In this present competitive age, it is very important to develop an application or software that can meet particular requirements and ensure the survival of a business. Custom software development refers to the process of forming a concept, designing, creating and deploying software for a particular group of individuals or any specific individual, as a third party arrangement or within an organization.
Custom software is created for addressing specific requirements of users and is regarded as more efficient as compared to COTS (commercial off-the-shelf software). A COTS program is perfect for a wider audience, given that it targets a broader set of needs. Off-the-shelf software applications are designed and created for businesses to be implemented in daily business operations.
Off-the-shelf software is widely promoted and marketed for various businesses. Microsoft Office is one of the best instances of this type of software solution, as it can satisfy the generalized requirements of a wider audience at an international level.
However, the needs of every business out there cannot be generalized. Specific teams and business processes have a particular set of requirements that need specialized solutions. Due to this reason, custom software development is required. For instance, the industry-specific online commerce software or the course module portals created for students are customized software suits and can ensure a seamless experience.
Custom Software Vs Off-the-shelf Software – What are the Differences?
For all those enterprises in need of powerful software solutions, the question always arises – whether to buy or to build. Off-the-shelf software can be used right from the moment it is installed on a computer or device. Custom software, on the other hand, is designed and created to satisfy particular requirements.
There is a huge gap in performance, usability and functionalities between these technologies. There are advantages and disadvantages of each type of technology. These are some of the major points of differences:
With each passing day, programming is becoming easier. Gone are the days when coders had to spend many weeks running lines of programs. These days, students are trained in programming at the level of high school and more code snippets from the open-source are being made available readily – to satisfy any functionality.
IDEs offer intuitive dragon drop interfaces, which can help in the creation of extremely sophisticated applications, with no need to write the program. Even with basic programming knowledge, it is possible to make the necessary customizations fast.
Although programming has become easier, it does not mean that software development has become very easy as well. Programming is just a single aspect of the entire process of software development. In the development process, upgrades, testing, UI / UX design, requirement gathering etc are some of the other important stages – for which skilled and experienced resources are required. However, custom software development appears to be a manageable proposition – although a high level of skills is needed.
But the process and activities associated with custom software development can distract business owners from their main point of focus. There could be an impact on the efficiency of the internal IT team, which might already be involved in everyday development tasks and maintenance activities.
With the help of customized software, businesses might have to deal with the disadvantages until the resolution of the problems and this is how a software application becomes more polished and reaches its full potential. With the application of off-the-shelf software, it is possible for business owners to learn from the errors of others.
Also, the main focus of developers of off-the-shelf software is the software only and they make use of other best practices and dynamic processes for the software development purpose. Developers also update themselves continuously about upcoming technologies, in order to stay competitive. Naturally, before the development of Off-the-shelf software, it is widely tested in order to remove the flaws.
The purchase of off-the-shelf software is not quite easy. There is still the need for an enterprise to carry out requirement gathering, in order to come across the right software product. Even off-the-shelf software programs have to be evaluated properly for ease of use, compatibility with various devices, necessary infrastructure and UX design. Also, it is impossible to scale this kind of a software solution with the expansion of your business, because you are not the owner of the application.
These days, it is important to be very competitive with Data analytics and businesses need seamless software integration with other enterprise level applications. As far as the integration potential is concerned, it might not be possible to smoothly integrate off-the-shelf software with other software applications.
The extra time and investment in custom software development can be useful, given that it can be developed and designed in order to allow smooth integration. The existing system can be considered by a software developer while preparing the layout for the new software development project and to make sure that the new application seamlessly functions in the existing IT ecosystem.
While you consider the use of technology for your enterprise, scalability is among the important factors to take in consideration. The software application that you need for your business needs to be quite scalable, in order to match your existing as well as future needs. With the expansion of your enterprise, you might need to add new functionalities and features.
Naturally, it is important to be scalable with your software development process. You need a software application that is scalable according to the growing needs of your business. You cannot get this benefit with Off-the-shelf software.
You can get flawless customer support with off-the-shelf software. Sometimes, however, these do not get updated for long. Due to this reason, you might be forced to work with a product that is outdated. It can affect your business negatively.
With the help of custom software, you can make any change that you require, at any time that you wish. You have the responsibility to make decisions about new features and upgrades while building this type of software application. There is no need for you to wait for new versions of the software in order to enjoy new features and functionalities. In case you require a specialized software application, to satisfy your particular business needs, then you can find the best solution in custom software development.
Custom Software Development – What are the Advantages and Disadvantages?
When it comes to custom software development, there are quite a few pros and cons:
· Specific solutions – First and foremost, you can get specific solutions to your particular requirements. There are some specific types of operations associated with each business and custom software happens to be the most ideal solution for their requirements. This kind of an application is conceptualized to satisfy the specific requirements of one or more individuals in an organization. It can also give a boost to productivity, because it is possible to get exactly what you want from your application. You can manage to get a competitive advantage.
· Security – At the core of any business or software, there is security. No individual or organization likes to have an application that can be compromised easily in terms of security. With a custom software program, security risks can be reduced as you can add numerous security measures according to your wish. There is no need for you to depend on the limited number of security features of an off-the-shelf software product.
· Easy integration – When custom software is used, it is possible to integrate it easily with existing programs and software applications in your business. You can get your software designed to be integrated seamlessly and adopted easily, to give a boost to your business productivity.
· Freedom of control and use – When you use this type of an application, you can get the liberty to use and update the program and get full control over the same. As an owner of a custom software program, you have complete rights to get it updated and use it as you like.
There are some disadvantages involved with custom software development as well:
· High development cost – Custom software development expense is comparatively high for businesses, while the expenses for off-the-shelf software solutions are reduced by the market. Custom software also becomes more expensive due to the cost of support and maintenance involved. However, once custom software is implemented, its functionality makes the expense appear worthwhile.
· Creation process is highly time-consuming – The development of a full-fledged custom software program is very time consuming, given that business requirements might not appear to be quite clear at all times. Plenty of time is required for analysis and research and in order to be clear about all the requirements from the software program.
· Choosing a bad developer / vendor – In most industries today, the risk of working with the wrong company or person is a common problem and it is not just for software development. You can end up wasting a lot of money and time if you choose the wrong vendor.
It is important to compare and contrast before you choose a development company for your custom software development purpose. That way, you will not have to waste time and money to keep yourself protected from losses in the future.
DreamzTech is an award-winning 12+ years leading custom software development company in USA with expertise in New Age Technologies such as IoT, Blockchain, Enterprise Mobility, Progressive Web App Platform, Cloud Apps & Security, Data Analytics, Augmented Reality & Custom Web design & development. DreamzTech is Registered IBM & Amazon partner and recognized by Deloitte as one the fastest growing company in APAC and India. DreamzTech offices are located in USA, UK, India & Singapore with client presence worldwide & the USA division has the office in Arizona and is one of the most promising IT and consulting services company worldwide. Today DreamzTech USA runs with a team of architects, developers, programmers and marketing professionals to deliver New Age Technology services. We are a team of highly skilled and efficient software engineers working in the service and product Industry to help enterprises transform their legacy systems through strategic consulting, and solutions, including those in mobility and cloud computing. Our services also include branding, website development, eCommerce and enterprise software development.