In the highly competitive business world, originality and uniqueness are vital to thrive and succeed. As such, every business aims to make its processes one-of-a-kind to be able to serve its clientele and win the competition. Unfortunately, readily available apps don’t always provide advanced out-of-the-box functionality. Businesses with a diverse nature rely on custom software development to come up with an IT solution that reflects their distinct features.
Custom software, also called bespoke software, is a software developed specifically for a company designed to meet its unique needs, goals, and expectations. Unlike commercial off-the-shelf software that is available to a large audience, tailor-made software is exclusive to the client. Usually, these apps are developed from scratch and involve the clients or end-user during its planning and development.
Investing in custom software development can be a great decision as it can improve your efficiency, and propel your organization to success and growth. But this does not mean bespoke software is not faultless. It also comes with some advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s find out the pros and cons before deciding to go forward with custom software.
Disadvantages of Custom Software Development
Expensive Initial Cost
Usually, the up-front cost of custom application development can be very expensive. Bespoke apps are costly to develop because of the amount of time and effort needed to build one. It requires the use of advanced technologies. Hiring a complete team of IT professionals and developers costs way more than mass-produced solutions.
The cost of custom software development can range from $25,000 to as much as $800,000 depending on the app size, features, and technology. When compared to off-the-shelf software, the amount of custom software is indeed off-putting. However, considering the benefits of these apps, it’s definitely worthwhile.
Long Waiting Time
If you need software that can be instantly deployed, bespoke software development might not be what you need. The process of developing software does not happen overnight. Prior to actual development, you have to define your business needs and determine the exact capabilities of the final product. This would entail spending time.
Once you have the details on hand, developers require weeks or even months to design, develop, and deploy software depending on its complexity. The software goes through a tedious process of testing and evaluation before it is released to the client. Developers ensure that the end user’s preferences and needs are met.
Working With the Wrong Developer
As with any project, there is always the possibility of picking the wrong contractor. And when you do, not only will you waste time and money, but also endangers the entire operations of your business. Like other industries, the software development industry also has its share of low-quality and unprofessional providers.
With this in mind, it is vital that you spend some time researching and knowing about your prospective developers. Make sure to read contracts carefully, especially the fine prints.
Advantages of Custom Software Development
Individually Developed Application
As discussed above, custom software development results in an application that fits your requirements perfectly. Since it is tailor-made for your organization, you are sure that users will find it intuitive and useful. Instead of fitting your business processes into the existing features of an off-the-shelf solution, the software reflects your needs.
One of the best benefits of bespoke applications is that they offer better security. Commercially available applications are easily available to hackers and they can easily tinker into its security architecture. In contrast, tailor-made programs are exclusively available to your organization.
As such, hackers have no chances of breaching into your system. And since the application is uniquely used within your business, cybercriminals won’t find it rewarding. This reduces the chances of being targeted by hackers.
Better Operations, Efficiency, and ROI
When carefully planned and developed, custom software can make your organization work more efficiently by digitizing every aspect of the business. As a result, you have better-oiled operations. It should also improve revenue by cutting down on unnecessary human resources and reducing manpower hours. Better systems can give your organization a competitive advantage over your competitors.
Custom-made applications can be scaled up as your organization expands or grows. These programs can grow and develop along with your business. Meanwhile, off-the-shelf solutions often have a rigid structure that cannot cope with the growth of your business.
Usually, custom software development teams provide continuous technical support. Since the technical support has worked on the application from scratch, they have better familiarity with the software. This enables them to handle potential issues with ease.
Every business has unique requirements and needs. If you are still deciding between custom software and off-the-shelf software, hopefully, this list of pros and cons has helped you come up with an informed decision.