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Scalability in Software Development – Importance & 2 Essential Forms

Scalability in Software Development

Scalability in software development must be prioritized from the beginning of a software development process, as it leads to lower maintenance costs, better user experience, and higher agility. Although, scalability cuts across various fields, companies tend to often relate costs to scalability or even ignore its importance entirely especially at the initial launch of digital products – this should not happen when it concerns the creation and development of a software system.

While designing software has its complexities as contained in its functional requirement, scalability should however, be considered an essential component, especially when the software might be in operation on a long-term.

What is Scalability in Software Development?

Scalability in Software Development is the ability of a software system to adapt to increased demands, be it in terms of performance, maintenance, availability etc. Software Scalability is the quality of a software to maintain full functionality and remain stable while adapting to changes such as increased workload or storage capacity.

Although, it is not a necessity for every software to be scalable especially if the software in question is not expected to expand its base of operations in the future, however, if a software is expect to grow to accommodate changes such as more workload or more users, scalability should be a component of the software’s design and development process.

Guidelines for building scalable software systems.

  1. Software Requirements must be known: for a software system to be successful, the developer need to know what the goals and aim of the software are. This should cover a broad understanding of both functional and non-functional requirements if the goal is to build a piece of software that is highly scalable.
  2. Decreasing processing time: one way to implement scalability in software development is to decrease the time taken for individual work units to complete. Which means the system will be able to handle more user requests in the same amount of time. It can be done using different strategies including collocation, pooling, caching, partitioning as well as parallelization
  3. Partition: this involves breaking up a single piece of architecture like database into smaller more manageable chunks. Partitioning that single element into smaller chunks allows you to scale them out especially if that single element has become a point of contention.

Software Scalability can be done in two forms, namely:

  1. Vertical scalability:

This is also known as scaling up. This type of scalability gives room for the replacement of the least powerful components in the system with more powerful ones. Since this involves the replacement of old component with advanced ones, it may incur higher cost – that is why it not so widely used in scalable software development but it is considered the simplest.

  1. Horizontal scalability:

This type of scaling is about increasing the number of running instances of the application and load balancing between them, i.e., the software would be able to grow while maintaining stability and functionality with more infrastructure. More infrastructure could mean extra storage devices, more or a bigger server, extra CPUs – all must be compatible with the ones already in use.


Scalability in software development is essential for software such as websites and apps for businesses and organizations because there would definitely be more data or users added to the software’s database, which will reflect business growth and require seamless expansions or upgrades.

Scalability in software development is not only an important aspect of your development process but also a great deal when it comes to your business success. It doesn’t matter the size of the business – small, medium to large, your software needs to grow with your company.

The best way to get highly functional and scalable software is to entrust the task to vast companies such as PodTech. Our software development expertise cuts across mobile, web based, cloud, desktop, embedded systems and other platforms, while working diligently with our clients to help them meet growing business demands and specifications – as a company or business entity.