Software frames the premise of numerous cutting-edge gadgets, such as personal computers, smartphones, tablets, Internet of Things, and network systems, on which we depend on so vigorously in our regular day to day existences.
While the consumer software industry is itself a multi-billion dollar industry, B2B software have raised modern market giants of several industries. There are thousands of commercial off-the-shelf software available to cater the service needs, yet businesses usually prefer custom software development. Concurrently, software development companies around the world are geared to match the all-time high software demand; especially mobile apps for Gen Z and automation tools for changing world businesses.
We surveyed 150+ software development companies as well as industry experts to scrutinize the industry essentials, identify the latest trends, and produce market insights. Our activity was primarily aimed for agencies as well as freelance developers to harness the knowledge of the best practices in the market. While aiding seekers of software development services with industrial factors to consider for researching a wise partner.
The survey is furnished with experiences and prospects from participant companies whose expertise over developing software draw leads for tech-trends. These companies, hailed from countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Belarus, India, Ukraine, and Russia, added the socio-economic versatility to the survey.
Following are the names of the top software development companies, listed at GoodFirms, that were adequately liberal and specific to share their knowledge in this comprehensive survey:
The Detailed Findings
At a fundamental level, software development is writing and maintaining the source code. While a broader scope includes stages from idea generation to final product manifestation; which founds the current institution of software development. This rises requirements for sophisticated models and tools. While industry faces problems of its own, several methodologies have been developed with time to cause an effective and efficient software development.
The survey discovered the best of insights such as time, cost, challenges, methods, languages used, tools employed, popular frameworks, software projects in demand, popular tech-trends and development automation to update developers with the latest happenings of the market. Here is the detailed research by GoodFirms with bona fide stats:
1. What is the average time taken to develop and deliver a custom software?
Generally, typical software development activities include identification of needs, planning, designing, development, testing, and deployment. An intriguing fact emerged when the participant companies responded with a range of time-period they usually take to tailor a software. Interestingly, many companies offer a regular software maintenance and support to their clients for a long time.
Depending on the type, requirement, and technology used for the project, each project takes a range of time period from one to nine months.Whereas most of the surveyed firms are attuned to deliver custom software in an average time period of 4.5 months. Below are the unique facts mined from the survey data:
2. How much a typical software development cost?
The price range, from the received information, for software development projects ranged from $3000 to $120,000. Also, survey contributors retorted to the question that the general pricing for project proposal varies on key factors like base technology and integrated features along with several underlying factors such as resources engaged, quality of code, scope and duration of a project, experience, and brand recognition.
Considering vast factors affecting the pricing, the average cost of developing custom software, with basic features and offering a median utility, comes around $36000. Also, a few companies provide extended support, maintenance and even timely upgradations for some fees. The figures obtained from the companies are as following:
3. What are the major challenges faced by software development companies?
Adjusting to the changing trends and demands of the market, clients often tend to revise the software features and requirements in wake of new ideas. 53.80% of the participant companies concurred that adapting and meeting to these changing client requirements poses the biggest challenge for the developer team. This scope creep leads to project’s feature creep, which requires a new development or a redevelopment. This delays the scheduled milestones as well as incur budget outruns.
Furthermore, around 17.70% of the respondent companies expressed that a continuous performance and load testing management is one of the major challenges faced by the development team. While continuous performance management is imperative for flawless software, the strategies and operations pose a major challenge to cope and maintain.
Every software project is unique and demands an equally unique set of tools, technology, and skills. And thus, another 13.10% of IT companies find it challenging to build a befitting team for an incoming client project. Industry leaders tend to take a considerable time period and dynamic filtrations to build a solid team, which they can proclaim for any project needs. But before that, finding and hiring right developers who comprehend the project is a test.
Some of the companies, about 8.90%, faces challenges related to perceiving client requirements. These participants relayed that sometimes clients aren’t enough sure about their requirements. Or rarely a cultural or geographical difference becomes a roadblock in comprehending certain stipulations.
Integrating different systems and technologies offers plenty of challenges for a few more, almost 6.50% of the surveyed developer companies. While businesses choose to develop a custom software as it offers flexibility in terms of integration; it remains one of the most complex tasks to integrate a wide range of business systems and technologies like accounting, CRM, website, workflow management, inventory management among many others.
4. What are the top Software Development Methodologies employed by the software companies?
Typically, if determined rationally, an apt approach to software development could enhance the software at several phases of development with limited resources and economic budget. During the brief history of software, around six decades, a few dozen development models have been realized, efficiently adapted and evolved to a successor.
The most recent innovation in the sector is, plausibly, Agile Software Development, which garners a wide implementation from 61.50% of the surveyed companies. The model typically employs increments, iterations, and evolutions. While interacting with the participants, the reasons for such conviction were clear -
Scrum - an Agile-adapted framework - is aimed at the enhanced association and a better client involvement. A considerable chunk of software firms, around 23.10%, uses Scrum or the adapted versions for the reasons such as:
The most primitive on the list - Waterfall is still considered by a few, 9.60% to be precise, project leaders. According to participant firms, they practice Waterfall for certain areas of engineering design and development as it gives a rapid progress with a linear and sequential approach.
Other 5.80% of developer companies approach the development with combinations of several well-developed methods in order to get maximum outcomes and reinforced services. These types of approach inspire the next generation of Software Development Processes.
5. Which programming languages do most developers prefer?
Comprehending the surging preferences of these two web-scripting languages for software development, GoodFirms research infers the trending current of software-online integration.
While traditional neat languages, like C#, Java, and Python, are still widely used for software and mobile app development, their utility have waned gradually. The reasonable argument is that the trendy technologies entail much more than just a desktop application.
6. What are the most widely used programming and testing tools?
Various development tools offer support and supplementary functionality, of variable scope and scale, to the programming languages. Choosing a software development tool is analogous to choosing a hardware tool; one has to be considerate of flexibility as well as constraints of the project.
When surveyed, the developers revealed a range of various tools they engage in a typical software development. With availability and popularity of multitudinous tools, we scrutinized every tool and labeled them as, either Programming Tool or Testing Tool. The stats are as below:
7. Top Popular Frameworks:
Frameworks are aimed at the one-size-fits-all solution for developers; so that programmers and designers can focus their time and efforts to fulfill client software requirements instead of developing the basic and tedious working frame for the software. For GoodFirms’ software development research, we discoursed with the participant firms regarding the comprehensive usefulness and adaptive convenience of some of the most common software frameworks viz. .NET, CakePHP, Ruby on Rails, CodeIgniter, Laravel, and Django. When queried about the utility and general suitability, two out of mentioned seven frameworks emerged the most popular, employed by more than half of the survey takers. Following are the stats:
8. Generally, what kind of software projects do IT companies receive?
According to a certain theory of the expansion of the software industry, computer programming would, very sooner, dominate each industry and every sector and at the same time would create many more. Every year many existing technologies and services are digitized while substantial are enhanced and created with generic as well as dedicated software. To comprehend the present demands of the market, participants were asked to exhibit the kinds of software projects they receive from clients. Fathoming the utility of these projects, the hot software categories are:
9. Top Trends for Software Industry in 2018:
Being a tech-driven industry, the software development has always been the centre of technology trends. Built for computer programming, it quickly adapted to website development for dot-com companies and mobile app development with advent of smartphones and gadgets. With new technologies at the bay, software industry is set to adapt once again.
When participant agencies were surveyed, the following trends for software industry in 2018 were jotted down:
10. How will AI impact Software Development?
Artificial Intelligence has a great role to play for software industry - accorded every three out of four surveyed experts. But how? A billion dollar question, when asked to industry experts garnered mixed replies. Breaking down experts’ vision for the sector, AI would be having an impact on largely two fronts: External & Internal - as they have put in variable semantic arrays. Externally, the efforts would be to make AI-powered software focusing more on applicability. While internally, the tedious coding efforts would be eased with the help of AI-assistance focusing on utility. Encompassing all the views, here are the two ways Software Development is going to change -
The AI-powered software is hot in the market. With an increasing need for automation, artificial intelligence provides a far more reliable solution. With innovative applications and blooming ideas, artificial intelligence developers offers a range of research for software industry to cater a greater good service.
Business Intelligence assists businesses for decision-making while Business Process Automation enables self-executing business processes. Overall it enhances customer experience with quality and quantity. Here, developers use AI to serve better functionality and create more responsive applications for users. Here is a range of artificial intelligence software available in the market which offers a state-of-the-art machine learning facility for everyone to aid their efforts.
Such demands would have a market-oriented impact on the software development. Flexible development approaches, programming languages which are versatile and adaptive, apt developing tools, and highly skilled resources would hike up the basis of the development.
AI making Software:
AI is revolutionizing all industry functions and Software Development has not remained untouched either. With AI-assisted software development, the roles and skill-requirement for developers would change for a greater empowerment over the processes and the products.
One of the most gasping roles of AI is for problem-solving. Traditional software development consumes great time and resources employed at figuring out problems, and then shrewd algorithms. With machine learning, one just needs to identify a set of cases and enter a collected range of data to the automation modules. Such modules could swiftly reckon important criteria and attributes of software, with dependency much valuable than even humans.
Deep learning techniques would not only quicken the development methodologies but also assist developers at several stages of development and testing. Smart programming assistants are aimed at helping developers with real-time software coding and planning - equipped with a range of functions from to-do listing to code troubleshooting. While automated testing software would ease the difficulty of undetermined ecosystems to spot and rectify bugs and other issues.
Also, many firms dreaded that an advent of self-writing software would be catastrophic for the industry. While visionary firms see it as an opportunity to automate supplementary and tedious software prerequisites so that developers can focus on innovation and utility on the application front.
Custom software remains popular among businesses with large operations, as it provides flexible, integrated, and adaptive solutions. While a typical software development costs time and resources, it pays off on a long run with smooth and evolving business undertaking. Also, most of the companies provide support and upgrades for a much lesser price for a very long time.
An apropos method commands the intricate tasks of software development which ensures a timely, cost-effective as well as overwhelming software delivery. With this, plying felicitous programming techniques and tools directly affects the quality of software.
Given the greater-good impact AI is bringing to the software development industry, it is exciting to see what the industry is going to evolve to, which it is sure to.
One of the main aim of the above research was to provide service seekers with key industrial factors for their software development projects. Setting several occupational standards for the IT sector, GoodFirms is here to assist you with a list of Top Software Development Companies who maintains high working standards with proven portfolios.