Whenever there comes a time for your business to modernize and transform, you might wonder whether it is worthwhile to invest in custom software. Making this step is crucial for the further growth and digital transformation of your business, which is why it requires thorough planning and deliberation. Of course, out-of-the-box solutions are much faster and cheaper to implement but custom software can provide a wide variety of benefits.
Today, we are going to take a closer look at custom software and identify its main advantages and disadvantages compared to out-of-the-box software. As always, there are many things to consider, and we are here to help you make an informed decision.
What is Custom Software?
Сustom software is a kind of software that is built from scratch to meet the requirements of the client. It is a kind of product that is put together by a professional team of developers from the ideation stage and all the way to the market launch. Unlike an off-the-shelf product that comes with a number of pre-packed features, custom software is streamlined to meet your needs and is tailored precisely to help you accomplish your business objectives.
If you feel hesitant about investing in custom-built software for your organization, we have a list of 10 major benefits of custom made software that might change your opinion. In fact, there might be many more benefits to it depending on your desired features and business goals but here are the most universal perks of investing in it.
The first and probably the most important advantage of the custom software is in its name – it is perfectly customized to the needs of the client.
The main drawback of the off-the-shelf solutions is that they may contain those features that might be either useful or completely useless depending on what you need. On the other hand, they may lack the functionality you need. And it is rather challenging to find a vendor who’d add new features on top of your bundle, so you will most likely be stuck with what you paid for.
Each business is unique, and it is unlikely that a single solution package could completely satisfy the needs of different businesses. Working with a custom software development company, you can establish a strong partnership and robust communication to convey all the requirements you have and make sure the final product is exactly what you need. More so, you can always ask a dedicated team of developers to integrate new software and add new features throughout the development process. You can adjust the development process on the go, which is where we get to the next benefit of custom development – flexibility.
Flexibility and scalability are among the most essential benefits of a partnership with a custom software development agency. Some projects take a long time to undertake, and your business objectives might shift and change along the way.
Off-the-shelf solutions are quite rigid, which is not optimal for dynamic businesses that change and evolve constantly. If you buy a pre-made solution, you might soon encounter a need to make some adjustments to it, and at this point, you will need the assistance of third-party developers.
With custom made solutions, you can make changes on the go and adjust your software to your changing needs at any given time. It is natural that your business objectives change over time, and you can make all the necessary adjustments to your custom software while the development process goes on. More so, a good quality code accounts for your future needs leaving space for growth and further changes.
Easy Adoption and Compatibility
Adopting a new software should be easy for the users, which is not always the case with pre-built solutions. It is not to say that off-the-shelf solutions are crude or inconvenient, but they often lack that human touch. Custom software is made specifically to your taste and the taste of your target audience, it is tailored to their preferences based on the market research, it is easy to adopt, and it is compatible with all the devices you want.
The ease of adoption might be especially crucial for enterprise-specific software. Let’s say most of your employees are not familiar with any sort of enterprise software, and then, all of a sudden, they have to use this new high-tech mumbo-jumbo just to live through the working day. The adoption of new software can leave your employees all dazed and confused.
If your employees are used to working with the old system, it makes sense to make the new one look and feel similar to the old one. Unlike the off-the-shelf solutions most of which come in a single pre-designed variant, custom software can be adjusted to your users’ liking.
Reasonable Investment with Long-Term Return
Building a new software that is meant to help you meet your business objectives is going to be an important investment that can propel your business to new heights and give you a competitive edge in the long run. At this point, you might be looking at two different options:
- Invest in a relatively cheap pre-existing solution that packs a set of features that might be useful for your business. This is a plug-and-go solution that is ready for use straight away.
- Go for a more expensive option and hire a team of software developers who will create a solution for your company. This process will take a few months, so you’ll have to stick with your current software for a little while.
The choice might seem too obvious for some decision-makers out there – just purchase a pre-made solution and give it a go. But what if it lacks some features that are crucial for your daily operations? Well, you can compromise a bit and adapt to the new conditions, or you can hire a team of developers and they will integrate the missing features into your ecosystem. And then, if you experience any issues with your package, you’ll have to wait for the official patches from the publisher.
Over the years the cost of maintaining such software and throwing new add-ons on top of it might pile up and amount to a rather hefty price. At this point, the idea of going for a more expensive option and saving money, in the long run, starts to seem to be much better.
With custom software, you make a long-term investment in the stable functioning of your IT ecosystem. Bespoke software is a one-time expense, and most importantly, the final product will be owned by you and will be catered to your needs. It is a wise investment if you want a unique product that serves your interests only and matches your needs precisely.
Implementation and Integration
Off-the-shelf solutions are arguably rather easy to implement and integrate into the existing ecosystem. Sure, it does not take much time and effort to just install all the software and go with it. However, one important thing most people omit is that pre-built solutions may not be optimized for your ecosystem.
The one-size-fits-all approach does not always work perfectly when it comes to software either, which is exactly why bespoke software might be a better option. When integrating the off-the-shelf software, you may run into a whole bunch of unforeseen problems caused by incompatibility with a legacy system.
With custom software, developers will know exactly what kind of system they are dealing with, and they will literally tailor the new software to sit perfectly with your legacy system.
The key to success is continuous growth, and every business ultimately strives to grow and evolve into something bigger and better. As time passes and your business grows, so do your needs, and it is critical to have software that accounts for your growth needs.
At Intersog, we make sure the software we develop for our clients is built using frameworks that support expansion. Custom software offers a level of scalability that is rarely possible with pre-built solutions. You can start a lasting partnership with a trusty vendor and you will have a development team ready to expand the capabilities of your software whenever you need it.
Security is one of the most essential aspects to take care of when developing and integrating any kind of software. You just cannot overlook security when trying to achieve digital transformation. When you partner with reliable software developers, you can be sure your software is totally safe from any kind of malware. Bespoke software developed by reliable developers will be imbued with numerous contingencies so that your system is safe at all times.
Pluggable solutions, though having certain security features, are more susceptible to attacks. The problem is that anyone can get access to that kind of software, study it, and find flaws in it. Fraudsters can then use that knowledge against the software users.
Thanks to the accessibility of the market-ready solutions, many organizations in the same market niche end up using the same thing, which means they have a similar set of advantages and drawbacks. Lots of things can be said when it comes to custom software advantages and disadvantages, but if there’s one thing you cannot take away from it it’s that it is unique for every company.
If you know exactly what you need, you can leverage your software in such a way as to gain a strong edge over your competitors. You do not need to stick to the same software as other players in your market niche – you will get your own unique product that is going to give you unique benefits.
Support and Maintenance
Last but not least, you can count on continuous support and maintenance of your software by a team of experts. Support and maintenance services encompass possible bug fixing as well as timely updates of your software. When you purchase a ready solution, you can rarely count on such benefits.
Talking about custom made software advantages, you have more control over the bug fixing process and request maintenance works at any time. With pre-made solutions, you will have to wait until the software owner decides to roll out patches and fix the bugs. Most importantly, your development team will be here to fix any possible bugs without any delays. In case anything goes wrong, your support team will be swift to react and fix the problems.
Disadvantages of Custom Solutions
True, custom software might be more expensive than pre-made solutions, which might be a pivotal factor for some companies. Additionally, it takes much more time to implement. Nonetheless, it is a reasonable choice if you value freedom and want to express the unique characteristics of your business via your software.
Loger Development Cycle
Developing software from scratch would take much longer than buying it off the shelf. The development process might take months, which is not ideal if you are tight on that deadline.
Higher Upfront Payment
Developing a custom software requires an immediate investment of a significant amount of money. However, one of the benefits of custom software is that it is a one-time investment rather than a subscription-based agreement that might drain your budget even more over a longer period of time.
More Developers Involved
Developing a complex software solution requires the involvement of a large number of developers, which might be an issue from the managerial perspective. You will have to deal with an entire team of developers, manage their performance, and keep an eye on the project over the months of the development cycle.
How to Get Perfect Custom Software?
Custom software is made to your needs, so you must have a specific goal and specific functionality in mind. Sometimes, though, you might need some external assistance to define the perfect functionality for your product and identify the scope of development, and for that reason, you might want to consult with the experts who’d help you figure out your project specs. After you’ve got your ideas and requirements figured out, you can communicate them to the team of developers and they create solutions that correspond to your vision and compliments your digital transformation.
Intersog offers custom development services to meet your specific requirements and guarantees the superb quality of each solution.