Being a business owner are you ready to make your business automated? Do you want to have software which is specifically made to deal with the needs of your business? Well, there is an option for your personal requirements and demands.
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is the process of creating customized and personalized software for one specific organization. Custom software development is also known as bespoke software or tailor-made software process. This is the solution for those unique businesses whose needs are not being satisfied with commercial off the shelf software available in the market.
As commercial off the shelf software is generalized and developed to fulfill the demands of a wide range of customers. It is impossible for this software of the mass market to deal with the needs of every business separately and uniquely.
Custom software is developed completely on the basis of preferences and expectations of a particular customer. It helps in accommodating their requirements and requests entirely. Large organizations prefer custom software development as it helps them in all niches. Like content management, customer management, human resource management or inventory management. Every factor and feature is being made according to the requirements defined by the business owners.
Custom Software Development Pays Back:
Custom software development is for sure expensive as compared to already available options of the market in the form of off the shelf software. But it is completely worth the money in the end. As specific challenges and demands have to embark upon while creating the software, it goes over the board sometimes. However, it is not always true. If you know your business thoroughly and it’s needed then it will not cost you the price of blunders later on.
Anyhow, the cost is not the only important factor. The ownership of source code is also a very important and primary requirement before deciding to go for custom software development. The source code is very crucial because the future modifications and developments are depended on it after the installation of the software.
The commercial off the shelf software is usually released by their owners to target as many users as possible. In order to do so, they make the software compatible enough. But the customized software is made for one business’s requirements only so it is very important to upgrade it after every 2 to 4 years. Because it is not like commercial off the shelf products after all.
Factors for selection:
Well, the decision is always yours. As you are the one who has to spend the money and only you know the details of the business requirements. So it is completely in your hands. But there are some factors which play an important role in deciding either of them.
The cost of the commercial off the shelf software is not over the board and it tackles all the dimensions of purchase i.e., cost, benefit, and quality of the product. Yes, the quality is up to the mark but it is possible, those features will not be beneficial for your business demands.
The second option is expensive but there is a security of fulfilling your business demands thoroughly. And the time of production of customized software can vary as well. It is depended on the understanding of the business owners. If they don’t ask for changes on an everyday basis, then the project will end up on time.
In case of commercial off the shelf software, the providers are not available to make it custom according to your needs or make changes just for you. However, in customized software development, the main aim is to fulfill your needs and make it as personalized as possible. And your supplier will be able to provide new updates and modifications according to your new demands as well.
Time to the market:
Well, it is quite obvious that the time factor of commercial of the shelf software is better than customized ones.
Commercial off the shelf vs. custom software:
Commercial off the shelf software is actually packaged software which is available in the market for common use and its target is users with similar. For example, Microsoft Word is designed to hit the mass public and it fulfills different needs of users. And the cost of the software is divided into different users, so it is not really expensive as well.
But the custom needs of big businesses are far more important than money invested on customized software. Customized software actually takes care of the needs of these giants. And it helps the business to work to its full potential. For example, an application made for JPMorgan Chase is helpful for the only that one particular business. And different departments of the company can use it.
That software was actually designed while keeping the needs of the company’s infrastructure, branding implementation in mind. And it tackles the requirements and expectations of JPMorgan Chase thoroughly.
Customized software types:
Custom software developers can create a web application which works faultlessly across all the popular and important browsers. And it will be completely based on industry-specific solutions having web portal (B2B or B2C) for you. It will also deliver UX with a perfect and logical layout and mobile adaptation.
Custom software developers can work with iOS, Android, and windows. Developers prefer to work with a cross-platform technique. As it helps in generating more profit by targeting multiple platforms. And it can be as on top of things as the complex enterprise management solutions are. The cross-platform mobile application can help in complimenting your web applications really well.
Developers work with windows, mac, and Linux and also involve a cross-platform approach. As it helps in creating a customized application for offline work and also gives you full control over performance, efficiency, and security of your data.
Big data applications:
After focusing on high volume data processing, developers built tools to provide insights on components of your business. It will help in controlling, optimizing and traffic or stock management. It also makes customers segmentations easy and also predictive equipment maintenance.
Custom applications help in exploiting real-time data and provide responses as a result. All of the processing happens in strictly formed intervals. It works in data censoring and monitoring, advertisement, and recommendations engines and also works on fraud and spam detection.
The process of custom software development:
Here are the main steps which are involved in developing custom software which will fulfill the demands of the business thoroughly.
After having a detailed discussion with the business owner on their expectations, requirements, demands, and needs, it is the time of discussing the outline and functionalities of the software with the team of the developers.
Once the outline is prepared, creating the functional and technical specifications is the next step. And the expected functionalities of the software are also being documented here.
Design team comes in and creates the magic. Developers even provide you with functioning screens that will allow you to have an overview of your software. Through that functioning screen, you can get the idea of the look and the working of the software.
After designing and documentation every detail, it is the time of implementing the paperwork. The database and coding are started in this step and it makes the software functioning.
The software is tested thoroughly. The developers test it in all the browsers and look for all the possible bugs. All the errors are resolved here as well.
Training of the team:
Once the software is developed, proper training is provided in order to teach the team the right way of using it.
Launching of software:
After approval from the owners, it is the time of launching the software. And here the web-based software goes live.
The custom software is the solution for every immense and unique business owners. But there are some advantages and disadvantages of the process which will help you in making the decision.
Pros of custom software development:
Here are some main benefits and advantages of custom software development
Having the exact set of features in software:
Commercial off the shelf software is generic and they are developed for general needs. It cannot fulfill the demands of every particular business separately. And it is unable to provide the full set of features required for covering significant and exclusive needs of the business.
It is a very strong argument to shift on the second approach i.e., custom software development. Every giant organization has its exclusive and distinctive needs, whose solutions are not available in the form of software in the market. And it is quite common that every big business is inclined towards customized ones.
When you decide to work with a custom software development company, the very main priority of them is to find the solution to your problems. So there is security here, anything which will be produced will be completely and solely for your business. And you will become the owner of this personalized software.
All the specific range of needs of your business will be fulfilled through this software. Being the owner of the software, you will never have to change your existing business processes and habits just to match with the software. And that way you will be able to use your resources for benefit of business completely.
The potential for business improvement:
During the process of requirement elicitation, you can provide the developers with a list of your day to day issues. And that will give them comprehensive and in-depth exposure to your problems. As they are the experts of custom software development, they will generate software to solve your issues first.
And then because of their extensive experience they can offer a solution. That will lead to bringing new potential for further business improvements. For example, they can suggest some cutting edge project management technique which will work wonders for your business. And that might be something you have not even suspected but now it is doing great for your business.
Custom software developers provide you the surety that you will never be alone with the bugs or unexpected errors even after the launch of the software. These developers are always available to provide you with the solutions and instant update in case of bugs, these companies stand with their clients in all the stages of development and it does not end with launching. They provide after-sales services as well.
Advance security measures:
The commercial off the shelf software is not the most advanced software available in the market. As there is always a possibility of getting hacked. So the competitors or hackers will be able to get access to your sensitive business data easily. No business owner is looking forward to that.
Because the information being hacked will be available on the internet so anybody with that kind of knowledge will be able to use it for his benefit. Or even worse, use it against you.
So selecting the right software is very important. Custom software developers are very conscious when it comes to the security of the data. As all the business owners are in long term commitments with their clients, risking that relation is never an option. Custom developers take extra time to make the security process tight and put extra effort to alleviate security risks.
Addition of features:
If you are not sure what range of features you want in your application then you need to tell your developers that. And the custom developers will create a basic version of your custom app and let you review and use it. After using it, you can formulate a new set of requirements and which can be added easily later on.
You have to give the list of the required features afterward. And the developers will add those features and functionalities to your app just according to your inclination. And this way you will be getting a lightweight custom app which will not be overloaded with extra and not useful functionalities.
Cons of custom software development:
Here are some of the major disadvantages of custom software development
Price of software:
The most obvious disadvantage of opting custom software development approach is the high cost of the process. The implementation of unique functionalities requires extra money additionally. You will be hiring an expert team of developers, designers, managers, and engineers which will be resulting in a lot of money after all.
But you need to keep in mind that the needs of the business are far more important. And custom software is going to bring you bucks more than you have invested in the first place.
It is not just money. You have to invest resources and time in order to get the best results. You have to define your issues and problems in depth to the team of developers. And you have to be patient while figuring out what you need with the software. And sometimes, the final product changes midway. As you find a new problem or a new dimension to follow. That can lead to more time and more money also. Because the developers have to start the process all over again.
And if you are not aware and have any experience in software development then it will be an issue as well. Because now you have to spend more time on research in finding exactly what you need before hiring a team. You will need data about your needs and preferences that will lead to creating a user-friendly and easy to use the software at the end.
The danger of choosing the wrong developer:
Going for a company which will provide you an unprofessional and low-quality solution is worse than going for commercial off the shelf software. Because in this way you will be disappointed and lose your money along with your time. But in commercial off the shelf software, you will be worried just about your needs of the business.
So selecting the right team is very important. Therefore you should not rush into anything and especially not going for the first company you pass by. Spend your time on proper research and you will be saving yourself from a disaster. As you have to spend a lot of money and more importantly you need a solution to your problems, so it is very imperative that you choose the best one for your business.
When you have opted for commercial off the shelf software, nothing is in your hand. If you need some modification or update, you will not be able to get it. Because you are just one user in millions. So you have to wait for the company to make the changes on their own and whenever they choose to do so.
But if your business if your main priority and you’re dealing with a lot of clients than surely you need to go for custom software which will be made just for your business requirements. Although it is expensive it is worth spending on. Because you will be able to change it in the way you want. And if your business goes through any changes, let’s say a legal modification, then you can change your software accordingly and keeping working to your full potential.
So let us know what do you think about custom software development, is it worth spending on?