November 23, 2022

Why Software can be expensive

This is not my usual blog, but it is definitely a subject that I have been reflecting on recently.

It’s something that I was thinking about during one of our weekly development meetings with our Tech Lead and Cloud Computing Practitioners. We were discussing implementing further systems around our app deployment and how it would add further value to our clients, to our team, and make the lives of our Product Owners easier. This got me thinking, about how much work goes on behind the scenes of a software company that clients do not see.

When someone is looking to build an app, the expense can be the biggest barrier to entry. I want to provide a very small breakdown of what can make software expensive so that if you are looking to build your own application, you understand a bit more about where your investment is going. It's also important to know that some companies will act unethically because they know that software is often attached to high investment and will charge way above their value. If you are looking to build software, question everything about the company you are looking to partner with. If you are looking for more information, book a free 30 minute strategy call with Moonward.

Of course, when I am discussing these different factors, I am basing this on our own experiences here at Moonward. Where other app companies allocate their investment may be different from ours. :)

There is no room for unskilled people in Software

Software is always evolving and no one person can do/know it all. Strong knowledge of one area is better than general knowledge of a lot of areas, especially when you have others who you can collaborate with, this is why Moonward encourages specialisation in our team.

Within our team, we have multiple people that specialise in certain skills, such as Payment Integrations (Stripe and Paypal), different types of coding (Frontend and Backend) and the Cloud (AWS). All of these skills used together can make a production-ready app.

As amazing as software can be, it can also be extremely dangerous when handled incorrectly. Software often deals with sensitive personal information, such as names, phones and email addresses, or data that could be used with malicious intention such as card details and identification documents. We just have to look at the Optus Data Breach that happened recently in Australia to understand.

Special skills are expensive to maintain as they require training and mastery, but not affording to do these things can be even more expensive.

Software requires team collaboration

This one is pretty easy. To bring all these skilled professionals together under one roof, a business needs to pay rent and keep the lights on.

At Moonward, we have an office in the Brisbane CBD which our clients come to regularly to meet with our team. Our office is also a major tool when it comes to internal collaboration and being able to resolve issues fast. It’s somewhere we can store all our gear, have creative chats and come together as a team. We have a shared benchmark and culture. The benefits that you will get from an in-house software team are in this blog here, check it out!

Moonward clients visiting our office space in the Brisbane CBD

To us, being 100% in house is one of our biggest points of difference, especially in the software space. It’s something that we will not change. 

Launching a production ready application is pretty hard

Sure, writing software and creating your own application can be done if you know how to code. But developing a production-ready application and maintaining it is not easy. There are many hard skills involved in launching an app: cyber security, cloud or local storage, clean code, user-friendly designs, payment integrations, app submissions, pull requests, pushing to live environments; the list goes on. Not to mention, building the first software product will take time.

Software is very complex, there is a lot to think about. Having a team who can cover what you need and think about these things for you is necessary. After all, chances are you are not a developer and you don't know what you don't know. You don’t want to hire yes men, you want to hire experts who respect your industry and know their own.

Software teams should have experience

Moonward has been operating for over five years in Australia. As a team and as a business we have doubled every year, year on year. I believe this success is due to our mantra around education and systemisation, "Let’s Find Your Moon". This applies to our systems, our products, our team and our outcomes.

There are years of learnings here when you hire a team to build a software product for you. Mistakes that will be avoided. Successes that will be taken into account. There are years of knowledge that we can refer to at the click of a button, years of resources and research that we have compiled.

Software teams will have structure

At Moonward our team is not flat. We have Tech Leads, we have Product Owners, we have UI/UX Designers, we have Senior Developers, we have Junior Developers and we have team members who run the day-to-day operations of the business. We have team members dedicated to finding new software that can add value to our products and improve our systems. We have individual job descriptions who oversee the development team.

The team at Moonward collaborating to create results.

Everyone contributes to the overall experience and delivery of our services. 

The old saying goes, "You get what you pay for". What I can hand on heart say from having worked in this industry for so many years and being exposed to everything is that this statement is so true. You do get what you pay for. Cutting corners will hurt when you get live users on your product, or years down the track when your product is so big you need to get your own team of developers. If you are looking to build a product, I would encourage you to question everything about your software development team: what security measures do they take, what happens if your product scales very quickly, and what the structure of the team looks like. 

Having said all of this, owning a software product can be a very lucrative business. It can contribute to the profitability of your existing business by reducing the need for resources in other areas. It can be the next big thing, like TikTok or Uber. And hey, it can just be f#cking cool, unique, and something that makes you stand out from your competition. 

If you want to find out more about the value of software, book a free 30 minute strategy call and let’s find your moon.

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