Better, Faster, Stronger: How 5G Is Going To Change The Way We Interact With Our Smartphones

Better, Faster, Stronger: How 5G Is Going To Change The Way We Interact With Our Smartphones

How 5G will influence the way we use smartphones

Arrival of 5G and its potential impact on network speeds

Consolidation of IoT in daily life after the entry of 5G

With unprecedented speed for mobile, apps and cloud computing, 5G will change the way of conducting business as well as entertainment.

Takeaway 1:

The arrival of 5G will dramatically improve the network speeds currently available on 4G

Takeaway 2:

The faster speed and bandwidth of 5G will transform the capability of mobile networking

Takeaway 3:


5G will consolidate the Internet of Things in daily business and recreational life.

Just as Moore’s Law dictates that computer processing power doubles every two years, so the speed of mobile networking has accelerated at a relentless pace. From the first analog radio networks in 1979 to today’s super fast 4G LTE networks, mobile networking emulates the incredible step-change of aeronautics, which graduated from powered flight to a moon landing in just 66 years.

5G represents the latest pinnacle in mobile networking achievement, with unprecedented speed for mobile, apps and cloud computing. It is not without controversy, and has yet to be rolled out beyond the testing stage, but given that 100,000 premises in Ireland still lack access to fast, reliable internet, the effects will be dramatic.

What Is 5G?

The introduction of 5G presents a new frontier in frequency, wavelength and infrastructure. Currently, 4G networks operate at wavelengths below 6 GHz, delivering speeds around 50Mb/s at best. This is enough to allow fast mobile streaming, IoT connectivity and roaming across some but not all areas.

5G ramps up the speed, density and latency, with higher frequency bands between 30 and 300GHz delivering speeds up to 5Gb/s, a one hundred-fold increase. Unmatched speed will inevitably be the headline-grabber, but the real difference will be felt in density and latency.

5G will allow high volume connectivity without bottlenecking and information exchange in milliseconds rather than seconds. As a result, 5G secures processes that are currently too risky with 4G networks, such as driverless cars, financial services trading platforms and life support systems that require 100% uptime.

How Will 5G Influence The Internet Of Things?

4G unleashed a new era in consumer mobile. 5G is really about business. The major network operators will no doubt trumpet speed as the USP, but consumers already have the capability to stream video to a mobile without significant interruption.

5G, on the other hand, will consolidate wireless networking at the heart of healthcare, agriculture, entertainment, transport and more. It will make the Internet of Things (IoT) not just useful, but indispensable.

5G will transform these areas:

  • Transportation– driverless cars that communicate constantly with GPS data.
  • Healthcare– extending support to remote communities and gathering data through wearable tech.
  • Retail– agile digital signage, personalised digital marketing, supply chain efficiency and self-ordering consumables.
  • Manufacturing and industry– full integration of automation and AI

The ‘hidden’ aspect to 5G is that it will collect a continuous stream of business data – not just personal identifiers but 24/7 insight into consumer behaviour and device performance. By 2020, there will be more than 31 billion devices connected to the internet. Humans will be in the minority.

Manufacturers will be able to monitor, troubleshoot and optimise machinery to maximise efficiency in real time, cutting down the potential for human error. Smart cities will be able to leverage machine learning and AI to route traffic or regulate energy consumption while retailers can offer personalised customer experiences.

What Benefits Does 5G Bring?

Speed matters, at home as much as in the office, but we are already spoilt for fast mobile connectivity. Where 5G sets a new standard is in quality and consistency. 5G means video conferencing without buffering or lag, the capability to transmit 3D simulations or VR sessions without cannibalising bandwidth, and the promise of always-on, fast mobile without peaks or bottlenecks in performance.

It is the network that will finally bring globalisation home. Today, businesses can hold Zoom or Skype conferences with overseas teams, but inevitably the connection speed and reliability of the conferencing software makes its presence felt throughout the session.

With 5G, teams can not only communicate across time zones and locations, but actually collaborate seamlessly. Crucially, 5G slashes the amount of energy required to power that data, with a 90% reduction in energy usage.

When Can We Expect 5G?

Make no mistake, 5G presents an enormous technical and infrastructure challenge. Because the higher frequency of 5G is more vulnerable to interference from buildings or structures, the system will require a brand new rollout of antennas.

This has already been achieved in six UK cities, but realistically 5G won’t be up and running before 2022. Even then, the benefits won’t be felt in an international business sense until all markets are up to speed. Good news if you’re doing business with South Korea or Japan, but delays possible if you’re working with countries that don’t have the government investment in 5G infrastructure.

To Conclude…

We’re still in the phase of getting excited about what 5G might do rather than focusing on how we’ll actually integrate it in our own operations. Note, too, that the system is being installed in pilot locations at the moment without any regulated testing about potential health risks, which could mean legal challenges to come.

However, there is every reason to get excited. Just as the industrial revolution provided the manufacturing and transport innovation to unleash a new wave of achievements, so 5G should provide the digital infrastructure to enshrine cloud-based, mobile communication and collaboration at the heart of business.

A Startups Guide To Adopting And Implementing Custom Software

A Startups Guide To Adopting And Implementing Custom Software

Adopt and Implement custom software development in startup environment

Combining offshore development with Irish management – the most effective strategy for delivering customized software solutions

Tailor software solutions according to the startup’s requirements to gain stability

Advantages of sourcing bespoke technical resources tailoredto fit your requirements

Takeaway 1:

For startups looking to innovate, a custom software solution offers long-term business value

Takeaway 2:

Offshore development with Irish (or home) management is the most prudent strategy.

Takeaway 3:


The bigger commercial software solutions are broad-ranging, but unlikely to meet the specific needs of a startup

Forbes ranks Ireland 8th in the world as the place to start and run a business. In just a few decades, the giant software, pharma and medical technology companies have all established a presence in the only English speaking country in the Eurozone.

That in turn has spurred on a boom in startups, filling in the niches that the bigger players have overlooked. Any startup should aspire to the growth and market share of the multinationals, but also be bold enough to take a different path when it comes to choosing a software solution.

That typically means being ambitious enough to take the custom software route if the enterprise-level solutions available don’t align with business goals.

Why Do Startups Need A Custom Software Solution?

A good analogy for the challenges faced by startups is competitive sailing. The sport is divided into numerous classes and categories, each with its own specific regulations and skills.

All classes might end up wearing the same brand of wetsuit, but the kit and technique from one class could be unrecognisable to even a gold medal winner from another.

The same is true for software. All businesses, whether startup or mature, will require data storage, payment processing and collaboration tools, but once we dig deeper into mission-critical processes and functions, differences start to show.

Small startup teams do not, for example, need complex HR and work management software, but they might require enhanced functionality across mobile and APIs.

Choosing a custom software solution allows a startup to tailor software to specific business needs. They can avoid paying for functions that will be redundant, and invest heavily in those that will deliver business value.

An off-the-shelf commercial solution with a big vendor name behind it might look like a safe choice, but these mammoth ERP and CRM platforms are built to solve broad problems for established organisations.

Startups, on the other hand, are hyper-efficient and flexible by necessity. The pressure isn’t to work leaner, but to establish a competitive edge through innovation. In that respect, custom solutions offer the functionality and dynamics to innovate.

What to Expect From Custom Software

If you need a competitive edge, you need custom software.

You might have an exceptional idea for a software product or app, but if it’s executed amateurishly you won’t be impressing any customers or investors. Even if you’re not looking to invade the app space, your startup might be an original idea that requires custom software to perform. Alternatives that include cobbling together a mishmashed solution from several inferior software products just won’t cut it.

Uber’s success is not down to its car fleet (it has none) or the skill of its drivers (it trains no one), but the simplicity and trust of its platform. It’s a great example of a fantastic idea, executed through custom software.

Likewise, Airbnb invests no capital whatsoever in real estate or customer service. It could possibly exist using a mishmash of other apps and software, but it chose to develop its own app in order to transform recreational travel on a global scale.

You may be the next Uber, Lyft, Airbnb or Deliveroo, but you won’t know it without custom software.

How to Outsource Custom Software

Firstly, if you’ve decided that custom software is the direction you want to go, you need to identify what that looks like for your company. Do you need a payment processor that does something special? A customer management system with features you’ve not seen anywhere else? Or is your business idea an app or software in itself?

The more information you have before you approach an outsource software development company, the better – bring us a problem statement, and we’ll work on a solution that is right for you.

The important point is to build functions and features that resolve a need. Whether that need is within your business, or felt by your customers, is up to you. This is a clear advantage over using an off-she-shelf solution, which can force a growing business to limit business functions to what the software allows.

With a clear direction in mind, begin the process of sourcing the developer team who can deliver. Typically, this means outsourcing to a bespoke software developer unit who works with you to understand your long-term needs and chooses a technology and solution best fitted to those needs.

How HST Helps Startups Like Yours

One-size-fits-all isn’t always the best solution, in business as well as life. The ease and usefulness of a bespoke solution pays for itself in saved time, effort and hassle. Executed right, it can also lead to greater profits.

With HST, your business can enjoy the advantages of sourcing bespoke technical resources that fit your requirements. Our project management team is based in Ireland, so you can rely on us to be there for you, whenever you need.

6 Ways Software Development Can Save Your Startup

Strategized Outsourcing of Software Projects leading to better use of resources

Adopting Agile Approach towards Outsourcing Software Projects

Utilize outsourcing as a well thought out tool to save time, cost for tech startups

Learn how to save on cost and time by outsourcing software development projects and yet ensure seamless integration, testing and timely completion

Takeaway 1:

Outsourcing software development is a better use of time and resources.

Takeaway 2:

A custom software solution can lead to faster, more focused growth.

Takeaway 3:


Outsourcing to a company like HST lets you access years of expertise through a flexible working relationship.

Ireland is enjoying a startup boom, with new ideas disrupting niche markets as well as the mainstream. For some, success means acquisition by one of the bigger tech firms. For others, it’s measured in almost exponential growth. But, for the other 90% of startups, success isn’t even on the menu.

With extensive experience developing custom software for startups, we know the advantages to hiring a team of experts. But it’s not just bias: there’s hard data out there which proves outsourcing your software development saves startup headaches.

1. Time Saved

Startups are lean and agile out of necessity, and out of nature. When startup founders are already filling various roles, that leaves little to no wiggle room for learning new coding languages and setting up bespoke software.

Not only that, It usually takes 35 days to hire just one software developer. And what if you need five of them, a QA engineer and a project manager… and you’re already marketing expert, HR and vice president all in one?

When you call HST Solutions, we’ll help you design your project, then implement full testing including bug identification and fixing. We maintain your software with regular updates according to your needs. All this happens while you talk to investors, grow your company, and do what you do best.

2. Seamless Integration

Enterprise level software such as Salesforce and Slack are big because they’re great at getting tasks done – but they might not do everything you need.

Custom software that complements your existing workflow saves you time and money. You won’t spend hours learning another software solution with hundreds of features when you’ll only use one or two, and it’s far more economical to plug gaps in your workflow, rather than hunting endlessly for the perfect all-in-one solution.

There’s no point in reinventing the wheel, at least while you’re still in the startup phase. In its infancy, file-sharing giant Dropbox actually used Amazon cloud infrastructure to host customer files. But even though Dropbox has since built its own storage solution, that move is not for everyone. “The right answer is to actually not do this yourself,” says Urs Hölzle, the former University of California professor and Google employee. Most startups, he explains, will never reach the lofty heights of Dropbox’s success. For this reason, big moves like engineering everything you need from scratch may come back to haunt you.

A better idea? Keep using the tools you love while working with software developers to fill in the gaps you need.

3. Customised and Personal Support

There’s a saying in the startup space: “Move fast, and break things.” While agility is definitely important, what happens when “breaking something” could spell the end of your company?

Online payment giant Stripe foresaw this issue early on in the startup process. As a payment processor, “breaking things” would involve customer transactions. As their software engineer Evan Broder says, ‘I don’t want people moving my money to break things. And this means that reliability and stability is much more important for Stripe than for a typical start-up.’

Imagine if Stripe hired inexperienced, in-house software developers who were more agile than good at their job. When you’re trying to challenge PayPal, downtime isn’t an option and the less time you spend on live chat to tech support the better. Outsourcing software development means that if disaster strikes, you’re always at the front of the queue for personalised tech support.

And if you’re a client of a major vendor, you are dependent on the master cycle of patches and upgrades and are unlikely to have guaranteed 24/7 on site support unless you are signed up to the personalised support package. As a customer of ours, you get all of this as standard.

4. No Costly HR – H2 tag

According to Industry 4.0, published by Scientific Technical Union of Mechanical Engineering ,14% of funded startups fail because of mistakes in the hiring process. In other words, not having the right team is a serious indicator of startup failure.

When you outsource software development, you are taking on an external workforce with in-built chemistry, workflow processes and culture. You don’t have to onboard a brand new HR manager who isn’t clear on where your company is going or what is required from developers, and you avoid hiring problems down the road.

Not only that, but with another company with its own infrastructure taking care of your software development process, you never have to take care of training, vacation, tax and employee benefit costs. It’s all done for you.

5. Access to Expertise

When he invented corporate chat app Slack, Stewart Butterfield knew he was onto a good idea. He also knew he couldn’t do it himself – he needed to outsource a software development team to turn his dream into reality.

In 2012, Slack was born out of a partnership that leveraged secondary expertise and a fresh pair of eyes. Butterfield was able to concentrate on marketing and funding, without having to assemble a team with years of expertise from scratch.

And while you might think Microsoft is old enough to know everything about software development, even this tech giant outsources tasks to take advantage of years of expertise outside their offices.

Two heads are better than one, especially when it comes to growing your company. With HST Solutions, you’ll have instant access to a wealth of industry knowledge, without having to learn it yourself.

6. More Agile

Outsourcing is a fast and efficient method to scale up and down in a nimble, flexible way… which can be essential not only for startups, but for tech giants.

Google famously has a team of 89,000+ in-house, formidably clever employees – but even they get sick once in a while, or need to go on parental leave. When this happens, or the company foresees a spike in work in the near future, Google outsources its software development to remain a household name.

According to a Bloomberg report, 2018 marked the first year Google’s contract workers outnumbered their direct employees. And in a competitive, high-pressure startup environment, the ability to react to challenges becomes even more important.

At HST, we don’t need to own a share in your company – or drink your coffee. We work on your project, and can scale up and down to your requirements. You can ask us to do more, or less, and we’ll always come back if needed.

It’s no secret that the failure rate among startups is frighteningly high – but it is possible to tip the odds in your favour. Even big players like Google and Dropbox were startups once, and one of the key factors in their success was knowing when to settle for off-the-shelf software, and when to leverage the expertise of an established development team. At HST Solutions, we’ll work with you to make your dream a reality.

Be Prepared: The Software Development Motto To Mitigate Risk

Mitigating Risks for Software Development Projects

Necessity of Planning and Managing Risks for a software development project

Role of Skilled Managers in minimizing risks for offshore software projects

How to identify and mitigate risks in typical offshore software development projects

Takeaway 1:

For any software development project, an experienced team is critical to a project’s success.

Takeaway 2:

A software development project is at its most vulnerable during the planning phase.

Takeaway 3:


Skilled, experienced managers can eliminate the majority of common errors from the process.

“By failing to prepare,” said Benjamin Franklin, “you are preparing to fail.” This is particularly true in software development, whether the project is tackled in-house or outsourced offshore. From planning to project delivery, software development is fraught with risk, and it affects all parties, including those creating the code, project managers and, of course, the client.

The cascade of new technology hasn’t made risk mitigation any easier. In fact, extra layers of platforms, coding language and delivery models arguably make delivery more complicated to manage. Trying to anticipate what quirks and challenges a project will yield is like trying to predict the weather. The solution, therefore, needs to include better forecasting.

With the right approach, you can anticipate risks and plan to succeed.

Why Prepare For The Worst?

Disaster can strike, even on the most well-thought out project. And when it does, there’s not just your project at stake – but user experience, customer retention, not to mention your time and effort. Your reputation is also at stake if a large software development issue is likely to affect other areas.

There are two types of catastrophes you can prepare for: those that can be predicted, and unforeseen events. The first kind is better described as a “worst-case scenario”, which you do everything to avoid, but which must be prepared for nonetheless. The second kind is an act of God, which no one could see coming.

When it comes to predicting worst case scenarios, software developers try and address issues early on in the consultation process to stop them growing larger later on. These issues include:

  • Starting with an unclear business problem and not knowing what the project is trying to solve.
  • Having no clear, transparent definition of what would constitute success.
  • Poor leadership due to lack of an effective executive sponsor, or no clear leadership because of too many competing voices.
  • Underestimating the scope and size of project, particularly when later functions are dependent on the robustness or success of a foundational piece of architecture.

Left unattended, these factors can result in software that simply doesn’t work, or isn’t what the client had in mind. In either case, sometimes the project has to be scrapped and recoded from scratch.

How To Mitigate For Predictable Risks

It’s hardly ever the software itself that goes wrong. Once it enters the development process, problems are usually the result of bugs – which are fixed in a thorough testing process – or undiagnosed problems early on.

Bigger problems are hidden in the project planning and initiation phases. Not a single line of code should be written before a clear road map has been agreed upon, enshrining the details of scope, time, cost and risk.

Thoroughly reviewing all milestones, expectations, and stages of production, as well as outlining what is and isn’t expected from both parties, allows the risk of predictable disasters to be significantly reduced.

Scope creep occurs when functions or features are added to a project beyond the initial agreement, typically without taking into consideration their impact on cost, time and resources.

Scope creep is a very predictable risk, as it happens often. It’s caused by these issues:

  • Project managers who take a hands-off approach, forcing software developers to fill in the gaps in an anarchic fashion.
  • Clients, either when caught up in the excitement of a new tool or service, or when frantically trying to realign a software project to shifting business goals. If the client has direct contact with software developers, the risk increases dramatically.
  • Project teams who overpromise in order to exceed expectations, without a realistic understanding of what those changes will cost.

When time is eaten up by scope creep, this leaves less time for testing and eliminating bugs. This leads to a less secure product, and can snowball into other issues.

How to plan in Advance for Unpredictable Risks

Anything can – and often does – happen in the world of software development. Unpredictable events include everything you can imagine, from staff sickness, all the way up to fire and flood.

The enemy of unpreparedness is open communication. Open dialogue doesn’t solve many problems in and of itself, but when you are confident talking to your team this will help you brainstorm solutions more quickly and lessen the risk of problems getting bigger while everyone stays silent.

Open communication requires hands-on participation from everyone involved. Clients can forgive running over time, so long as the online or offline paper trail leading to this decision is clear and readable.

You never know what’s going to happen. But when working with a software developer, it helps to expect the unexpected, and be ready to tackle all challenges. The difference is, you’ve got someone on your side to help you.
that there was a clear vision and strategy underpinning delivery.

For the software vendor, planning protects long-term relationships with both clients and software development teams. Whichever side of the equation, one rule applies to all: In software development, there’s no such thing as a good surprise.

HST can help you mitigate all of these risks. Our team of experts have years of experience, and we promise no nasty surprises. From predictable pitfalls of the development process to unpredictable disasters, we’ve seen it all, and are the best choice to help make your project a reality.

Why Successful Software Comes From Great Management

Relation between Effective management & Successful Software Development

How project management influences custom software development

Why good project management is essential for effectively managing offshore software development projects

Here we have discussed the reasons a pragmatic approach towards project management is an essential component of delivering software development projects successfully

Takeaway 1:

Code is the source of a project’s success, but effective management is the defining feature.

Takeaway 2:

The quality of your relationship with management will dictate the ultimate value of a software development project.

Takeaway 3:

Companies like HST have the experience and pedigree required to manage offshore software development projects.

Custom software development is the more challenging route for both customer and vendor technical team, but the rewards to the business will outperform an off-the-shelf solution. That is, of course, assuming that the project management team delivers.

When things go wrong, code is rarely the culprit. Rather, it is the symptom of human error. There are multiple stakeholders to bring onboard, and potentially a range of technical teams to manage across several locations. That’s why the most valuable asset a vendor can bring to the project is a strong, expert management team.

Why Is Good Management Essential to deliver Software Projects?


Hiring the very best software developers is of paramount importance. Steve Jobs once said, “the difference between superb programmers and average ones is 25:1”.

However, they can’t do it alone. A superb management team can make or break a project, and that’s too big a task to leave to anyone unqualified.

HST not only has experienced developers but also the managers required to execute offshore software development projects. Our managers oversee the project from start to finish, and provide one point of communication for everyone to check in. They have a birds-eye view and have the knowledge to be able to forecast issues, and plan accordingly. They keep everyone working together smoothly, so the project can progress.

Different roles: project manager, people manager, and software architect

Ultimate responsibility lies with the Project Manager, who makes sure that the project meets key deliverables, such as adhering to budget and timescale. Good managers never settle. They are constantly exploring new techniques, staying on top of industry developments, and exploiting any opportunity to gain a competitive edge. They need to have an acute understanding of strategies to improve best practices, productivity and process, methodology and quality control, to name a few.

People management skills are vital too. People managers have to hire, motivate and mentor a diverse team that may include front- and back-end developers and programmers, QA engineers, system admins, and more. A good people manager will ensure that each team member fulfils their responsibilities, regardless of the individual skillset.

At HST, the senior technical lead is the software architect, whose role is to set up the project in three key areas:

  • Software Dev methodology – whether Waterfall, Agile, Scrum etc.
  • Tech stack – the choice of coding tools or languages
  • Coding and testing standards – from API design guidelines to unit testing

These challenges require a technical lead, ideally with significant industry experience in the areas for which the product is being developed.

As managers are tasked with the overall project, they don’t necessarily need to know how to code. However, technical skills may be an indicator of how well they can recognise if something is taking too long, or not being created to requirements. This means hiring managers from programming backgrounds is the ideal solution.

What Can I Expect From Offshore Project Management?

A successful client/vendor relationship is built on trust, communication, and a single vision. Some clients prefer a hands-off approach, and this is fine is if you’re happy for your software development outsourcers to take the lead. However, if you want control over the project, you need to be willing to communicate openly. Done right, the client/vendor relationship can be an immersive, collaborative one.

Everyone involved needs to understand (and review regularly) the following:

  • Project deliverables
  • Project goals and benefits
  • Quality standards & Metrics
  • Risks and issues
  • Budget, time and resources required
  • Definition of completeness

Continuous communication between management and developers is vital to make sure everyone is aligned with KPIs, and liaisons should be regular and swift if there’s any diversion from the intended objective. If there is a bug, for example, a good manager must alert the client to the nature of the bug, its severity, and the estimated time to resolution.

Inevitably, costs do stray from the original budget, but quick action will stop a glitch becoming a crisis. Size and reputation are no guarantee of success. Some of the most notable software project losses have involved globally recognised names, including:

  • Allstate Insurance Co. – lost $130 million on an automation system
  • Hershey Foods – lost $151 million on ERP system
  • Ford Motor Co. – lost $400 million on purchasing system

Clients are best served when presented with a variety of engagement models to manage costs, such as:

  • Fixed price, deadlines, project requirements – good for a single development project
  • Dedicated offshore resources– skilled developers offshore, without the need to hire, manage etc. Good for projects that are constantly evolving.
  • Pay as you go– billed on time and materials. Good for projects with a one-off requirement.

If you’re planning a custom software development project, bear in mind that the actual coding phase is only a single piece of the greater puzzle. Using offshore developer resources is commonplace, but that doesn’t mean all vendors are experienced in managing offshore teams. Choose wisely.

How HST Provides Great Management for Offshore Software Projects

Our extensive experience of software development projects confirms that the most effective combination is to bring project managers, people managers and software architects into each project to ensure that delivery is aligned with the initial budget, brief and timescale. The crucial distinction is that we keep management functions onshore in Ireland, rather than also assigning these roles offshore. For the client, this allows for a closer working relationship with the management team, and one that is more in tune with the culture and expectations of the EU.

The True Cost Of Custom Software Development In Ireland

Offshore Software Development due to high costs in Ireland

Onshore and Offshore Software Development – Best of both the worlds

Mitigating High Onshore Development costs in Ireland

Ireland has abundance in skilled IT resources but due to the rising hiring costs, it is essential to strike a balance between offshore software development and onshore quality control and project management.

Takeaway 1:

The global trend in IT is towards agile, outsourced remote developer and support teams.

Takeaway 2:

Ireland has an abundance of skilled IT resources, but the tech boom has overheated onshore hiring costs.

Takeaway 3:

Offshore development teams offer the best value for money in the early stages, but overall project ROI depends on sound onshore management.

If the aim of your business is to be exactly the same as every other business, an off-the-shelf software solution will fit comfortably. But comfort in business is short-lived. If you aspire to disrupt the market, carve out a competitive edge, and grow, you’ll need custom software development. It means taking the more arduous road, but you’ll be following in the footsteps of almost every successful global brand, from  Apple to McDonalds.

Custom software development liberates the business to address more complex challenges, the ones that are vital for driving growth and competing internationally. If your business is looking to disrupt the market through chat bot, AR or machine learning technology, for example, it’s unlikely a commercial software solution will stretch to the task. Off-the-shelf software keeps the lights on. Custom architecture lets the business shine.


The problem is that most businesses in Ireland don’t have the in-house resources to build, test and deploy a variety of custom software apps or platforms, let alone update, optimise and resolve issues on a regular basis.

The cost of doing business in Ireland is high. According to the National Competitiveness Council, labour costs already average €30.90/hr, but increased by 6.1% in ICT in 2018. In order to expand, invest and compete globally, business have to find a proactive solution to taming the rising cost of labour.

An uncertain climate in software development

Business CEOs and CIOs considering the custom software development route find themselves wrestling with two opposing forces. On the one hand, enterprise software spending is the fastest growing sector in a worldwide IT industry valued at $3.8 trillion, according to Gartner. Even smaller businesses are swept up in the rush to invest in custom CRM or mobile software solutions in order to differentiate.

On the other hand, confidence in the process is low. In one study by Geneca, 75% of IT managers and business leaders expected their software projects to fail, either because they are delivered late and over budget, or because they are not aligned with business strategy.

Late delivery and bloated budgets, however, are a management not a software problem. Often the fault can be traced back to the planning stage, and a failure to get buy-in across the C-suite, or to set realistic goals. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what custom software development involves.

Why outsource to an onshore software development company?

If resources don’t stretch to an in-house development team (and not many SMBs can afford a bench of developers) the closest match is to outsource onshore. Essentially, that means contracting software development to a team in Ireland or the UK.

It’s certainly the more comfortable solution. Post-GDPR, many businesses can’t afford the risk of sharing data or IP with providers outside the EU regulatory jurisdiction.

On a purely human level, many businesses favour a collaborative approach to custom software development, resolving issues and planning strategy through a series of sprints.

But here’s the big problem for companies in Ireland who want to outsource to onshore software development companies. These software development companies are competing for talent with the global multinationals who have set up EU headquarters in the Republic. These multinationals are big beasts armed with big budgets, and they’re pushing hiring rates sky-high. For the software development company to source and retain top talent, they have to deliver a salary package that is competitive. Ultimately this means passing on higher service costs to the end client.

The average salary for Facebook employees, for example, stands at €154,000. Add the other tech and software giants into the mix and the result is that hiring custom software development using onshore teams means paying premium rates.

What are the advantages of offshore development?

Offshore IT outsourcing is no longer an innovation. It’s been the standard strategy for at least 10 years, to the point where IT is a $140bn industry in India alone, according to figures from The Economist.

A survey from the Global Leadership Summit found that a third of business leaders expected more than half their company’s workforce to be working remotely by 2020.

To see where the savings can be made, let’s look at the typical time assigned to each phase or skill set of a project, and what the typical hourly rate (in Euros) would be.

Expertise Sr Software Architect Sr UX Designer Sr Software developer Sr QA Test Engineer Project Manager Total Cost
Hours 200 250 1000 250 200
Ireland 97 72 80 56 80 147,400
India 45 25 35 30 25 62,750
Eastern Europe 65 60 55 50 50 105,500

Hourly costs taken from

Clearly, Ireland is the most expensive option for hosting the entire project. Bear in mind, however, that different areas of expertise carry more weight than others when it comes to the overall success of the project, namely the Software Architect and Project Manager. Consequently, companies in Ireland can gain a competitive advantage by outsourcing less critical tasks to countries that can offer the same standard but at a better cost, while investing budget in project-critical tasks in Ireland.

A warning about outsourcing offshore...

In the grander scheme of software development, code is cheap. Mistakes, on the other hand, can be extremely expensive. But poor quality control is nearly always a management issue, caused by project scope that is badly aligned with business goals.

How to get the best of both worlds – Offshore and Onshore Software Development

Seeing a custom software development project through from initial plans and wireframes to delivery and lifecycle management requires a top-down strategic approach. The software code itself is only one of the commodities being traded. Source code at one end needs to be balanced by support resources at the other.

Some of the most innovative companies in Ireland are achieving success by hitting the sweet spot between offshore software development and onshore project management. This arrangement allows the business in Ireland to set fixed costs for with overseas development teams building whatever mobile or cloud-based apps are required.

By outsourcing UX design, Software Development and QA Testing to India, the project illustrated above is 43% cost effective:

Expertise Sr Software Architect Sr UX Designer Sr Software developer Sr QA Test Engineer Project Manager Final Cost
Hours 200 250 1000 250 200
Ireland 97 - - - 80
India - 25 35 30 -
Total Cost 19,400 6,250 35,000 7,500 16,000 84,150

Hourly costs taken from

The Irish management team is then free to focus on extracting value and maximising customer experience from the software solution. The higher operating cost can be absorbed into increased ROI through added value senior expertise and relationship building.

To Conclude…

The true cost of custom software development in Ireland is as big as you want to make it. Companies can offset the costs of software development with smart investments, which give them more value in the long term.

While software development can seem intimidating as an initial outlay, the truth is these apps and solutions pay for themselves if executed correctly. They do this through maximising customer experience, and freeing up key staff to focus on other areas.

Software is an investment that scales with the business, anticipates competition, and (most notably with AI and mobile technology) improves productivity.

If your business could use either a customer-facing or business-only software solution, we’d be delighted to help you.


Do I need a native mobile app if my website is already responsive

Do I need a native mobile app if my website is already mobile friendly?

So, you’ve got a mobile friendly website – it looks great on every device, seamlessly changing sizing, fonts and layouts across desktop, tablet and smartphone. What would you need an app for?
This is a pretty common question for businesses – and unfortunately there’s a whole load of myth and misconception out there. The simplest answer to the question is, it depends. But that doesn’t help you much – in order to get to grips with the answer, we need to take a trip back in time.

As it was – The early (ugly) days of websites

When the internet first emerged, most businesses failed to see the need for a website. Those who did, however, were pioneers (as well as pretty savvy business people). This may be hard to believe if you remember how awful those websites were (truly, they were pretty hideous – if your memory fails you, take a trip to*).
* Disclaimer – you may need some pretty sturdy sunglasses, this collection of websites is enough to make your eyes bleed.

Whilst there were no directories, no social media and no real way to make a website look even half good back then, these businesses knew that being online ultimately expanded their reach. Despite all the ugliness (and functionality that was remarkably even uglier), these businesses were the ones to benefit once consumers (and technological capabilities) caught on and evolved.
Which brings us to modern times…

Today you may not need an app, but tomorrow? Well, that’s a different story.

Let me ask you a few questions about that super shiny, mobile ready website of yours…

Can your website allow you to compete whilst your customer is within a competitor’s physical premises?

Can your website instantly let your customer know that they’re passing by your business, and that you have a sale on?

Can your website serve up customised content based on each customer’s interests or demographics?

Can your website allow for the collection of loyalty points with an in-store purchase?

Can your customer use your website to try your product on, virtually?

Can your website dynamically adjust the price of a product based on a customer’s social influence?

No, I thought not. Apps can do all of this, and much more besides. They benefit from technological capabilities that websites simply don’t – and they’re pretty incredible, too. Take a few examples – augmented reality, camera integration, biometrics, geo-location, sensors, and 3D gaming, to name but a few. And mobile technology is developing all the time – with new capabilities being launched far more quickly for apps, than they are for websites. 

You may not have the budget, inclination or need today for any of these things – tomorrow, however, you certainly will. And just like those early pioneers of the very first websites, simply having an app will ensure you’re where you need to be, come the time to make the most of all that’s possible.

Still not convinced? Then consider this…

The technologies I’ve mentioned may not fit with your business – you may think that you have no need for them today or tomorrow. You might then feel it makes sense to wait for a technology that does align with your business. But playing the waiting game is a mistake.
Answer this – Which is more of a challenge – getting 100,000 potential customers to download your app, or getting 100,000 people who already have your app to update to a newer version?
It’s most certainly getting people to download your app in the first place. Once they have, you’ll have their names and email addresses, and smartphones already notify people of the need to update.
Ultimately this gives you the chance to begin building a base of app users. Come the time when you do develop an engaging, advanced app that makes the most of a suitable technology, the dividends paid in sales could be unparalleled.

So, the more accurate answer as to whether you need an app or not, is perhaps not – but there are many compelling reasons to forge ahead with an app right now nevertheless. This isn’t to say that even the most ‘basic’ of apps are easy and fast to develop – they’re not, and the processes require time, a decent budget and a skilled team. However, getting on board the app wagon right now is more than a worthy commercial step to take if you’re not to be leap frogged by your competition in the not-so-distant-future.


What you need to ask yourself before working with a developer

What you need to ask yourself before working with a developer

Thinking about developing a new product or mobile app? Need to redesign your legacy system? Or re-define a business process? Custom software is expensive and can be a real headache for businesses who can’t afford to have full-time development staff on their payroll. In such instances, companies – whether their development need is an occasional one or ongoing, will often turn to outside help. However, there are certain questions you should ask before you take the plunge and enlist a developer’s help.

How do they resolve bugs in their software after the initial release?

Bugs are an inevitable part of software development. The important thing is having a clear strategy for dealing with bugs as and when they do appear. What you’ll want to find out is what warranty do they offer for the initial release? What is the scope of the warranty and how long does it last? And most importantly what is their SLA? All developers are human and in increasingly complex projects, they are bound to make mistakes, at this point you just want a clear idea of how their process works.

Do they own the code – or do I?

Source code is the stock in trade for software developers but confusion can often arise regarding who owns the code once it has been written. If a developer owns the copyright, they can re-use the code on future projects.

This is a tricky topic, with implied rights sometimes coming into the equation. For your peace of mind, it’s worth asking the question when you first converse with your developer.

Do they use version control?

Software developers constantly need to track changes in the code they write and this is done through a process known as version control. The most popular type of version control is Git, which is particularly useful when multiple people are working on the same project. Virtually every software developer will use version control, but you may desire oversight of the project yourself. An online version control repository such as GitHub allows both developer and customer to keep track of what’s been done, via the commit history.

What is their testing process?

Clearly, you want your users to have a good experience when using your software and testing can ensure that any issues are ironed out early on. Ideally, you’ll want your developer to articulate the specifics of their testing strategy. You’re looking for an agile method, whereby you’re kept informed as to how testing is carried out throughout the project and you’re involved too, Some common testing methodologies your developer should be able to articulate within their processes are unit testing, acceptance testing, functional testing, performance testing and security testing. The last thing you need is – you (or, worst of all, your users) may end up doing most of the testing yourself!

Instead of taking a risky approach when it comes to your software development projects, why not place your trust in our expertise, We’re a small team of software developers who have been working together to provide solutions for businesses since 2007. Our onshore/offshore model enables us to give our clients the quality product they deserve at a cost they can afford. If this sounds like a model you can get behind, please give us a call today on +35315547866 and we’ll be more than happy to discuss your requirements.