7 Benefits of Custom Software Development for Your Business
Kris Nicolaou, March 10, 2023
Running a modern business requires using software to streamline business processes. Business software can help automate and simplify daily workflows to improve productivity and efficiency.
While many ready-made software applications are on the market today, finding one that addresses some of your specific business needs is still challenging.
In these situations, developing custom software might be a viable option. Many businesses have turned to custom software solutions to improve their current operations. The global custom software development market reached $24.46 billion in 2021.
Keep reading to learn more about custom software development and what it can do for your business.
Custom Software Development: An Overview
As the name suggests, custom software development is designing, developing, and deploying software for a particular purpose. Developers could create custom software for specific users, functions, organizations, and businesses.
Custom software, also known as bespoke software, exists in contrast to commercial software, which caters to a broad audience. Organizations can identify specific features they need and end up with a product that addresses their specific needs.
The software development process only begins when an individual or organization identifies their requirements and decides to develop the program.
Companies and organizations could work with an in-house software development team to create the custom application or outsource to an external software development company.
Advantages of Custom Software Development for Businesses
Custom software development is growing due to its beneficial applications across various fields. It's a popular choice for businesses with precise requirements that may go unaddressed when using commercial software.
Here are seven benefits of custom software development that businesses can enjoy.
One of the main advantages of custom software development is personalization. Businesses can enjoy features specifically tailored to their needs through the final product. Customization is built through the software development process, so you can enjoy a final product ready to use.
While many businesses usually go for canned or ready-made software, these products wish to cater to a broader audience. For this reason, finding one that serves all your business needs can be challenging.
You can simplify your tech selections through custom software and use one that does all the necessary work. An experienced development team could deliver a bespoke solution that considers your company's needs and resources to the last detail.
Security is a significant issue facing companies and organizations of various sizes. In 2021, 18 percent of Canadian businesses suffered from cyber-attacks. These risks include identity theft, financial losses, and reputational damage.
Many off-the-shelf software solutions also have security features. However, they can be easier to hack compared to custom software. Due to their broad reach, more people, particularly hackers and malicious parties, know their weaknesses.
With a custom software solution, you can be more involved in each step of the development process. You can speak with software experts and ensure that your development team implements safe practices and incorporates all necessary security features into the program.
Creating bespoke software incurs high costs. You'd have to pay your development team and spend time on the project. However, with the customization, security, and convenience you get, these costs are often worth it.
Many off-the-shelf software products often have lower initial costs. However, they usually charge recurring fees on a monthly or annual basis. If you plan to use this software for a long time, these fees can add up and lead to significant expenses.
One advantage of creating custom software is it's a one-time payment. Additional costs usually only occur if you need to implement updates or software maintenance. The program is yours forever.
4. Seamless integration
You can use multiple software programs to run your business. For this reason, it's vital to ensure good integration among these programs. They need to be capable of working well together to avoid possible bottlenecks or additional work.
Developing custom software is an excellent way to ensure seamless integration among your company's software systems. You can identify software integration as one of your requirements during the development stage, which your team can accomplish.
As time passes, your business will grow or undergo operational changes. You might hire more people or change your processes altogether.
Dealing with these changes can be challenging on the software front, especially if you're using ready-made software. You may need to terminate your existing licenses and look for alternatives that cost you more.
A piece of custom software is more flexible in this regard. You can always speak with your in-house development team or outsourced company regarding possible changes you may need to make.
Your team can expand or minimize your business software as you see fit. A good development team can help you create a mobile app, add specific features, remove unnecessary ones, and many more.
This benefit eliminates the need for scouring the market for software solutions that might not be able to address all of your needs.
6. Exclusive ownership
Since the software program is made specifically for your company, you have complete control. You won't fall victim to software updates or feature changes that might not serve your business's processes.
This advantage also frees you from fees, policies, and regulations that might affect a commercial software product. The only software changes your business will experience are those you choose to implement.
7. Support and maintenance
Customer support and software maintenance are parts of a custom or commercial software product.
While many commercial software products offer decent customer support, you will still rely on another company's time and resources. This situation can prove challenging, especially for urgent and complex matters. Your company could encounter a significant software flaw affecting a major project.
Custom software with a dedicated team can help you rest easier. You have easy access to assistance when you encounter technical issues. Updates that might remove features essential to your processes won't affect your company.
Things To Consider Before Developing Custom Software
Custom software development offers businesses several significant advantages. But why aren't all companies and organizations developing their own software?
Developing custom software is a complex process. Your company must thoroughly understand and discuss the pros and cons of developing custom software before immediately jumping into it.
Here are some factors your business should consider when developing custom software.
The software development process takes time. The time necessary to complete your software project will depend on your resources and the project's requirements.
Simple software programs for smaller businesses take less time. However, the process will take longer if you own a large corporation and want a software to handle more complex operations.
Your business can opt for a commercial piece of software while your bespoke program is still under development. However, time is essential when deciding whether to develop custom software and stick with it.
Depending on your business's needs, the time you may need to wait can be worth it, especially if you'll end up with a quality and valuable product.
Custom or bespoke software is a significant investment. Aside from the time you need to accomplish the task, you will also need various resources. You must pay the people who will do the job for you and purchase or rent any necessary tools and software.
To start, you need a software development team. Depending on your business's size, you may already have one under your employ.
However, you must outsource the task if you run a smaller business without a dedicated software development team. There are custom software development companies with services available to organizations that might need them.
Aside from assembling your team, you might also need to invest in quality equipment and software necessary to develop the program. Your software development team will let you know what they need. Most external software development companies will likely already have the required tools.
Aside from having enough funds and time, it would be best to work with an experienced and knowledgeable team capable of accomplishing the task.
Depending on your business's size and resources, you may already have the people you need. An in-house software developer or development team can be a significant asset.
It can also be easier to communicate with an in-house development team, who already know your business needs. They can provide relevant feedback and suggest the requirements for the custom program.
However, you must outsource the task if you run a smaller business. This option has its merits and will help you produce a suitable software tool for business.
It's important to note that communicating your needs and building a list of requirements will take more time and effort when outsourcing. Of course, you must tell them about the nature of your business operations. Still, they are often as capable, if not more, of translating your ideas and recommendations into a working software program.
Make sure to assess your options carefully and work with a development team you trust is capable of delivering your requirements.
Deciding to develop custom software comes with certain risks, which is why a planning stage is necessary. You must first sit down with the company management and the development team to lay out all requirements and steps in the process.
Revisions are often inevitable, but minimizing them is ideal. Changing requirements and priorities during the software development process can still be doable, but it will incur additional costs and take more time.
Custom Software vs. Off-the-shelf Software
Custom software is often compared with off-the-shelf software, especially for business applications. Both types have their merits and drawbacks, which we will briefly discuss in this section.
Off-the-shelf or commercial software are programs distributed to a broad audience. These programs are readily available, sometimes with a one-time or recurring fee. Some of its main advantages include the following:
- Ease of use. You and your team can access a wealth of resources and tutorials on how to use and maximize the functionality of commercial software. These programs usually come with manuals for use, tutorials, and support forums.
- Easy access. Commercial software is easy to find. You can Google what functions or features you need and find several options. The software is ready for instant download if you can afford to pay their fees.
- Compatibility. Many pre-packaged or commercial software products are readily compatible with any device. Mac, Windows, and Linux are popular operating systems with which many commercial programs are compatible.
For many businesses, commercial software can do the job. However, custom software might be best if off-the-shelf programs cannot handle your business requirements.
You and your development team can develop custom software with features unavailable in many commercial programs. For this reason, you won't need to rely on several commercial programs to perform specific tasks. You can use just one program for most of your needs.
Communicate well with your development team to ensure your custom software solution addresses your company’s needs effectively and efficiently.
Build Custom Software Solutions To Address Business Needs
While many businesses are happy and work well with commercial software, some businesses could benefit more from custom software. A customized program tailored to your needs could be a game-changer and improve productivity and efficiency.
If you want to develop a custom software solution for your business, contact Brain Box Labs. Our team of developers can help you create a program with relevant and useful features for your business's daily operations.
Simplify processes with custom software created specifically for your business. Contact Brain Box Labs today.