What does Software development really cost?

David Wippel

David Wippel



software development

You probably landed here because you just had a discovery conversation with Christian, a full-day discovery workshop with Markus, or you went through a complete discovery phase with Kerstin. Or perhaps you want to get an idea of what digitizing your business processes could look like and are wondering “how much is this really going to cost us? Either way, glad you're here. Pricing a service is an extensive topic - so (just to give you a heads-up) we're not going to talk about how software development is priced in general. This insight is about what you can expect from TRIGO when it comes to pricing software and just what benefits you can reap from your business investment.

Goals of a digital transformation

Before we get into crunching the numbers, it's essential to define your goal. At TRIGO, we don't just blindly implement requirements presented to us. We ask challenging questions to ensure the best possible outcome.

With every digitization initiative, be it:

  • an intranet dashboard
  • an internal app to manage your warehouse
  • an online booking platform for vehicles including back-office management

These should be developed with specific goals in mind—goals that need to be defined. This step is vital for everyone involved to understand what vision we are pursuing and what needs to be implemented to get there. We work very closely with our customers, but we can't call you for every tiny decision that needs to be made - it's simply not efficient. Which is why setting a goal framework empowers the TRIGO team to make decisions that are always in your company's best interests. Even if it sounds silly, or you think you've done it a thousand times already—write down your goals anyway. They should be SMART goals - ones that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. We need to get specific here.

Examples of great goals for your company:

  • 50% more sales one year after launch
  • Initiation of a new line of business
  • 20% cost reduction
  • Employees are measurably more satisfied and therefore more productive

In the last example, we used the word “measurably”—an important point to make. Goals should always be measurable; otherwise, you can never know when they have been achieved. The great thing about working with us is that you don't have to know HOW you're going to get there just yet. We'll help you with the rest. Now let's get into the framework and requirements of working together.

Digitalization requirements

Specific requirements can have a very significant impact on how much your software is going to cost. Among other things, the main factors we consider are the technical complexity, what time frame and deadlines we're working with, and what budget is available.

The complexity of the process to be digitized

This topic is often underestimated, which can lead to frustration at the end of projects. The more openly we talk, and the more we scrutinize your processes, the easier it is to assess how extensive an implementation will be.

A few things that need to be considered:

  • Steps of a process
  • Process dependencies
  • Internal and external stakeholders involved
  • Legal requirements
  • Integration into existing software systems
  • Company structure (multiple locations, countries, languages, cultures, etc.)

These are things you might think you already know and can email us in an hour, but these are incredibly vital points we need to work out in the project's discovery phase. Experience has shown us that our clients need a fresh perspective and a professional approach to mapping out these processes. Although you might think you know your business like the back of your hand - things often go overlooked. These processes can then be visualized in the form of a service blueprint. Investing both time and money into this phase of the process will save you cash and frustration in the long term.

Timelines & deadlines

Existing schedules, events, legal deadlines or pressure from the competition — these are things that need to be taken into consideration; we get it. It's crucial to discuss these timelines & deadlines to determine whether they are realistic and feasible to achieve. As a rule of thumb, digitizing a process takes around 3 months—from start to finish. This timeline includes technical implementation (which often gets done much faster than you might think) and gives enough time for everything else around it like the discovery phase, handover, and so on. Of course, every project is slightly different, but we have found this average time frame successful.


Since business processes can be digitized with different approaches, it is essential to talk about the available budget. Even if you don't want to communicate an amount, you should think about how much you are willing to invest.

What's a digital transformation going to cost us?

So at this stage, you might have realized that a lot needs to be considered when setting a price for a software project. But we know you didn't come here to hear “well … it depends'' so here are some real examples and a price range to give you an idea of what you can expect when you work with TRIGO.

A business process based on an Excel spreadsheet should be accessible to several users and significantly reduce incorrect data entry. This process would entail developing a custom web application with mobile use and interface for integration into existing software solutions—your approximate investment: €25,000 to €60,000.

Online booking platform for vehicles including back-office management With integration into the existing website, individual web application, CRM, invoicing, and fleet management, including a back-office application for master data maintenance—your approximate investment: €40,000 to €120,000.

Handling of a business process including the involvement of various stakeholders (consumers, suppliers, employees, clerks, etc.) and separate data stocks Several individual applications tailored to the respective users and tasks, with interfaces for integration into existing systems, reports/evaluations, automatically running processes (temporally or according to certain events), and operation of the application for 2 years. Implementation: Your approximate investment: €75,000 to €250,000. Operation per year: Your approximate investment: €10,000 to €35,000

How to get an accurate cost estimate for your software?

We can create a detailed offer suited to your needs by collecting all of your project details as mentioned above: Complexity of the process, timelines & deadlines & budget. You can summarize this in a structured project description (download our template here). If you're still unsure, we can take you through the process. Either way, once you're ready to talk - drop us a line, and let's get the ball rolling for your next digital transformation.

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