Written by Scott Craig|Posted on December 16, 2022
Good software is an essential component of staying competitive in the modern business world. Whether it is in the form of a full-featured web or mobile app for your customers, internal data or security systems, or integrating developing technologies such as VR or blockchain into your business model, you’ll need software to do it.
Companies with any kind of electronic presence will need software, and it can often represent a significant investment by the business. As such, it’s important to make sure one gets the best possible returns in terms of customers, efficiency, security, scalability, etc., over the long term.
When it comes to choosing your company’s software, there are two options.
First, one can purchase an on-the-shelf software license for an existing product. Then the software can be deployed right away. However, these generic software systems may not necessarily cover all your business needs in the best way. This can result in the business working to adapt to the software, wasting time and money in the process.
The other option is to invest in custom software development. In this case, the organization works with an experienced team to design, develop, and deploy custom software according to the specific needs of the business. This can be done by contacting a development agency and outsourcing either an entire team or a few individuals to complement your existing staff. Because you work with the developers to create the solution you want, custom software has the following advantages over off-the-shelf products:
Every business differs in size, organization, goals, and practices to some degree. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all software solution ready to purchase. If you want software that has all the specific features and functionalities you need, it is best to have a unique solution crafted to meet your needs and aligns with your goals as an organization.
In the fast-paced world of business, a company will inevitably expand or change at some time. Perhaps success requires upscaling to meet demand or adopting new processes to keep up with changing market conditions.
Ideally, this ability to grow and change should be factored into a company’s software from the beginning, but off-the-shelf software packages rarely have the flexibility to do this, or they might gate additional capacity or features behind a paywall. During your company’s growth, you might find yourself moving away from the functions of the off-the-shelf software, and having to start from scratch at great expense.
With custom software, you can plan flexibility from the start by discussing your business goals with the developers. Should a rapid change be required, simply contact the same development team instead of waiting and hoping that the off-the-shelf software provider will update their product with the features you need.
Off-the-shelf software comes with a particular feature set that might not do things exactly how you want. This means that employees might need to take extra manual steps while using the software. Not only does this waste time compared to custom software that is designed to work according to your specifications, but it demotivates employees, who find themselves forced into a counter-intuitive workflow.
A commercial software package might also come with too many features or functions that you don’t need. Even if not used, this ‘bloat’ consumes computing resources, increases the potential for bugs and system conflicts, and makes it more likely that users make mistakes. A custom software solution can be crafted to do exactly what you want and streamlined to make it as efficient as possible.
At first glance, custom software development appears to be the more costly option, at least up front. However, it usually provides the most return on investment over the long term. A custom software solution remains yours and can be adjusted on your terms. You don’t know how an off-the-shelf SaaS will develop, and you may end up with recurring license fees, paying more for new features that you won’t even use, or having to buy new hardware to meet increasing system requirements.
Technology is continuously being updated, and unfortunately, when you have several different systems interacting with each other, an update for one software might break compatibility with the others, resulting in bugs and expensive downtime.
Avoid these issues by contracting an experienced team to design custom software that integrates all the functionalities and platforms that you need. Compatibility can be planned and tested from the beginning so that everything works well together.
Even the best software will run into issues from time to time, but off-the-shelf software often lacks robust customer support. When you choose custom software development, you usually come with a lifetime support guarantee and have direct access to the developers, who are best placed to solve any issues or conduct an update.
Accelone specializes in providing experienced IT professionals to create custom solutions across a range of industries as we are one of the top software development firms announced by TopDevelopers.co. To find out how our experts can help your business achieve its goals, contact us online or call us at 800.863.6814.
Kirkland, WA, USA