Podcast with Lauren Haworth

We had our very first podcast recording with the incredibly talented Lauren Haworth

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Lauren Haworth is a business professional who actively invests and works with NFT projects – but her experience is that most NFT projects out there don’t have any real, tangible impact in the world (and many are scams or pyramid schemes). We sat down with Lauren to unpack some of her hands-on experience with NFT investing, and to figure out why and how businesses should incorporate NFTs into their day-to-day operations. Lauren also shares her experience with Green Tokens, some practical insights into an NFT project she’s currently involved in that’s bringing education to underprivileged children, and how she makes sure she invests in credible, profitable NFT projects.

Resources mentioned in this episode: Investopedia

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The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outs...

The cost of software development, upgrade and maintenance projects can be a sore point because they don’t come cheap. Whether you take-on the projects in-house or outsource them, there are technology and resourcing costs that can spiral when unmanaged, causing them to go over-budget.

As with any project, a quick return on investment is wanted from software projects. When your business is reliant on technology to run and be profitable, extended tech projects that don’t perform or deliver value fast are a thorn in the side of business continuity as well as the bottom line.

Here’s an idea of software project costs

In Dubai, the cost of the average app development project ranges from $5 000 to $10 000. For complications and multi-feature app, prices shoot to between $267 000 and $360 000. 

Need a website? For a small and simple business website, expect to pay in the region of $15 000.  For a conversion or lead-focused website, the cost will be about $30 000, and $50 000 upwards for a complex, feature-rich website. 

The average cost of a business software upgrade, from Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management systems to IT security, can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size and the type of business you are in.

Don’t underestimate the time and financial resources needed to build quality, functional software applications. There is a lot that goes into it and costs begin to stack-up when the project doesn’t perform or goes over-budget. 

Use the Cost Performance Index to measure project cost efficiency

The Cost Performance Index is a measure of the financial effectiveness and efficiency of a project, and represents the amount of work completed for every monetary unit spent. Project managers can use CPI to measure the cost efficiency of software projects against the work actually completed for an early flag that budget or scope adjustments need to be made. Simply put, it is a way of demonstrating whether or not your project is on budget and performing.

Using the CPI will give you an honest view of the cost efficiency of budgeted resources as a ratio of earned value to actual costs. 

The power of one

You can calculate the Cost Performance Index by dividing the Earned Value (EV) by Actual Cost (AC). When we talk about Earned Value (EV), we are talking about the amount of the task that is actually completed compared to what was planned to be done by a particular stage. It is expressed in terms of the budget set for the project. For instance, if the budget is $10,000 but only 20% of the work has been completed halfway through the six month project timeframe, then the EV is $2,000. The Actual Cost (AC) is the amount of money that has been spent on the task.

So, CPI = EV / AC 

For example, if a project has an EV of $30 000 but the AC is $15 000, the CPI is 2. 

But what does that mean?

CPI < 1a CPI that is less than one means the earning is less than the amount spent. You can say the project is over budget. 

CPI > 1a CPI that greater than one means the earning is more than the amount spent. This is when you can happily say that the project is under budget. 

CPI = 1a CPI equal to one means the earning and spending are equal. Everything is going according to plan and the project is performing well. 

The upside and downside of technology

In this digital age, you know that technology not only enables your business but powers it. There is a downside though. Software needs constant maintenance and frequent upgrades. Don’t consider maintenance or upgrade projects as a nuisance. Instead, see upgrades as an investment into better efficiencies, seamless continuity, improved productivity, more features, greater functionality, happier employees, more engaged customers, tighter IT security and reduced risks. The list of rewards from optimised software goes on, and they translate into business growth. Maintaining your software systems will ensure that they are up-to-date, bug-free, cyber-secure and working as they should. 

Hand it over

Budget, skills and resourcing constraints will impact the progress and ultimate success of your software projects, whether it’s a new app development or a website upgrade. Poor planning leads to slow progress and failing to reach the goals you want to achieve. You want a CPI equal to one or more if you want the most bang for your buck.

Not your forte? Hand it over. At Digital Grind we eat, sleep and drink this stuff. We have an established team of tech experts who understand the software development, maintenance and user experience design landscape. We also know that getting ROI on software projects is important to our clients. So planning and sticking to budget and project timelines is non-negotiable. We aim for a CPI of one or more on every project we undertake. Have a look at what we did for Moro Hub

Got a goal or a project in mind? Start it now with Digital Grind.


The web is a fast-paced and ever-changing medium. There are new trends popping up all the time, new browser releases to contend with, and new frontend frameworks to le...

The web is a fast-paced and ever-changing medium. There are new trends popping up all the time, new browser releases to contend with, and new frontend frameworks to learn.

It can be hard to keep up with all that's happening in our industry. When your job depends on your knowledge of what's new in web development — whether you're a developer or designer — it's especially important that you understand what's current so you don't miss anything that could impact your business or life.

The only constant is change

Web development is constantly evolving. As new technologies emerge and more and more devices are being used to access the web, web developers have to keep up with the latest trends in order to create websites that perform well and look great. Let’s take a look at what’s poignant at the moment:

Accelerating menial tasks

Sometimes the greatest innovations come in simple changes to existing mechanisms, where small changes mean big benefits. We know that consumers value speed, which is evidenced by drop-off rates on sites that take more than 3 seconds to load. As much as 40 percent of your audience will leave when your webpage doesn’t load instantly. This is just one example of many, where consumers expect instant feedback and gratification when interacting with your brand online. In light of this, the growing trend towards accelerating menial tasks is becoming a standard. This is true for both consumer-facing content as well as internal platforms and web developers will be expected to get the basics right before branching off into novelty. 

Perfecting e-commerce user experience

Historically, developers were largely in control of creating a user experience by dictating formats for websites and online platforms. When marketers started to understand the importance of user experience design - new roles emerged in the strategy and creative sphere that blended design with creating a consumer journey. Now, developers and designers are part of increasingly hybrid disciplines, where both are required to work together to generate user interfaces. A prevalent trend is for front-end developers to automatically suggest interface mechanisms, while designers with basic development knowledge are more in demand than ever. Today, the prototyping process is a combined effort and will increasingly merge as design and development overlap in terms of meeting consumer expectations.  

Everyday artificial intelligence

AI was once thought of as a concept only meant for sci-fi movies, but has evolved from just theory and cinematic special effects to everyday use. The use of machine learning and natural language processing techniques has improved drastically, faster than previously thought possible. It may seem that the sky's the limit at this point. Current trends indicate that chatbots will continue to feature as a marketing tool for many web developers. The chatbot market is growing at a rapid pace and is expected to reach $83 billion in 2021. Another current AI trend is its use in predictive analytics. Machine learning is being applied to better understand consumer behaviour so as to target them more efficiently. This leads to increased customer acquisition as learned patterns assist in the personalisation of targeted content. 

One-pagers

These types of websites are a controversial topic in the marketing world, because while it means less code, easier experimentation and simplified analytics, it can also present a cost to SEO and content limitations by design. Plus, creating enticing and functional user interfaces can become more challenging. However, as a sufficient, resource-efficient tool for SMEs, these sites are on the rise and the art of perfecting a one-page site needs to be a tool in the arsenal of modern developers. One other advantage is that they lead to increased user engagement and ultimately higher conversions than multi-page sites through simplified navigation. In addition, they’re great for any web developer’s clients that may be starting out and don’t yet have a lot of content to offer but need a web presence. 

Full-stack development with JavaScript

When it comes to web development, things are rapidly evolving and advancing and if not managed well, can lead to an overrun on development costs. For one, if you have to hire multiple developers well-versed in different programming languages and frameworks, and a new industry standard comes into play, it may be costly to get each of them up-to-speed. However, hiring or becoming a full-stack developer gives you an all-in-one development solution. JavaScript has grown in popularity over the years and is used by almost all websites. It is particularly useful when developing mobile apps and dynamic websites. Currently, it’s popular frameworks and libraries include Angular.js, Vue.js, React and Node.js. Indeed, JavaScript full-stack development will continue to be a major feature in web development in coming years.


Lastly, a current trend related to all the above in the web development world is the growing use of progressive web apps which may replace native mobile apps in the future. This is being driven by the growing use of mobile devices. Another is the increasing use of voice searches giving rise to digital assistants and the proliferation of IoT.

From what we’ve seen, web development will continue to incorporate newer technologies going into the future. The consensus so far is that, regardless of what development trend is adopted, speed and usability will be the key determining factors of any web design.

At Digital Grind, we stay ahead of the curve as our web development is next level. Be it websites, apps, business intelligence or newer technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, we have the necessary tools to bring your ideas to life. Start a development project with us. Ready when you are!


Often, a big decision when starting a new software project is whether or not to outsource development or simply do it in-house. The most common reason for this concern...

Often, a big decision when starting a new software project is whether or not to outsource development or simply do it in-house. The most common reason for this concern to pop up is that companies have heard about bad experiences from friends or colleagues, or they’ve experienced it themselves.

After all, working with third parties can come with its challenges. But as with everything in life, proper planning prevents poor performance - and this applies to outsourcing tasks as much as it does to anything else. 

How does this dilemma come about?

Upgrading software is a critical task for any modern business and can improve a company’s productivity by as much as 50%. Apart from this, new systems are more adaptable and have better security, a key factor in today’s data landscape.

According to Norton, one of the most used antivirus softwares in the world, new software and upgrades can help get rid of old flaws. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly getting better and you should too, to make sure your company’s data and systems are safe and efficient.

In the same breath, companies don’t always have the resources to allocate time and internal spend to technical projects and need support, to a greater or lesser degree.

5 Questions To Guide You

Every situation and every upgrade is different. It is vital for you to do a thorough analysis of your project, plan out your goals and timeline before deciding who’s going to be responsible for the task of upgrading - and to what extent they’re involved. Key decision-makers should ask themselves:

What is the scope of the upgrade or new development?

The most important question to find an answer to when upgrading your software is why you are doing it. The key objectives you use as a mark, serve as vital information for the development team, and can help you figure out priority and critical areas for development. This will impact the level of resources you need to continue and give you a basis for understanding when and what you can get help with.

Do you have the skillset, internally - and is it your core competency?

Sit down with your team and find out if they have the ability to develop the best possible software. 

Building software is a complex process and the benefit of having an outside company is they can have access and knowledge on the latest technology that is being used. (Maxxor Blog) However, many companies don’t have in-house development teams because of the cost or demand for that kind of work on a monthly basis. 

On the other hand, some companies do software development for other brands, as their core service offering and this presents an ethical and logistical dilemma. When a skill is your company’s core competency, outsourcing this skill makes your business vulnerable. In these cases, it’s best to enlist temporary or supporting development, rather than putting an entirely separate team on the project. 

Outsourced Software Development

Do you have capacity?

Does your team have the ability and capacity to do this work while continuing to service your company on a daily basis? Very few businesses can afford a software team solely for building new products. This means that they are constantly dividing their time between your upgrades and their daily tasks. 

Your team may have the skills and the experience to get this job done but do they have the capacity with everything else going on? If yes, then you could think about doing it in-house as a priority - even if the cost is higher than that of partnering with other developers. If no, then it may be more effective to look at outsourcing the work to some extent.

Is your internal infrastructure set up for partnerships?

Agility in the software world is key and can help create environments where partnering with service providers is easier. Without the right communications and data-sharing infrastructure, it will be a complex task to plug in new teams and can create a myriad of challenges when working with freelancers or other organizations.

If your internal infrastructure is not geared up for remote and collaborative working, you’re going to have a problem. In these instances, you need to factor in the costs of creating this environment, although the benefits can be two-fold for your business. If you can’t do this, starting in-house may be a more viable option. 

What is your budget?

Budget constraints play a major role when going into a new project. And while the face value of one option may be cheaper, you need to take into account the cost of mistakes, setbacks, and not reaching the goals you want to achieve. Besides that, the training and infrastructure costs internally can add up fast and need to be considered. 

It may seem cheaper to hire more staff but will you have work for them after this project is done? Further to that S&C says “Businesses cut down their development costs up to 50-60% when they turn to an outsourcing company”. 

Typically, there is a lesser risk and cost associated with outsourcing, as you are not bound to permanently employ developers and not responsible for the overheads associated with third parties, however, in cases where they are too far removed from your team, you are likely to incur quality control and time costs. 

Who can you outsource to?

There are many companies that offer software development services, but quality and competency are two important considerations. At Digital Grind, we’ve got an established team of digital experts who understand the software and user experience design landscape. 

For example, we recently worked on a project with Moro Hub where we built a platform with an A-grade standard of accessibility. In that instance, the infrastructure existed for us to work together as a team and the result was an exciting new platform that could help Moro grow their brand awareness and continue to evolve. Their feedback? "Digital Grind developed our company's website, and they have done an excellent job. They developed a website that was more than our expectation and it is AAA accessible. They were very cooperative and accommodating; their flexibility in amending changes to meet our different stakeholder's requests was exceptional."

So, there are definitely instances where partnering or outsourcing your development can be beneficial to you and your organization. However, considering the checklist above, you will need the right processes and environment to make this achievable and should be aware of your core competencies - and the impact that outsourcing can have on your brand and clients. 

When it’s not your game, it’s best to handoff to an all-star team. Speak to us