to the more development work required.


Software solutions often need to be integrated with other systems so that they can easily communicate with other software being used in your business. Creating one or more integrations means that the developers must adapt existing code, create new interfaces or implement an API to enable data exchange. Often, they also need to get familiarized with the other systems and how they are structured.  

Integrations can also contribute to greater technical complexity and when the systems are connected, the risk of bugs or problems related to data transfer increases. If that type of problem occurs, more testing and troubleshooting may be required to make sure everything is working as it should.  

Multiple markets

If your software solution should work internationally and will be used in several markets, your software solution may need to be adapted to take different languages, currencies and legal requirements into account.  

Data type and amount

A lot of data requires more storage space and can lead to higher costs as you may need more server space, disc space or cloud solutions for storage. If data needs to be moved from an old system to the new software solution, there can also be costs associated with this data migration.

If the data is particularly sensitive, there will likely be higher than usual demands around security. These can range from risk management and encryption to access control and traceability requirements and will need additional time from the developers to ensure that the software fulfills all security demands.

Grouping of users

Many software solutions have several categories of users who need access to different functions or different types of data. This type of user authentication and authorization management increases the complexity of the system as time needs to be spent developing flexible configuration options.  

Lack of data

Sometimes companies want a certain function for which the conditions and prerequisites do not yet exist. Often, this means that data needed for the desired function is not available. In such cases, the necessary data first needs to be collected, which becomes an independent project that needs to be finalized before development of the actual solution you’ve requested can begin.  

Advanced design

If you're looking for a really cool and high-tech design, both you and your supplier will need to spend more time on developing a more design focused user interface, without it interfering with other things. Graphic elements, animations and interactive components can take time to develop and the process often includes several feedback loops.  

Advanced user interface

A complex user interface means that there are multiple options and tools that users can choose from, all which require allocated development time. Other things that can contribute to a complex user interface are multiple levels of menus, advanced interaction patterns and complex information management.  

Reporting and legal requirements

If your business has high demands on your current reporting, the software must be able to collect relevant data from various sources and integrate them in a structured way. You may also need to have various settings to ensure that certain reports are generated at a certain time and that they are delivered to the right user. Similarly, the software may need to fulfill specific legal requirements, another non-functional requirement that needs time and resources to develop in the software solution.

There are many factors that make the price of software development increase, and as a customer, it is common that you only realize during the course of the project what your software needs to do – or what you want it to do. This often results in the software being more expensive than originally planned. Therefore, do consider setting aside a generous budget right from the start to give yourself the best conditions for developing a software solution that is above and beyond.  

What can a software solution cost?

In our article, you can see some examples of what software can cost.
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