Most of the world’s big tech companies, such as Netflix, Google, Airbnb, and Amazon, owe much of their success to custom software development. The reason for this is that since they do not have to share their software with anyone else, they can protect their solution and dominate their space.
According to IBM, custom software development is the design, creation, deployment, and maintenance of software for a specific set of functions, users, or organizations.
Custom software is sometimes referred to as tailor-made or bespoke software and is used to help businesses enhance customer relations, productivity, and efficiency. On the flipside is off-the-shelf software, some examples of which may include Microsoft Windows, Oracle, or Kaspersky Antivirus.
The biggest difference is that custom software is developed for your specific business, while off-the-shelf project management software or commercial software is designed for a wide audience or for general use.
With tailor-made software, you get to dictate the software’s final feel and look and its functionality. Some of the benefits of bespoke software include:
Unlike commercial software designed to cater to the needs of a large number of businesses, bespoke solutions are customized for your business’s specifications and needs. Given that it is made with your business in mind, you can ask the developer to take into account every requirement needed for your brand to soar.
Ready-made software may have some features that could be helpful for your brand. But because it is meant to service a wide variety of businesses, it is highly unlikely it will have all the functionalities you will need to reach peak productivity. It is also easier to have the developer make custom changes during use to make the product even more effective.
Since bespoke software is custom-made for your business alone, it can be easy to scale and integrate with other business processes as the business expands. By working with custom software development companies, it becomes easier to anticipate needs and have them integrated into the software during development, upgrades, or routine maintenance. Another benefit of the software is that it can be designed to allow further modification down the road as the brand grows or evolves.
While commercial solutions may seem cheap at first glance, most come with yearly or monthly subscriptions, which can add up over time. If you are looking for software to use over the long term, your money is better spent on custom software. They may cost more due to development and deployment costs, but you will not have to pay recurring fees over the year, thus making a less expensive option overall.
Even though off-the-shelf software often looks like an easy solution. You never own the full rights to the product. You have no control over functionality, features, updates, regulations, and rules, which can be very restricting. With your custom solution, you make the rules and control everything to do with its features and functionality. Moreover, you never need to worry about the software company going bust, leaving your business stranded.
Custom software can be maintained for as long as you need it and have access to a developer. With commercial software, maintenance is taken out of your hands, and you will have to depend on the company’s schedules to maintain it. This can put the business at a disadvantage, especially at times when you need to be agile. Even worse, the company may decide to stop maintaining the software, and you may have to switch to another product which can cost money and time. With custom software, the development company can make modifications and updates at any time you need it.
Keeping your business and customer data safe is critical; therefore, you need to get the best software that is designed for safety. Since custom software is made only for your business, it is a less attractive target for hackers. Hackers prefer to target commercial software as a successful hack can work on thousands of businesses making such a venture highly profitable. Moreover, hackers will be more familiar with off-the-shelf software than your custom solution, thus making hacking attempts much more complicated.
Collaboration and communication between the different departments are critical for business success. Custom software makes it easier to integrate the various departments and have them all in sync. With bespoke solutions, the developer can design and implement the solution to ensure that departments enjoy seamless data exchange and collaboration. For instance, HR can work seamlessly with sales and accounting to determine sales and compensation for employees.
Investing in tailor-made software solutions is one of the smartest things a business could do. It is an excellent long-term investment in the future of the business that will pay off in spades. As such, it is crucial to find a partner that will support your business through the development, deployment, and maintenance of a solution that fits your needs and works to help you achieve business goals.