Why Your Business Needs a Custom Software and How You Can Build One!

August 2, 2021 |
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A successful business requires offering top of the line service to your customers and it can only be accomplished through finding the best possible solutions. Does your business need a custom software solution? You may not think so. In which case, you need to reconsider.

Everybody needs a website nowadays. If your business does not have a website yet, questions may arise if the business actually exists. You can, of course, use a ready-made template and make some changes to make it look like your own. But it will never truly be your own, will it?

Building a custom software provides an individual way to be original, standing out in the pool. Off-the-shelf solutions are cheaper, but might not be the best decision for your business as it provides limited customizability and relatively lower user experience.

Before we get started on why you should consider custom software development, let’s get a little clearer on what it really means. A custom software is a software built to solve a specific problem for a specific organization. Microsoft Office is a commercial off-the-shelf software. An inventory manager that tracks daily sales and supplies of a local departmental store is a custom software. They are personalized for your business with the requirements you provide to the developers.

Custom software will meet the needs and requirements specific to your business. When you work with a custom software development team, they will listen to your problem, understand your requirements and design specifications according to your very individual needs. A custom software will enable you to implement features your competitors don’t have, making your services more efficient and preferable to your target customers.

It’ll also mean your new software can be better integrated with your existing system. Especially if you use different softwares to manage all the departments within your company, a custom software can help you bring all of their processes and APIs into one single platform, working like a ‘home base’ for your whole company management.

It can massively improve the level of productivity and efficiency in your business and provide more functional features for your users.

Custom solutions are more cost-effective than you think. Especially in the long-term. On the surface, off-the-shelf solutions look cheaper than custom softwares for obvious reasons. But if you think a little further, you will see that the benefits that come with the extra investment make it worth the money.

First of all, when you use a template, there will be some functionalities that your business doesn’t need. But you will have to pay for them anyway. When you develop a custom software, you will pay for only what you need and want. Nothing extra.

And secondly, the monthly or yearly licensing fee of a template might look cheaper off the bat. But if you plan to use it for years, the cumulative cost might even be higher than what you need to pay at once for a custom software development. Moreover, if you want to add new features in the future, it’ll mean paying even higher licensing fees every month. And of course, the owner of the template can increase licensing prices any time. Building a custom software for your company is a long-term investment whereas using a ready-made template is just a temporary solution.

And there’s the other thing. Although custom softwares are not meant for resale, depending on the terms and conditions of the software development, you might be able to sell your custom-built software to other organisations. Which means even more profitability.

A custom software will give you freedom to create whatever solution you have in mind. Whereas an off-the-shelf solution will make you fit your solution within a box.

Digital tools are supposed to assist you and your vision. Not the other way around. A business, to truly show off its essence, needs a website that will be completely in tune with its brand, its functionality and its offerings. Custom softwares are built on narrowly-defined, specific requirements. Building a custom software will make your website look and feel different from others in your industry, adding to your brand identity way more than just different colors on the same template.

With a ready-made solution, it often comes down to compromising here and there to make your vision go along with the template. At the end, you may come down with something entirely different from what you expected. A custom software will let you pick and choose every detail, every function. Making it represent your true vision for the business. It’ll be the face of your brand in the digital world. Humans like individuality and personalized branding in a business. A custom software will certainly stand out from the templated ones.
Custom softwares are flexible and efficient. Whatever feature you want to change, you can do it when you create a custom software. Which means your website can always stay up-to-date with your preferences as well as changes in your market. And they are particularly designed to make your specific processes swifter and more efficient.

As businesses grow, so do their software requirements. Which means adding extra functionality. While an off-the-shelf solution may not provide that amount of customizability, a good development team will. They will assess your future needs as a part of requirement gathering and understand your changing needs to make the necessary adjustments. If you want to focus on your long-term goals and the sustainability of your business, a custom software is definitely the better option because it’s an investment that’ll serve almost a lifetime.

And, they are safer too. Custom softwares are much less likely to be hacked for various reasons. Which means better protection of your and your clients’ data. Using your website means providing data and information about themselves for the clients. And you surely don’t want that data to be stolen and used by someone else for loyalty’s sake.

Off-the-shelf solutions are hacked more often because hacking one solution will mean access to many companies’ data. Whereas hacking a custom solution is not easy. Because hackers don’t have any prior knowledge of how the software is built from scratch. And it’s unlikely for them to spend so much time and effort on only one company’s data.

You get better maintenance and support with custom software development. Developing a software from scratch will mean you get a dedicated team for your software. They will help you with any technical needs and difficulties throughout every step of the design and development. And sometimes, they may even help you with operating the website from the admin panel.

An off-the-shelf solution doesn’t provide such quick and customized support. And the support team may decide to discontinue the support any time they want. Whereas with custom development, you get immediate support for a lifetime.

Of course, every business is different. And even if custom software development is generally the preferable choice, you may want to calculate your costs and project your benefits before making the decision whether to build a custom software or just buy a ready-made one. There are a lot of pros and cons to consider. But once you have fixed your mind on making the leap, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Collaboration is key. You need to make sure that sponsors, users, developers and even customers work together and provide their input on the requirements, share knowledge and work seamlessly across teams to ensure quality.
  • One of the most important parts of custom software development is the requirements. Your requirements should very clearly define what your software needs and doesn’t need to include. The more complete, clear and consistent your requirements are, the faster and better your software will be built. Don’t hesitate to revise it multiple times before making the final version.
  • Now that your requirements are defined, you need to invest into a mature and modern methodology of development. There are a few to consider, such as Agile, DevOps, Rapid application development and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Research on them, discuss the pros and cons with the company you are outsourcing to and pick the methodology that suits your project best.
And that’s about it. Soon your custom software will be ready and deployed. But even after the development is done, it’ll require maintenance and management. You might want to test, manage and maintain your application yourself. Or you can outsource it to an application services provider. Even better if it’s with the same organization that developed your application.

Application services include development, support for enterprise applications, quality and testing services and application lifecycle management. They are found to reduce costs and optimize efficiency of the software. Which means, your software is set up for success and you don’t need to worry about its maintenance at all. Fun, right?

Are you interested in custom software development? Know all the details by giving us a call!

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