With the rapid technological development, companies need more complex and diverse tech solutions to escalate their efficiency and stay competitive. Off-the-shelf solutions that can be bought and customized to some extent are no longer enough to solve business issues and meet the evolving needs of customers. Thus, companies today choose to invest in custom software development and address their unique business challenges to their core. It is an excellent approach to the business as it can help companies increase capabilities, improve workflow and stay flexible to future technological advancements. There are many benefits your company can get from building customized software. However, you should know when it is a smart idea to invest in it, as custom software does not certainly come cheap.
What is a custom software development?
Custom software development is building software applications for a specific user group to perform certain tasks within the company or organization. Custom software, also known as tailor-made or bespoke differs from the readily available, off-the-shelf software. It is fully aligned with the business’s processes and needs and solves the specific issues the company has. One cannot purchase readily available custom software. Companies develop it either in the in-house development team or through third-party companies or vendors. It is superior to the standard software, as it addresses the specific needs of the users’ better.
Why should you invest in custom software development?
There are many reasons to develop custom software instead of buying the standard solution. Here are some of the main advantages that your company can gain from it.
It is one of the clear-cut benefits of bespoke software. When you build custom software, your company owns it, meaning that the company owners and stakeholders have full access and ownership of the IP. Unlike it, when you purchase standard software, you depend on the company that sells it. If they decide to change its features, price, or conditions of usage, your business does not get a say. You have to either go with the changes and adapt or search for other providers. There might even be the case when the development company goes bankrupt or decides to stop the maintenance and updates. In such a case, you will have to change the software in the condition of crisis. These are all unpleasant situations that can damage your financial stability. Custom software development service solves all these issues. Once the development company you hire completes the project, you do not expect any surprises from them. Ownership also gives you the possibility to modify, remove or add features as your business model changes.
Another benefit of custom software development is personalization. Standard software is for wide usage. Developers create it to suit the needs of many companies that might have similar business issues as you have, to gain more clients. However, when it comes to software, it is hardly possible to create a solution that fits all. Therefore, companies that go with the off-the-shelf product have to settle for the features that it offers.
While such software might have features you use, it is doubtful that it will have all the features you need to reach the maximum efficiency and productivity. Bespoke software is designed specifically for you. You can build it in a way, that it includes all the features you need in processes, and follows your workflow. It offers a targeted solution that fits the exact specifications and needs your business has.
Integration with other software
When you use any types of software for your business, at some point, you will need to enhance its capabilities. Custom software allows easy integration of other business systems to your app. In standard solutions, you cannot expect the integration to go as smoothly as you would like to, which can create further issues. Bespoke software can help you integrate other business systems into your app seamlessly and painlessly without any compatibility issues whatsoever. It can save you a lot of time, as well as effort.
Another vital advantage of custom software development is its scalability. When you hire a company to create a tailor-made software for you, you can communicate not only present needs but also anticipate the future ones as well. This way, you can have software that is relevant to your business needs, processes and size not only today but tomorrow too.
Even if you do not consider it during the development phase, you can always scale up the software. Scalability gives you an option to change the size and complexity of the software as your business grows and flourishes. It is the reason why companies that expect to grow and be successful always choose to invest in custom software.
Cost-effectiveness in the long term
The first thing that comes to many people’s mind when talking about bespoke software is the high costs. Indeed, developing tailor-made software is not cheap. The cost of custom software development can run up to tens of thousands of dollars and more. Compared to the inexpensive, standard software, it might seem unreasonably costly and risky. However, when comparing these two options, people do not usually consider the additional costs of the packaged software. When you factor in all the costs, such as licensing, training, buying supplementary solutions for the features that the software is missing, you will see that even standard software is not cheap.
Compared to it, custom software proves to be more cost-effective in the long run. Yes, you pay a sizeable amount of money on the development and maintenance, but you get a software that suits your needs just perfectly. It can save your company a lot of time, effort and hassle.
For many companies, one of the main benefits of custom software development remains to be enhanced security. Usually, businesses that invest in bespoke software make sure that it has high-end security. It gives you the possibility to dictate how secure you want it to be.
When is investing in custom software development a smart idea?
Now you have an answer to why is it better to go with custom software development, rather than getting readily available one. But is it always a smart idea to invest in custom software? While it is always better to have a custom software, in some cases, it might not be financially beneficial or ideal solution for you. Here are four main circumstances when you should go with the custom software.
You have a unique problem
Companies do not develop custom software just for the sake of having one. They do so to solve their business issues and problems, or to deal with the challenges better. Based on what kind of problem you want to solve, it might, or might not be a smart idea to invest in custom software. Usually, companies have two types of problems: common and unique ones.
If your company has a problem that is common in the industry it is operating in, there is a high chance that someone has already created a solution you can buy. For example, let’s say you want to track your employee’s day-offs. You can assume that you are not the only company with a similar issue. By just googling solution to this, you can find tens of readily available platforms that you can use immediately. For this kind of generic problems, it does not make sense to invest in custom software. However, you can always make a custom software with more complex features in the future.
Unique issues, however, demand a more complex approach. You cannot find the solution that satisfies all the needs of your business unless you build bespoke one. In such cases, custom software can be the best solution because of the benefits it comes with.
Your business is expanding
At some level, your company might use one or two readily available software. But, if your business is transferring to a new level, expands the service and activities area, and so on, it makes sense to invest in custom software. It ensures that you will keep being at the top of your productivity, while, the company grows and technologies are changing thanks to the flexibility and scalability, custom software provides.
The system you use is outdated
As technologies are changing, you might need to update the old system to keep the same level of efficiency, or even increase it more. At the same time, you might introduce new products or ways of working in your business, change the workflow or add some steps to the process. It might require changes in the system or even adding new features. Besides, your system might be outdated compared to the software other companies use today. In such cases, the update is necessary.
Your business needs are changing
Custom software development is a great option for you if your business needs are changing. At that point, you will need new tools to respond to the changes and seamlessly implement them, without negatively affecting productivity and efficiency.
The bottom line
For companies willing to have software that perfectly aligns with their workflow and processes and fits their business needs, custom software is the best choice. You can enjoy all the benefits of custom software development and increase your effectiveness.
Are you unsure if custom software development is the right choice for your business? Contact us for a free consultation! Our consultants will help you find the right solution and provide free estimation!