Custom Software Development: How and When to Consider It

Custom software development is the process of designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining software per the demands of specific businesses, business functions, or users. Unlike commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, custom options are usually targeting specific problems, of your company. They are also meant for in-house use.

In other words, a custom software developer working on your project must ensure that they have narrowed it down to your precise requirements. Conversely, off-the-shelf software development agency creates software solutions that cater to the collective needs of businesses with similar requirements. Custom software development services are an emerging trend in the world of technology, and it is quickly making their way into mainstream businesses across the globe.

Top of 5 Benefits of Adopting Custom Software Development Solution

Understanding the benefits of custom software development for both businesses and customers will help you make the right decisions for yourself and your business.

  • Unique Targeted Solutions – Custom software is purpose-built to meet the particular requirements of individuals or groups of individuals. Unlike off-the-shelf software that takes a one-size-fits-all approach to solutions. 
  • Greater Scalability – Bespoke software can grow at the same scale your business and its software needs. Thus, developers can evaluate future needs and incorporate them into the application without the need to incur costs on additional licenses as with COTS options.
  • User Data Security – In some cases, a custom application is considered more secure than an off-the-shelf product because the security level of developed software could be adjusted to individual needs. If a hacker was to gain entry into an off-the-shelf solution, they would get all the clients’ data.
  • Easy integration – Custom software can be designed to seamlessly integrate with existing and legacy programs in your business’s software ecosystem. Thus, allowing for easier and affordable adoption and improved business productivity.
  • Complete Independence and Control – With custom software solutions, you have total ownership and control of the software. This means, your brand gets a unique and innovative product different from any competitor, with which you reserve the rights to update it or use it the way you wish.

5 Key Signs That Your Company Should Build Custom Software?

As shown, high-performing custom software can be an advantageous driver of business success. However, deciding to change should not be made lightly. Before leaping, here are the top 5 considerations to make;

#1 – Your Business Is Overwhelmed by Many Manual Processes and Paperwork

Suppose your company is losing revenue from employees spending a lot of time on numerous tasks that do not need human thought and creativity. In that case, you should consider building a custom software product. So many tasks can be automated using software, ultimately reducing human errors and increasing efficiency, productivity, and employee satisfaction. 

#2 – You’ve Outgrown Your Legacy Application:

Regularly, many businesses endure the use of outdated programs on the basis that they achieve the bare minimum of getting the job done. This however can prevent your business from evolving and reaching more, and often hinders becoming workflow efficiency and innovation. 

#3 – Your Business Is Expanding

Should your business find that it is expanding in terms of location or terms of employees or customers, then it is most certain that it will require some business process management software solution in place. Custom Software Development can help manage workflows, and integrate all data that is accessible from all locations so that your team can work with customers and other teams flawlessly.

#4 – You Need to Integrate the Programs You Work With

Does your business use a variation of different applications across different departments? Are the data silos you’d wish your current programs could eradicate? Or, for instance, do you need to connect a custom application with a tool like your CRM or accounting system? Custom software can resolve that for you, by creating APIs and system integrations that allow your most critical tools to communicate and share data. 

#5 – High Costs on Off-shelf Software Maintenance

As with most COTS, your business will have to purchase multiple products and pay multiple licensing fees in the long run. Often that comes as an extra expense, yet your business may only use a handful of the available features, and still be missing out on unique functionalities required by your team. In this instance, it is wise to consider listing the specific features your business needs and sourcing for your custom software. 

The 4 Steps to Custom Software Development

While the process of creating custom software can at times seem complicated, the steps to achieve it are rather simple. As listed, below, is a guide to help your efforts; 

Step #1 – Design:

In the beginning, you should establish the specific requirements needed for your business processes. The workflow of your business and any underlying pain points should be noted as well. At this stage, it is vital to define your current processes, expectations, and success criteria. The goal, essentially, is to capture the journey the users will complete while using the software application.

Step #2 – Build:

At this stage, your custom software developers should create a data model and code the application specific to the business that needs to be identified in the previous step. As features progress, you should have regular demonstrations of your build, to ensure that it looks and acts as it was designed to.

Step #3 – Test:

This at times referred to as User Acceptance Testing (UAT). It is an essential part of crafting the right custom software development product, where your software is tested against the specific business needs it was designed to resolve.  

Step #4 – Launch and Evolve:

From the beginning, you should have envisioned the long-term plan for how you will launch your application to your team and your customers. You could release it to a small focus group within the business, at first, then use the feedback to evolve the design before a full launch. Alternatively, you may launch and evolve to meet the needs of your business as you go along. 

How To Choose a Top Custom Software Development Company

Finding the right partner to outsource your custom software development to for your project can be a daunting process. You will need to find acceptable candidates and hire a partner that promises the right price and service level. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Experience in BOTH business and software: look for custom software development companies that are both tech-savvy and can understand your business or industry
  2. Confidence: You will want a partner that is self-assured enough to make suggestions that will help you get what you need, not just do what you ask
  3. Communication: The top custom software development partner is responsive and available to discuss specific requirements.
  4. Price: When accepting bids, you must select a partner that will best meet your needs, rather than the cheapest option.
  5. References and recommendations: Get endorsements from your business network to start. Pay extra attention to companies with a history of clients within your industry and on-time delivery. 

Conclusion

Custom Software Development has numerous benefits, the most important of which being that in the end you only pay money for the services you want to automate—nothing more. And with the rise in highly specialized services that require complex internal systems, off-the-shelf software cannot satisfy all the needs of most businesses. This leaves many businesses with no other alternative but to leverage their existing solutions and customize them with new features to help them gain multiple customization benefits without enormous cost.

If you are in the market for a team of experts to develop custom software for your business, consult our custom software development experts who have the potential to build custom software using emerging technologies, including IoT, AI, Blockchain, Web, and Mobile.