Custom Software Development: Advantages to Stay Ahead of Competitors
Custom software development is what companies use to design, create, and deploy custom software for their employees’ specific needs or the needs of their customers. But does custom software development really offer a competitive advantage? Find out what custom software is, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it can contribute to your competitive strategy.
What Is Custom Software?
Custom software is a software solution tailored to your company’s exact needs and requirements. This is an alternative to purchasing an “off-the-shelf” software solution, which are good options for addressing common requirements but not ideal for companies with unique needs.
What Are the Advantages of Customized Software?
There are many reasons why companies need to adopt custom software, but what are the main advantages it offers? Here are five advantages your business can experience with a custom software solution.
- Personalized Solutions
The most obvious advantage of custom software is that it means investing in a product that addresses your exact needs. You won’t have to change your business approach to fit the product; the software will change to fit your strategies.
- Improved Scalability
Just because your business software meets your current needs does not mean this will always be the case. In five years, you may adopt new departments and business offerings that aren’t supported by your current solution.
Custom software can actually grow with your business. As new needs arise, you can easily add applicable functionality to your custom business software and continue to support your employees and customers.
- Tightened Security
Popular off-the-shelf products are widely distributed, which means cybercriminals know where all the kinks and holes are in the programming. As such, using these software solutions can leave your company vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Custom software development removes these threats, as cybercriminals will not be privy to the intricacies of your product.
- Increased Reliability
Your custom software is around for as long as you stay in business. This can’t be said for off-the-shelf software.
While it’s rare, your software provider may go out of business. If this does happen, you would have to scramble to find a new solution that meets your needs. But with custom software, that will never be an issue.
- Reduced Overall Cost
A lot of software solutions on the market today also require you to purchase hardware in order to operate efficiently. Additionally, purchasing off-the-shelf software often means paying for services you won’t even use.
Thanks to custom software development, you no longer have to purchase an expensive off-the-shelf solution and feel like you’re wasting money when you don’t use every feature. Current hardware is also taken into consideration when developing new software; you won’t have to purchase all-new gear to get your software to run properly.
What Are the Disadvantages of Customized Software?
Customized software may seem like the perfect fit for any business. However, there are three downsides you should consider before committing to customized software.
- More Upfront Costs
At first glance, custom software can be more expensive than off-the-shelf products because of how much time and effort it takes to get up and running. If you don’t currently have the capital to make that kind of investment, then you’re probably better off just buying software.
- Slow Startup
Software created from scratch takes a long time to complete. You’ll likely have to wait months, or even a year before you can start using the software.
- Difficult to Find Support
When you buy ready-made software, it usually comes with a team of support staff ready to assist you when something goes wrong. With custom software, having a large support system is not so common. Because of the depth of customization involved, there’s either only one software engineer or a small team that can help. And if the original designer of the program leaves your company, you may have a lot of questions left unanswered.
Amplify Your Competitive Strategy with Custom Software
To stay competitive in your industry, your business must remain versatile and flexible as new trends emerge and new services are needed. The best way to prepare yourself for any changes in your industry is by investing in custom software development.