Are you looking to create an app that will help you in your business?
Not happy with the solutions currently present on the market?
Unsure where to start and what to expect?
Custom Software Development may be the answer you’re looking for.
What Is Custom Developed Software?
Custom Developed Software – sometimes referred to as “tailored” or “bespoke” – is software that is exclusively created for one entity, be it an enterprise or individual.
In this process, the intended user (such as a company) works hand-in-hand with the developer to create their ideal software solution.
Their involvement can vary from just giving ideas and outlines to fully immersing themselves in its progress.
However, the level of commitment will reflect in the total cost and time spent and may affect the quality of the final product.
For this reason, it’s always recommended to do your research and come in with a plan, and be open-minded to suggestions.
Custom Software is designed and developed from the ground up for the intended user, and not for public usage such as re-selling or renting.
Deciding whether to go for Custom Software Development or finding a product that’s already on the market will depend on a variety of factors.
The questions you have to ask yourself are – what is the purpose of the software, how company-specific does it have to be, and are solutions already out there?
For example, if you need an app to manage your employees, track their time and tasks, and measure their performance, you don’t need to have that custom-built.
You could go for a Cloud-based HR management software, such as AppsCo One, and it’ll easily get the job done.
But when it comes to core business functions, custom-made software is better and safer.
Advantages Of Custom Software Development VS Commercial Software
When implemented correctly, custom software can offer significant competitive advantages.
We’re talking about everything; from reducing costs, improving day-to-day operations, increasing worker productivity, providing a better customer experience, etc.
Here are some important things to consider when deciding if you’re going with Custom Software Development or Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software:
Commercial software may appear cheaper upfront.
More often than not, it’s even free to set up and offers trial periods for you to decide whether to make a purchase.
All of this is done for marketing purposes to get to try a certain product.
Developers of Commercial software know that post-implementation, it’s easy for people to get complacent with their solution.
Especially since, post-deployment, your only real obligation is paying a certain fee on an agreed-upon period.
Custom Software Development is more expensive up front, but the return on investment (ROI) is greater over time.
Once a solution is created and implemented, the only real cost you’re left with is maintenance – and you decide how it will be taken care of.
The developer can do maintenance for you, you can do it in-house if you have the means for it, or outsource it to a 3rd-party developer.
More often than not, COTS does not offer scalability.
When making commercial software, developers start with a “one size fits all” mindset to cover a wide variety of industries.
Some providers do offer scalable software specifically tailored to certain industry branches.
However, these come at a premium price because the customer base for them is low.
In Customer Software Development, you can modify and upgrade as you please.
You get a say in how your software will develop over time, as your business scales.
Since you own the software, you have leeway in negotiations for further scaling – such as implementing new features.
Again, you can choose to have the developer do it, perform it in-house, or outsource it
If you do not own the software, you may get very little say in its customization.
This includes everything from the visual side of things to the app’s functionality.
The visual changes you can make (if any) in pre-packaged software are restricted by the developer, and adding/removing features is either not possible or expensive.
With Custom Developed Software, you get a full say in how your app will look and feel.
You’ll work on designing the User Interface (UI), color schemes, sounds, animations, etc.
When it comes to built-in features, you get to pick and choose.
Don’t like the location of a certain button? Move it.
Something is outdated by industry standards? Replace it.
Users asking for a new feature? Add it.
Finally, just having your own custom software makes you look more professional, especially to your customers.
When you don’t own the software you’re using, you can’t control what happens to it.
The fate of your business may be entirely out of your hands.
If for some reason the developer is no longer able to deliver the product, you’re out of luck and have to search elsewhere.
Developer going out of business? Move on to someone else or opt for in-house solutions.
It’s not always the developer’s fault, either.
For example, there could be changes within the law or your company policy, which they aren’t obliged to adhere to.
These external circumstances can leave you with very little time to react and will cost you a lot of money.
Either way, you’ll have to look for an alternative solution.
With Custom Development Software, all of these problems are gone.
Commercial software may or may not be compatible with other work applications you use on a day-to-day basis.
This can just be a minor inconvenience that forces you to use multiple apps, or it can even create bugs within existing ones.
Custom Development Solutions are made to slot right into your everyday work software.
Hardware compatibility is also a thing to consider.
Custom software will be built from the ground up to fit into your systems.
COTS can come with bulks of data packages from serial updates, outdated code, and useless features which slow the app down and increase its size.
This can force you to purchase new hardware to host and use it, and can affect user (customer) experience.
Once downloaded and installed, a single piece of commercial software is typically ready to go.
Software that requires system-wide integration can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Depending on the project size, Custom Software Development can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
After all, it has a few steps along the way from idea to realization, mainly development and testing.
This is the only category where COTS seems to have a clear advantage over Custom Software Development.
However, when we factor in scalability, customization, and compatibility, this evens out in the long run.
When custom software is already in your hands, you can quickly deploy it to new company departments, install it on new hardware, and share it with new employees.
Once you have it, you don’t need developer permission to implement it further.
If you’re in a situation where you need to deploy a solution ASAP, you can always go for commercial software temporarily while you wait for your Custom Developed Software.
Here’s a quick table rundown of what we’ve talked about:
|Commercial Software||Custom Software Development|
|Cost||Fixed-price||High upfront cost, cheaper in the long run|
|Maintenance||Entirely dependant on the developer||Possible to maintain by developer, in-house, or by 3rd party|
|Scalability||Limited by developer options||Infinite scalability up and down|
|Customization||None or dependant on the developer||Fully customizable visually and functionally|
|Compatibility||Users responsibility||Made to measure|
|Implementation||Faster upfront||Slower initially, faster on each new deployment|
AppsCo Offers Customer Software Development Solutions
Together with software service company Boutsourcing, we offer a full stack of software services for all your business needs.
Our experienced teams will help you realize the perfect software solution for you.
We’ll guide you through the process every step of the way – from your initial idea, through development, to implementation – and provide full internal support post-deployment.