Enterprises looking to improve their business processes consider custom software solutions. Despite the ease-of-use associated with off-the-shelf software, many choose to take the custom route to address the specific requirements of their business.
If you’re also planning to invest in bespoke software, it’s important to determine whether you’re capable of developing software in-house. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of investing a ton of resources into custom software development and end up with something that fails to live up to your expectations.
The Question Of Cost
Off-the-shelf products cost less compared to custom-made software. The primary reason is that the cost of the former is distributed among a huge population of users. The cost of bespoke software, on the other hand, needs to be shouldered entirely by the individual user. This is the first factor you should consider, as not having enough money for custom software development will almost always lead to a product that doesn’t perform as well as intended.
Graham Church, Managing Director at CodeFirst, a leading custom software development company in the UK, explains that many enterprises underestimate the resources required to build custom software in-house.
Companies need to plan the initial design of the product, build the software, and then test it. This process must be repeated until the final product suits the requirements of the company. But you shouldn’t forget that custom software also entails costs for future updates, functionality enhancements, and regular maintenance.
Even if your company has the money to build custom software in-house, you should consider the availability of software developers on your team. Tapping the skills of your IT department might appear like a good start, but you need to weigh in the inefficiencies this might cause to other aspects of your business. Outsourcing can prove to be the better option if you want to leverage ready resources to start building your bespoke software with minimal downtime.
The Need For Extensive Customization
An ideal scenario for in-house software development is when you have enough resources—both money and manpower—and need extensive customization. It’s never recommended to develop bespoke software for common functionalities such as email management and file sharing. Cost-effective solutions already about for these functionalities from big names in the industry including Google and Microsoft.
It is only when off-the-shelf software isn’t modular enough to address your unique needs. There are also cases in which these products may come with a ton of unnecessary features, clogging up your systems and causing inefficiencies in the workplace. These are telltale signs that your business needs to work with software developers to create a bloat-free and optimized software.
Custom Software Development – In Summary
Custom software development is always an appealing solution as it provides a competitive advantage by giving access to features and specifications other businesses don’t have. Yet not all companies are prepared to take the leap. It’s essential to pin down the needs of your business and determine your available resources. Keep in mind that your business processes should still be at the core. Custom software must be aligned with these processes instead of the other way around.
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