Whether you own a small business or a huge enterprise there’s a lot to consider before you decide to build custom software for your company. While the initial cost and time may seem a little off-putting, the number of advantages such a solution will bring can easily outweigh its flaws. Let’s have a closer look at custom-built software and analyze its ins and outs.
Bespoke Software Explained
Today, there are hundreds of commercial products that cover very specific needs of most companies within the same industry. However, those will never surpass the level of customization of bespoke software. Sometimes, it’s much more beneficial to build it from scratch. So what exactly is a custom-built solution?
No two companies are run in the same way even if they’re in the same business. They have particular needs across various levels of operations, and those needs should be targeted with tailored solutions. This is when bespoke software comes in handy. It is developed according to a customer’s requirements and is only suitable for this one lucky company.
High functionality, compatibility, no need to use other software are among the biggest benefits of such a solution. Of course, you need to hire a software development company to design the perfect technology for you and your business and this can be costly. There are strong and weak spots of both custom-built and off-the-shelf software and they should be considered before you make a final decision.
Custom-Built or Off-the-Shelf?
A lot of companies find themselves at a crossroads trying to decide whether to go for an off-the-shelf software or build one from scratch. There’s no simple or straight answer to this question. It all depends on your company’s needs. However, a custom-built solution often proves to be a better option. Nevertheless, we’ll have a look at some of the major characteristics of commercial products to help you decide.
Let’s state the obvious first – both solutions will require a certain amount of time and money and will affect your company in the next couple of years. That is why a very thorough consideration of every tiny aspect has to be involved in order not to go wrong.
There’s no doubt that off-the-shelf software is less expensive. It covers all the most popular and useful features your company may be in need of and saves you a considerable amount of time as you don’t have to put any bigger effort into processes such as development and deployment. All you need to do is to install it and it’s basically ready to use.
Experts at Miropoint explain that a commercial product has been built for a specific market niche, not necessarily for your company. It is useful and cheap; however, you may end up spending more if it doesn’t include certain essential for your business features. Also, using a few software can be a nuisance especially when they don’t come from the same development company and are not compatible with one another.
Deciding on which solution might be better for your company depends on its size, the number of employees, the complexity of your organization, your future plans for growth, and your budget. We’re not here to underestimate the off-the-shelf solutions but rather help you understand the long-term benefits custom-built software may bring. If your company has very specific and unique challenges, proceed to the next point of our discussion.
Advantages of Bespoke Software
Custom-built software is full of key benefits. There’s no doubt such a solution can bring your company peace and result in greater performance, not to mention the gains will be of a long-term nature. Let’s discover the “behind the scenes” of bespoke software.
Topnotch Solution Tailored to Your Uniqueness
Full set of features that your company will use efficiently on a daily basis is essential. By the detailed description of your business’ operations, a software developer can design a solution that will be adapted to your specific needs.
What’s more, during the development process you can find ways to optimize certain operations which will improve your productivity. In overall, it is built to suit your needs, and for your company’s best interest.
Using custom-built software gives you a much-desired advantage over your competition. Since it has been made specifically for you, it cannot be easily replicated or shared. It improves your productivity, therefore you can focus on building customer’s satisfaction, target them better, and establish long-term relationships.
We mentioned that a custom-built solution cannot be replicated, which is beneficial for one more reason – security. Such software is extremely difficult to be hacked, therefore all sensitive business data is safe. Kansas City software development company points out that security measures are of particular importance when building an app. Safety of your business is always the main priority as it is the heart of success.
Lower Long-Term Cost
Even though the initial investment is much higher compared to an off-the-shelf solution, bespoke software is an investment that will eventually pay off. Companies are often deterred by thousands of dollars that have to spent to develop their perfect technology but they are not aware of long-term benefits such as higher returns of such investment.
Talking about long-term benefits and lower final cost, we have to mention the possibility to adjust your software even after it has been built and deployed. This is one of the biggest profits for your company. You never know if you are going to need any extra features in the future, and an off-the-shelf solution does not offer a high level of customization. If you want your software to keep up with changes in your company there’s no better option than to build software from scratch.
A good development company will always provide you with extensive support. They are there for you, willing to establish a long-term relationship. Most companies support their clients not only during the process of building software but also after it has been sold. You should rely on their help in case any unwanted bugs occur. They will also update it for you regularly.
If your company is already using other software crucial to its smooth operations, a custom-built solution is a good idea as you can make it work with other technologies. Compatibility is a great benefit of bespoke software. It can be integrated in such a way you won’t have to quit using your old off-the-shelf products. A seamless integration may not always be possible but it is worth trying.
Disadvantages of Custom-Built Software
Time to flip a coin and learn about some of the biggest disadvantages of bespoke software.
High Initial Cost
Yes, we’re starting off with the obvious. The upfront cost of custom-built software is much higher compared to a commercial product. Of course, this entirely depends on whether you’re building a fully or partially customized solution but it is still very pricey. Many companies find this obstacle impossible to overcome and decide to go for an off-the-shelf solution; however, they usually end up spending more as such products are not tailored to their needs. So the real matter here is not the initial cost but an overall long-term one and the custom-built software can be much more beneficial in such terms.
It Takes More Time
Another potential disadvantage is the time needed to design a customized solution. Of course, it will be a much longer process since the software is built from scratch to meet your company’s specific requirements. If you need a quick technological solution for your business, then you can forget about bespoke software. But keep in mind that a commercial product may not fully suit your needs.
Having software developed for you implies binding with a software developer. And this can be tricky. Don’t rush, and spend some time researching the right company so that you don’t have to face any unpleasantnesses in the future. Once you choose a developer, you should also remember that you’ll have to rely on him and his service for a while. Therefore, it is better to pay a little more at the beginning and having professionals build software for you than to regret your stinginess.
Investing in custom-built software might have a couple of flaws but in overall they seem to be irrelevant compared to numerous benefits such a solution entails. It is not reserved for big enterprises only, because truly the size of the company does not matter. You can be the owner of a medium-size or small business and still find it fit for your professional activities. All that matters are your individual, maybe complex and unusual needs, that cannot be met with one commercial product.
There are, of course, a lot of aspects that need to be considered before you decide to build a product suited for your company’s requirements and this should not be done overnight. Sleep on it, analyze both the pros and cons of software development and embrace innovation in the form of a bespoke solution.