In today’s highly competitive world, being exceptional and original is the key to keeping your brand stand out in the crowd. To get ahead of the game, most business organizations had started utilizing custom software. Custom software plays an imperative role in helping businesses efficiently deliver their service and accurately fulfill their clients’ needs.
What Is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development is the process of developing software that specifically fits an organization to accommodate its preferences and expectations. It is developed to meet the company’s specific needs which may not be addressed by traditional or off-the-shelf software.
Custom Software VS Traditional or Off-The-Shelf Software
One of the most common questions for software companies is whether to build customized software or opt with traditional or off-the-shelf software. The more popular option is the traditional or off-the-shelf software which is designed for a larger audience with fundamentally similar needs. However, it does not cater to a specific group or need and often falls short in meeting specific demands.
Custom software, on the other hand, is designed with the company’s structure, branding, and implementation needs in mind. Thus, custom-designed software often only works for a particular business organization.
The Pros and Cons of Custom Software Development
One of the biggest benefits of utilizing custom software is it provides features that off-the-shelf software does not offer. Developing software with your organization’s needs at the back of your mind typically leads to a more efficient and effective solution. Here are some more benefits which you can enjoy in opting for custom software:
- Tailor-Made – With custom software, you are assured that the software being developed will fit the specific needs of your enterprise. Obtaining custom software development services from reputable service providers will result in a well-established relationship with the developer company. With this, it is easier to collaborate with the changes in your business requirement to make it more suitable for your business.
- Long-Term Investment – At first glance, many will automatically assume that developing custom software for your business is an expensive step. However, looking closely at it, it is actually a cheaper and smarter investment in the long run. With custom software, you no longer have to purchase unnecessary licenses or pay for pointless features that you will not be using. Thus, the long-term benefits it offers outweigh the various headaches of dealing with traditional software.
- Boosts Productivity – Utilizing software that specifically meets your needs often boosts your team members’ confidence in performing the tasks. As a result, this leads to an increase in efficiency and productivity level of your team.
- Security – Compared with the common and more popular options, custom software is more secure from external threats. Unlike with the commercial off-the-shelf software which is available for various users, custom software is used only within your organization. This is the reason why custom software is more secure and harder for hackers to penetrate.
- Scalability – Businesses constantly grow and that is one of the main goals of many. For rapidly growing businesses, custom software works best for them. Traditional or off-the-shelf types of software may not be able to handle various changes that may come to arise. While custom software is specifically developed with all those possible changes in mind.
Every product has its own fair share of ups and downs. The same goes for developing software. Before finalizing your decision, knowing the possible pitfalls is vital. The risks associated with custom software may vary. Here are some of it:
- High Initial Cost – Opting for customized software may require a higher initial cost than choosing traditional software for your business. It is understandable because you need to develop software that specifically fits your business and address your internal issues.
- Takes Time – Developing a system or software is not an easy process and it surely takes time. It may take a longer duration depending on the specifications and requirements needed. Thus, it does not work best for organizations looking for ready to use software for their business.
- Wrong Developer – When planning to develop customized software, it is also necessary to scrutinize the risk of hiring a wrong developer or service provider company. Obtaining custom software development services from a third-party company is not an easy choice. Picking a wrong service provider entails bigger issues and headaches in the future. A perfectly structured plan may ruin it by just this single step.
Custom Software Development Services
In picking the right service provider to create the needed software for your business, there are few considerations needed to take. These considerations are not only concerned about the price or amount of the service but the level of their service per se.
With the overwhelming variations and choices in the market, here are some tips to help you out:
- Trust and Integrity – In picking the best custom software development service provider, don’t just pick the cheapest. It is not always a question about the price and cost it may possibly incur. The most important assets in any relationship and in business are trust and integrity. That means going to a cheaper route is not always the answer. It is still best to find the most trustworthy and honest provider which you can entrust.
- Business Expertise – The next thing you need to scrutinize is the provider’s level of expertise. Find a software developer that does not only understand your business needs and goals but also equipped with the right skills in realizing those goals.
- Size Matters – Although this is not always true. While there are some competent freelancers, most often than not, bigger software companies offer better service. This is because bigger service providers are equipped with a bigger pool of talented professionals and experts to do specialized tasks. Find a service provider that is big enough to handle large projects but at the same time not too big to disregard smaller clients.
- IPR Policy – When it comes to IPR or Intellectual Property Rights, some developers may sometimes try to retain copyright to later impose licensing fees. Always make sure to take the time to review with their IPR policies and how it could possibly affect your business in the future.
- Stability – One of the most important considerations you need to take is to ensure the providers’ stability. Checking the developers’ longevity, background, and history, or past experiences are few ways to ensure the company’s level of stability. Essentially, it is best for you to look for a company with a strong long-term relationship with its clients. Always take the long view. In the end, your relationship with your developer must survive from initial consultation all the way to its implementation.
Custom software development provides you an opportunity to leverage technology and utilize it to solve specific business issues. Determining whether or not custom software works best for your business is vital. Decisions such as picking the right software to use are essential for your business in the long run.
Aileen Artiaga is a part-time writer, SMO specialist, and travel enthusiast. She is a curating content, analyzing posts performance, and delivering information to content marketing portals. She also manages her own YouTube channel.