Digital transformation should be transformative

Understanding tech investment and potential RoI.


"How much will it cost to realise our vision?"

Often the first thing we’re asked upon any introduction to a business is for a 'ballpark' figure for the development of a project, whether that be a small, internal 10-user business app, or a SaaS product targeting millions of users. The truth is, this is the 21st century equivalent of the age-old adage “how long is a piece of string?”.

Given the nature of software development, and the complexities of businesses in general, it often means any estimates can vary significantly based on scope, ambition, complexity and the specific requirements for each project, which often only become truly understood throughout the project lifecycle.

However, we understand that having a good estimate of software development costs are important for any business in order to budget and scope their ambitions.

As a result, we've developed a relatively low-cost, low-risk Discovery phase to ensure we can accurately define our estimate of the overall cost and time to deliver, and most importantly both agree on the solution that delivers on your requirements.

Understanding complexity

Two common factors that have the biggest impact over costs are the size of the business (turnover & employees, which roughly translate to the complexity of the underlying business and the software that will be needed to serve it) and the size of the user-base the platform or app will eventually need to provide for.

For example, developing a ‘simple’ app like Twitter that will only ever be used internally within an organisation by dozens of people is a significantly different proposition than an equivalent platform that will be used by 10s of millions of people out in the wider world. Considerations for performance, security, scalability, international support, differing feature sets and so forth will all need drastically more time spent in both design and engineering terms.

But importantly, the bigger the business or user-base, the bigger the potential RoI as we can take full advantage of economies of scale. We look to identify opportunities throughout the design and development process whereby we can save seconds or even minutes of a user’s day in any given process through automation or process improvement, because when scaled up across 1000s of users or employees, the total impact is vast and the time saved can often pay for the entire system development within a relatively short period of time.

Bespoke vs. Off-the-shelf?

Read our article to understand the arguments for and against

Read the article

Understanding Return-on-Investment (RoI).

How much time could you save?

Through automation and process improvements, we can introduce vast amounts of efficiency within any organisation. This all saves your team time, and allows them to spend more time on generating more direct value for your business.

How much extra value could you deliver?

Will the system (be it a product, platform, or simple mobile app) have a direct effect on your revenue generating capability, or your bottom line? Can you readily quantify that to understand RoI potential?

Is there market demand?

How certain are you that either your customers or employees are crying out for this solution to exist? What are they using to perform the same functions currently, and how much pain would be involved in switching to your solution?

Are your stakeholders onboard?

Do the key stakeholders within your business share the same understanding of what value technology can deliver? Do they all recognise why the business needs to undergo digital transformation?

Typical investment

Our proven Discovery and Delivery process means we develop any solution in as lean a fashion as possible, engaging expertise from within our team as and where necessary depending on the challenges that need surmounting. By working with you during Discovery to identify a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that will deliver tangible business value and RoI in to the business as quickly and with minimised investment, we not only greatly reduce risk, but still allow for continued development and enhancement of the solution from there on.

Want to talk about potential costs and RoI?

Book a free consultation

Project cost examples.

We have outlined below the level of investment required for project types we commonly undertake, with the guidance figures including an estimated budget from the Discovery phase right up to deployment of the first production release of the software.

These indicative figures encompass the broad range of services involved in project delivery beyond just engineering, such as product design, project management, automated QA testing, DevOps, and so forth.

Small API, Microservice or Systems Integration

£5K – £50K

Backend process automation or scheduled job process

£10K – £50K

Basic mobile app

£50K – £150K

Advanced mobile app

£150K – £500K+

Basic web application

£75K – £150K

Advanced web application

£150K – £500K


£250K – £2M+

Simple SaaS Product (web and/or mobile)

£150K – £500K

Complex SaaS Product

£500K – £1M+

Enterprise-level business management platform

£1M – 5M+

Ongoing app/platform support & maintenance

£2K – £25K PM

App or SaaS product interactive design prototype

£15K – £25K

Please note that these are approximate figures and actual costs can vary significantly depending on factors such as project scope, timeline, and any additional requirements.

These initial costs can then often continue in line with the project ambitions – so for example a complex SaaS product with big ambitions may spend the same or even more Year-on-Year (YoY) as the platform continues to develop and grow its feature set, whereas an internal app or platform may ramp down in to maintenance mode and spend a small fraction of that initial investment YoY for ongoing updates and maintenance.

Investing in bespoke software can indeed involve risks, such as higher upfront investment, longer development time, and the possibility of unforeseen challenges. However, these risks are often far outweighed by the significant benefits and long-term returns that bespoke solutions can provide.

Get a free estimate for your project

Key factors contributing towards RoI.

  1. Increased efficiency

    Bespoke or custom software is tailored to your unique business processes, which can lead to improved productivity and a reduction in operational costs.

  2. Competitive advantage

    Developing your own technology allows you to offer innovative features and services that distinguish you from competitors and enhance customer satisfaction.

  3. Intellectual property (IP) and valuation growth

    By investing in custom software, your business acquires valuable IP, which can contribute to an increase in your company's valuation and market position.

  4. Scalability

    Bespoke solutions can be designed to grow with your business, ensuring that your software remains relevant

Let's work together to understand the potential

Often the best time to engage with a development partner is when your business has recognised the potential for developing a bespoke solution, and now want to start fleshing out their vision for that future. Our Discovery process offers a low-risk first step in to embarking on that journey, with no commitment to move forward thereafter if we don’t identify that clear path to RoI.

Our team has decades of experience developing software products and platforms that users love, and that deliver lasting transformation and RoI in to a business – why not get in touch today to talk about your project?

Start a Project