Technology

Custom Made Software Vs Off-The-Shelf Solutions

The decision to pay for custom-made software is always a tough one. While the ROI of such apps is high, their initial cost may keep business owners from making a purchase.

With off-the-shelf software being readily available to cater to the majority of your company’s needs, why would you consider a custom solution? In this article, we’ll talk about reasons for choosing custom software for a company of any size and discuss when off-the-shelf software can be the right choice.

Custom Made Software Vs Off-The-Shelf Solutions
Image credit: Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash

1.   Security

In the modern world where cybercrimes are becoming more sophisticated and costly every day, the issue of security is highly acute. Off-the-shelf programs are more vulnerable to hack attacks than custom-made software is. They are readily available in the stores for hackers to explore.

Meanwhile, the speed and quality of security updates from off-the-shelf software manufacturers can often leave much to be desired. Some software developers stop supporting their products after a while, leaving companies that use them vulnerable to attacks.

If you are working with sensitive data, it’s important to heighten security measures as much as possible. Custom software is designed specifically for your company with only a limited number of people having access to it. It also gets top-notch support. Thus, hackers have much fewer chances of getting inside your network and stealing data.

2.   Specialized Features

Off-the-shelf software is created to cater to the needs of different businesses. That’s why it may have a big number of features you never need. While it’s nice to have a choice, these unnecessary options can hinder your work speed. Your employees spend time ignoring and turning off features they don’t need.

Meanwhile, the learning curve of such programs can be higher due to these extra options. Users would have to figure out how to adjust their work to fit the program.

With custom software, it’s vice versa. The program adjusts to your work, thus lowering the learning curve and raising employee satisfaction rates.

3.   Work Automation

AI has made work automation possible. These days, routine work is delegated to the software. However, off-the-shelf programs are rarely capable of making your work easier by automation. They may help with the simplest routine but something as complex as monitoring resumes for the right candidates or setting up appointments for healthcare offices may require a personalized approach.

You can create a custom app that takes care of routine processes in the workplace. Since the software is made specifically for your needs, it can improve the output substantially. Automation can cut costs, increase employee satisfaction, and boost productivity.

4.   High-Quality Support

When it comes to customer support, off-the-shelf software loses on all fronts. Companies developing generalized apps have too much on their plates. With thousands of users requesting assistance, the quality of support usually suffers. While the cost of such help may be low, it’s often impossible to get your problem solved properly.

According to experts from a custom software development company, with custom software, you don’t just get lifetime support, you can count on fast solutions to all of your problems.

However, it’s important to remember that top-notch support comes with a price tag. It can be as high as 15% of the overall cost of the custom software.

An off-the-shelf software provider may decide to stop supporting its software as it starts developing a new one. In such a case, you lose support and endanger your data. A custom software developer provides lifetime support for its products.

5.   Growth Potential

As your company is growing and developing, it requires new software. If you are using off-the-shelf apps, the only way to obtain a new program is to buy it. Eventually, you end up with a wide variety of programs, which you have to juggle to achieve the results you need. Using numerous apps simultaneously slows down the work process and frustrates the staff.

Custom software has the potential for growth. Upon your request, the software development company can leave room for upgrades. So if you suddenly need to add new features, developers can do it. That cuts the time you spend on learning how to use new software to a minimum. Meanwhile, upgrading your custom software is likely to be less expensive than buying new off-the-shelf programs.

6.   Company Development

As your business grows, you reach a point when using off-the-shelf software isn’t productive anymore. Generalized programs are holding your company’s development back. While this may happen after years of operation for most companies, some business owners realize the potential of using custom software much earlier in the game.

The earlier you decide to take advantage of custom software, the higher development potential your company can have. Meanwhile, it can gain a competitive edge over other businesses that are trying to save money and stick to the off-the-shelf options.

7.   Financial Issues

The key reason why the majority of businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the custom software opportunity is the money issue. Custom app development can hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on the complexity of features, the number of platforms, and design quality, the prices can vary tremendously.

However, considering all of the above benefits, the ROI of custom software development is huge. Since the program offers your growth opportunities, boost your productivity, cuts the learning curve, and improves security, it can help your company outrun the competition and boost revenues substantially.

8.   Time Issues

Another downside of opting for custom software is the time it takes to create it. Depending on the complexity of the project, software development may take weeks or even months. While you are waiting for your new program, you may need to invest in off-the-shelf software.

Final Thoughts

Taking advantage of custom software has numerous benefits over using off-the-shelf programs. However, for some companies, money and time issues prevail. It’s important to evaluate your needs, goals, and budget to make the right decision for your business.

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