Last updated on December 29th, 2021 at 10:04 am
Custom software development is the process of designing and building applications to meet specific needs for a specific group of people within an organization. Custom apps are relatively efficient and flexible for your needs. Though, initial cost of custom apps is high, but it benefits your business greatly in the ling-run, it is a good long-term investment that pays you off in the end.
Usually custom app is created when your business has a specific need and that cannot be addressed with off-the-shelf software. It makes businesses to go for custom software development.
In this blog, you will learn about custom software development, the difference between commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) and custom software, and how custom software can help you grow your business.
What is custom software development?
Custom means ‘specially designed for a particular person or purpose’ and custom software is created especially for a particular organization to meet its unique business-needs.
When an organization cannot address their problems with off-the-shelf software, it is always recommended to hire experienced application developers to get custom software.
Since custom software is designed specifically to perform a certain task function by a team of experienced developers, it is more expensive than out-of-the-box solutions. Building a custom solution needs a comprehensive plan and study of the specific needs of a set of users or organizations. Some example of custom solution is payment applications for banks, payment processing web applications, etc. Off-the-shelf solutions are Salesforce, HubSpot, Microsoft office, Oracle, QuickBase, etc.
You should go for custom software if there are no off-the-shelf solutions available with the certain feature set that you really need. In simple words, the features that you are looking for are very peculiar to your own organization. In today’s advancement era, there are a wide variety of platforms and technologies are available which you can choose as per your need. Some of the most popular technologies like SaaS Application Development can help you build a comprehensive and powerful solution for you.
Differences between custom software and off-the-shelf software
Standard software is ready-made software with which you can start working with it by simply installing it on your system. It is available for the mass market and usually meets the needs of the general needs of a number of organizations and as many users as possible. Therefore off the solutions include relatively more functions.
On the other hand, custom solution is a perfect fit at a much greater expense. If resolving a unique business problem with custom software will make an organization rise and shine, it’s truly worth the investment, however failure can be costly. Therefore, it is very essential to choose custom solution wisely considering all the factors that can help decide profit and loss. NodeJS Development Company can help you with building your desired product.
Does your Organization need a Custom Application?
Custom application can make a business; however, it can also break a company if you fail to look before you leap. There are two choices of a technology platform you have for your team members and customers: pre-existing software or custom-built software, both can help you simplify and streamline key tasks. Standard platforms are economical, serve generic needs and are partially customizable. On the other hand, to meet the specific needs organizations need to get developed custom software.
The decision to create a custom technology platform should be based on whether existing software is aiding or obstructing your organization’s growth.
Weigh your decision carefully
Off-the-shelf software is affordable, convenient to find and easy to implement. However, the lack of customization can hinder your business’ growth rate. In such a scenario, to improve efficiency you may invest in the building of a technology platform that would suit your exact needs.
In some cases, excellent custom software can provide your organization with an entirely new revenue stream. For example, Basecamp, an internal online project-management app that was greatly useful and many business wanted to use it.
A careful consideration is very much required to decide whether you need a custom software or not, or will it add true value to your organization? For example, an outfit store may not benefit from spending a huge amount on exclusive accounting software as existing accounting software will suffice.
Now when you have figured it out that custom software will add value to your business, you need to take care of your time line and budget. Building software can take up a long duration and cost you high and rarely develop the perfect product on your first try. Probably, there will be several iterations. If you have limited time and fund, you should give it a second thought.
You need to take care the learning curve as well. Custom software is only useful when the team members using it perfectly, so ample training is the key. Here are some questions you can answer yourself before investing in custom business software:
1. What competitive advantage I will get using custom software?
If custom business application does not provide you a clear competitive advantage, it’s a good idea to go for off-the-shelf choices. For example accounting software is always good to choose an existing solution because it’s not likely to be a differentiator instead of getting a custom solution from scratch.
Alternatively, custom software that brings benefits to your organization can be worth the investment. For example, a workflow system created for a particular business can enhance efficiency and make it more helpful to users.
2. Are my purpose and requirements specific and well-documented?
A good planning is essential for the success of any solution. Sometimes you may make the mistake of considering your end products will do well even when you lack a plan. So, having a clear solution vision is important to evade future problems.
3. Where will this project live when it’s done?
Creating software can be interesting and beneficial for your organization. It is true that you are pretty excited when you start a new project; however enthusiasm tends to go down with time, which can cause essential long-term details to be overlooked.
Answering these above questions can help you figure out the requirement of the off-the-shelf or custom software solutions better. You must make sure to consider all points well before making any decisions. Advancement in technology brings great opportunities, but you must use it wisely to ensure greater advantages.
Why should your organization choose custom software development?
Undoubtedly, custom software can offer great advantage to your business when it is designed well planned and with great consideration. It helps you meet your unique business requirements effectively. Let’s have a look how it can accelerate growth and helps your organization to stay ahead of the competition.
1. Improved efficiency through unique solutions
Today, many businesses are increasingly getting custom software development as it is precisely designed to suit your business needs perfectly. As each business has its own unique needs, therefore a unique solution is required to serve it best. Building personalized software will provide all the features and functionalities which your organization needs; it will improve the efficiency and productivity.
2. Enhanced scalability
Your organization’s needs change with its growth and time. As your business will grow, new needs will arise with that, in such a scenario, custom software helps you manage the things. A custom application can grow and adapt with your changing needs. When building your software, developers will assess your future needs and will integrate them in the application which will help you adapt with the future needs.
3. Seamless and cost-effective integration
If the standard software does not suffice for your organization, you will have to choose custom solution to work smoothly and run your existing infrastructure seamlessly leading to additional costs. Custom software can be developed to incorporate with the existing and intended applications and infrastructure. It boosts efficiency, productivity and scope of real-time conversation between various systems.
4. A great lift in your competitive edge
The best way to have an edge over your competitors is to work with custom application instead of standard programs. Custom application speeds up your work incredibly, making your system run faster, smoother and error-free. It helps make you more efficient to solve problems better than your competitors as your tech platform meets your business needs perfectly. Moreover, custom software allows you work smartly, removing outdated processes and providing you a competitive edge.
5. Hassle-free support and maintenance
When you use a tech platform, you may need the assistance to fix bugs or some updates as and when to run it smoothly. Off-the-shelf software usually doesn’t have any support assistance, while custom software comes along with great support.
Custom Software Development Services provider provides effective after-development support as they have set that reputation in the industry and posses a vast experience. Therefore, they offer a great support and maintenance facility.
Ease the Transition
Once you have decided to build a custom technology solution for your business, there are three things you can do to make the process easier:
1. Invest your resources strategically
Since building your customized solution takes up a great amount of time and money, during its development process for the time being you can work with standard software. However, you need to budget your resources and plan accordingly. So the off-the-shelf software is a quick-fix solution for you, while custom platform is your long-term goal.
2. Decide your mission-critical features
To build great software, you need to consider various factors, research well and plan your required features to be included in the application. A well planned and rich featured custom app will help you improve your productivity and grow your business. You can always add-on the latest technology platform with existing software. In the initial stages of product development, you should focus on getting a well functioning product, instead of creating out bells and whistles.
3. Form a team of experts for development
Undoubtedly, you need a great team of developers to create an excellent solution for your business. You should choose the developers carefully on the basis of their prior experience and qualification. Dedicated Software Developers can help you provide a solution that can perfectly suit all your business needs.
Building custom software involves a lot of efforts, research, time, money and of course patience. It is not something quick or easy, but custom platform greatly helps improve efficiency and productivity, increasing the revenue.
Well, you understand what custom software development is and how it can benefit your business; you need to figure out your requirements clearly for a custom application to make the most out of it.
Enterprise Software Development Solutions Company can help you find the hidden potentials of your organization and plan and build a customized solution effectively for your business. It helps you develop a great solution to boost performance of your employees and increase the revenue of your business.
Naveen Khanna is the CEO of Ebizneeds, a company renowned for its bespoke mobile app development and web development in eCommerce app development and AI App development. Delivering high-end modern solutions all over the globe, Naveen takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.