Why do 87pc of IT experts prefer custom software development
It is no surprise that most organisations rely on custom software to be a key differentiator for their business. For many enterprises, a ready-made software application is not the ideal option to enhance their business.
Around 87 percent of IT experts believe that custom software applications are the best approach for driving innovation in business technology.
Off-the-shelf software might look easy to pick, but there are certain times when these solutions are not convenient for users. In fact, the biggest problem is this type of software often lacks adaptability.
To stand out among millions of business competitors, the one thing you need is a rare application — one-size-fits-all and a pre-made mass-marketed solution that will give you the competitive edge to ace the race.
To be unique and rare, you need customisation software. In this post, we will go through what is a custom software development, and the advantages you will get from this approach. Let's dive in!
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is a procedure of designing, developing, and maintaining software for particular users or organisations with specific features as per their requirements.
In contrast to off-the-shelf software, custom software development focusses on creating a definite set of functions for the users.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf have limited and a standard set of requirements, forming it to be packaged and commercially bartered and distributed to all kinds of users.
Take the example of Microsoft Office. It has packaged commercial software products and services, which coincide with the generalised requirements of office productivity and website creation for each user.
Contrarily, for custom software, it is specifically designed to address the needs of the users. Let's take an example:
A bank needs an online banking app with a unique set of requirements for the employees and customers. Instead of choosing a generalised application, you can opt for a specific service maintenance program, particularly designed for that said bank.
Custom software development is customarily done by in-house developing teams, or through software outsourcing to a third-party.
If you think that there are different methodologies and technologies for custom development, then, let me tell you it's wrong because the procedures in customisation are the same.
The only difference is the deployment of features and functions as they alter as per the clients’ requirement. Let see how it is similar yet different from COTS (Commercial off-the-shelf).
A custom software project goes through similar steps as off-the-shelf projects, which includes:
- Code construction
- Requirements gathering
- Same development methodologies, like:
- Rapid Application Development
- Spiral Model
- Extreme Programming Methodology
However, the changes in custom software development include application customisation, modernisation, and management.
In this part, the application customisation applies to modifying COTS applications as per individual requirements while the application modernisation maintains the viability of a business’s custom software by accomplishing the evolving user and market demands.
Application management converts the software more productively by supporting assignments, including installation, upgrading, performance, optimisation, and various service department functions.
Five advantages of custom-built applications
1. Custom-made solutions:
The problem with buying off-the-shelf applications is that they might not be suitable for your business goals, although sometimes you could find perfect solutions from COTS. The chances are rare that you will get what you want from a generalised software.
So, developing a software solution individually for your organisation, means it is tailored as per the needs of your project just the way you want.
Also, while building custom software, there are several opportunities for you to optimise processes that will lead to higher productivity of your firm, which means financially more satisfying in the long run.
Flexibility ensures that the software addresses all the new modifications as per your organisation. As we know, the features of an off-the-shelf application never change, they will remain constant, but with custom development, you can manipulate them easily.
For off-the-shelf software, your enterprise needs to wait till the next update, and it might not be as you want, so it results in the waste of time and resources.
However, with custom software, the scenario is quite the opposite, here you have a team, who can make the changes as per the consideration of your requests and enhance the features for you.
An agile, adaptive, productive, and flexible team is the best for your business.
3. Easy to Operate
One of the best advantages of custom software is that they are much easier to operate as they are not complicated and have sufficient and essential features for the task.
COTS software usually has varied functionalities and features as per general requirements, and they might not be useful for your project, making the software bulky and challenging to operate.
So, custom software eases the use and increases productivity along with cost reduction because of automating repetitive tasks.
4. Improved Software Support
It is a fact that the support from a team of custom software is much better than off-the-shelf software. A dedicated development team built continuous associations between clients and each team member, unlike COTS teams.
Constant interaction among these two parties provide better problem-solving solutions and fixes the deficit more quickly than the support rendered by off-the-shelf software.
The response and resolution time you will get from the custom software development team are much faster, and it is guaranteed by service level agreements (SLAs) during contracts.
So, the control of support will be in your hands instead of the development team.
5. Competitive Advantage
Custom software is exclusively built to suit the requirements of your business. That means you can have all kinds of unique features into the system that your competitors lack.
With customised software, you can have a unique selling proposition, that means you will have a competitive advantage over your competitors.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf software is inflexible and needs to align against the processes, wherewith custom software development, you will have what you want, while you can focus on the target audience better.
Sum it up
It is great to have exceptional software that has all the features you need for your business and users, without the compilation of various applications.
Custom software development means getting the right solution that perfectly fits as per the nature of business. With a little bit of tailoring here and there and you will have your perfect match.
So, if you think that with COTS, you will find the solution that is closer to what you have foreseen, then you are wrong because customisation is the one that will help you to get what you desire.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)