Contact us!

Why do prices vary between different software providers?

If your company has a solution you want to develop you might receive quotes that vary quite a bit depending on the provider you speak with. However, it’s really important to note that in many cases, it's almost impossible to provide an accurate price estimate before the provider knows more about the project.

So, what can cause the variation in prices? One big reason is that they can involve completely different companies and developers, and yes – you get what you pay for.

Super cheap developers place high demands on you as a customer

The absolute cheapest developers can charge as little as five dollars per hour. Price-wise, you can't find anything cheaper, but there are things worth considering before accepting one of these types of quotes.  As a customer, you'll generally have to put a lot of work in yourself to drive the project forward. You'll generally not have any sort of project management or product ownership support included in the price, and so you'll need to invest a lot of time in communication, whether it's written instructions, feedback, or regular meetings.

Additionally, you shouldn't expect that the developer will make independent decisions regarding your project when these are required - even where it might seem like the reasonable thing to do. This places more responsibility on you to ensure that your instructions and feedback are very clear.

It may be suitable to use this type of developer if you have a clear idea of what your company needs – as long as you're clear that you'll be driving the project, and the developer is just a programming resource. You’ll also normally be expected to be able to take strategic decisions regarding technical choices and options, which might be outside of your comfort zone.  

It's also worth considering the time difference, possible language barriers and that the developer may have several other assignments in addition to what you've hired them for.

Software providers that deliver code

Another option is what we sometimes call traditional software providers, a company that is often closer geographically and is highly competent in producing code and implementing specific functions for software. They make significantly more independent decisions than a cheaper developer, but their scope is limited to the software being developed. They therefore do not contribute the strategic insights and ideas that may be needed to develop a truly sustainable solution that can grow with your business.

This type of provider usually doesn't drive the entire project, but it's more of a collaboration than the example above where you're basically hiring someone to perform the job. Here, you team up with the provider in a different way, and the setup is therefore completely different. And yes, the price is significantly higher than $5/hour, perhaps between SEK 1000-2000/hour.

It's suitable to seek help from a traditional software provider when the main focus is on developing specific solutions or applications where you as the customer have a clear understanding of what your needs are.

Strategic tech partners – looking beyond the code

Yet another level up are companies like Meta Bytes, which not only offer software services but also act as a strategic tech partner. We collaborate with our customers in a completely different way and strive to understand them and their business needs, both at the department level and in terms of the entire organization. We investigate and analyze, see opportunities and risks, and assess based on that what technical solutions provide real business value.

This also means that we often take on a different type of projects. Sure, we also develop stand-alone solutions like apps, but almost always as part of something larger. Our customer collaborations often span over long periods, and together we go through various parts of the business to see what can be streamlined and optimized. The hourly rate is usually within the same range as for a traditional software developer, but pricing often looks different during longer collaborations.

If you have a need for more than just pure code production, including business strategy, analysis, and long-term technical planning, a strategic tech partner is right for you. You’ll get a long-term partner who can be responsible for your digital development as a whole and become a close collaboration partner who truly understands your business.

The price reflects the value you receive

There's no escaping that there's a big difference between $5 and SEK 2000 per hour. In the end, though, this reflects the different services and values offered. You get what you pay for. Hiring a developer for SEK 50/hour can work to develop certain things, but clear frameworks, instructions, and a lot of work on your part are needed. As a customer, you must be able to clearly state what you need, and this type of cooperation rarely works well for long-term projects.  

At Meta Bytes, we don't always compete on price. Our focus is on delivering high-quality and sustainable solutions (plus great people, a nice atmosphere, and some bad jokes) to our customers that create damn good business impact. We build long-term relationships where we play an important role in our customers' digital development, finding new solutions, and revenue streams, and future-proofing their business.

Block Quote