Whenever a business needs specific software that cannot be met by off-the-shelf software, it commissions developers to develop custom software.
In today’s competitive environment, it is essential to develop software or an application that meets specific business requirements. A custom software development project is a process by which software is conceptualized, designed, built and deployed for a specific person, a group of people or an organization.
The purpose of custom software is to meet the needs of specific users. It is considered to be more efficient than commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS). COTS targets a broader range of requirements, making it ideal for a wider audience. Off-the-shelf software is promoted and marketed so that businesses can integrate it into their day-to-day operations. A great example of an off-the-shelf solution is Microsoft Office, which can meet a wider audience’s generalized needs globally.
The needs of every business cannot be generalized, however. Specialized solutions are required for specific business processes and teams. This is where custom software development comes into play.
Why Customized Software?
Businesses can provide unique solutions to their customers with customized software. Do all unique solutions require custom software?
APIs are available for customizing or integrating off-the-shelf software solutions. As a result, certain business applications can appear unique even if they are powered by common applications.
If you’re considering developing software for your business but aren’t sure whether to use customized or off-the-shelf software, you should consider the benefits you’d like to reap and the cost you’re willing to pay. Below you’ll find enough information to help you decide which is best for you.
What makes custom software different from off-the-shelf software?
Almost every computing, business, productivity, and communications task can be handled using packaged software applications.
The following features are generally included in these packages.
Ease of use:
There is a large audience of users with fundamentally similar needs that can be served by off-the-shelf applications. Organizers of all sizes and scopes can use Microsoft Word, for example, because it offers features, functionality, and customization options.
Easy access for purchasing or downloading:
It’s possible to purchase off-the-shelf software in a store, but often it’s available online or as a cloud subscription.
There is an off-the-shelf software package for every platform your business uses, including Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux.
Microsoft Office applications, for example, can be customized to make the software work better for your team.
In spite of the wide variety of off-the-shelf software available, some organizations require specific capabilities that general software cannot provide. In this case, they may need to develop customized software. Custom software offers the following benefits:
Customized features and functions:
Whenever a developer creates a custom software product, it is tailored specifically for the commissioning organization.
A solution only for your business:
A developer would tailor the software to meet the infrastructure, branding, and implementation requirements of the commissioning company, and no other organization could access it.
Does my company need custom software?
Custom software applications are expensive and time-consuming, so you should not take them lightly. You may want to consider a custom software application if you see these signs.
1. Inefficient processes and workarounds overwhelm your employees.
You may want to consider a custom software solution if your employees deal with a lot of paperwork or have to perform multiple workarounds on a daily basis. Productivity and morale can be affected by these inefficiencies.
These are some red flags that your current system isn’t working.
The amount of paperwork, red tape, and steps required to accomplish daily tasks indicates that you need to improve.When your current solutions aren’t making your tedious tasks and processes more efficient, then something needs to change.
Your employees must perform multiple workarounds to accomplish their tasks if you’re using legacy or off-the-shelf software. For instance, can employees work with the information if they need to export the data from one internal software application and import it into another? Do they make an effort to make reports look presentable? It may be a good idea to consider custom software in such a case.
2. To make sense of your data, you need an Excel expert on staff.
Small businesses spend a lot of time and resources manipulating financial, customer, and sales data in spreadsheets. You can create quick and informative reports and charts with a custom software solution that interfaces with your data sources, such as point-of-sale systems.
With this efficiency, businesses can spend their time making decisions based on the data rather than massaging it.
3. Secure data access is essential for your outside salespeople and offsite employees.
Custom software can provide your sales team, or other on-the-road employees, with access to proprietary information you would not want to share on Slack or other cloud-based collaboration tools. Your software developer can create secure and encrypted collaboration platforms.
You can enable collaboration and prevent data breaches by displaying only the information remote employees require.
4. There are specific, proprietary processes at your company.
In a nascent industry or with an innovative product, process, or service, off-the-shelf solutions may not be available. You may be introducing new ways to do business in your organization. As an example, Uber needed custom software to be used by its drivers and customers, since the business model existed already through taxis, but the app-based process was new.
5. The company you work for is growing.
The development of a custom software application can increase customer satisfaction and retention, reduce errors, and boost sales as your company grows. The custom solution you created gives you the flexibility to add users, locations, and functionality as needed.
Nuox provides custom software development services from a team of dedicated developers who have extensive industry-specific experience.