There are certain situations where off-the-shelf software isn’t going to work for a business. Yes, it might be faster and easier to use something already made, but if it doesn’t meet your needs or handle what you need it to, then it’s essentially wasted money. In addition to not addressing needs, off-the-shelf software can lead to problems in security and compliance.
There are thousands of applications and types of software out there, but still, businesses often prefer custom options.
The following are some things to know and reasons a company might need custom software development.
Your Business Is Inefficient
When your business is doing a lot of things manually, there’ a lot of paperwork floating around or you feel like things are moving along in a generally inefficient way, it may mean you need a custom software solution. This could be a specific instance where a customized collaboration software platform might work well for you. This could allow you to automate processes and how your employees work together, eliminating paper, and also improving efficiency.
Thiswas touched on above, but security can be one of the main reasons a business or organization might think about custom software development. Custom software is more secure than an off-the-shelf product. When you have software developed specifically for your company, it reduces the risk of external hacking.
This is because most hacking situations are directed at softwarethat’s frequently used.
A custom software option is much harder to attack and breach, so it’s not something hackers tend to favor.
If you’re a business that needs a high level of security or has certain compliance or regulatory requirements, you may need the level of security afforded by a custom solution.
Preparing to Sell
If a business owner is preparing to sell, it may be a good time to think about custom software. This is because custom software solutions can standardize certain processes, and it can make a change in ownership smoother and more streamlined. That will be appealing to more buyers. Another situation where you might think about custom software is if you’re going to be growing your business. Custom software can allow for the consistency you need during an expansion, as well as improved communication.
When a business has certain components of their base of operations that they must maintain, this can mean they require custom software to ensure they’re able to remain compatible. For example, if a company has certain database requirements, they may need a level of compatability they won’t get from an already-built, off-the-shelf software solution.
When you use an off-the-shelf solution with your existing systems, it increases the chance of errors, which is going to reduce productivity and efficiency. When you go custom, you can make sure it fits neatly within your existing ecosystem without the risk of errors.
The idea of scalability can go along with expansion. There are a lot of situations where a business will start out using an off-the-shelf solution, and then over time it no longer offers what they need, or perhaps the licensing becomes extremely expensive. A custom solution can be more scalable to the processes of the business, and you don’t face limitations because of your software when you develop your own platform.
Custom software can eliminate barriers you would otherwise face, and it can help you gain a competitive advantage.
Avoiding New Hardware Purchases
A lot of times if a business purchases a pre-made software product, they will have to put more toward the upfront costs and invest in hardware as well to ensure it works properly and efficiently. On the other hand, if you design custom software, then it can be made so that it fits within your current hardware, saving you money. The custom software is built around your business rather than the other way around.
Similarly, along with the hardware, custom software can be built around the current knowledge and capabilities of employees. This will allow for faster adoption by employees because it will feel more familiar to them.
Finally, you’re also designing with the features you need rather than all the extra features that might come with ready-made software. This is good because it doesn’t leave employees scrambling and trying to understand how to interact with a lot of unneeded features that just add bloat to the organization. They can focus on what’s most relevant, and get straight to the core of what the software is intended to do.