When it comes to digital transformation, we used to think about purchasing an off-the-shelf right away. Of course, nothing’s wrong with that, especially when there are so many tools available. Yet, the application is made for general use, which might lack advanced abilities to solve a business’s unique challenge. This has urged many companies to opt for a different approach: custom software development.
- What Is Custom Software Development?
- The Difference Between Custom And Commercial Off-the-shelf Software
- Why Would A Business Use Bespoke Software?
- Is There Any Limitation Of Custom Software Development?
- Types of Custom-Made Software
- 4 Best Cases To Leverage Custom Software
- The Process Of Building Your Software
- Tips For A Successful Custom Software Development Project
- Synodus – Bespoke Software Development in APAC
- Wrapping Up
What Is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development, also known as bespoke software, is the process of developing a software solution to a specific need, and it encompasses all stages of the software development lifecycle, from conception to planning, development, testing, deployment, maintenance, and new versions. It is created, either in-house or by a third-party software development business, to address the demands of a certain group of consumers.
Based on the definition, there are 2 ways you can adopt software customization. One is to build applications for internal use. These tools automate a process or replace humans to perform a task. The second is to make applications to sell or monetize, also known as product development.
The Difference Between Custom And Commercial Off-the-shelf Software
As their name implies, it’s obvious to see the first difference between the two. Bespoke software is “build,” while off-the-shelf is “buy.”
So where is the line? Building software requires lots of time and resources (human, infrastructure, and finance), whereas you can immediately employ off-the-shelf software across departments after purchasing.
Off-the-shelf software isn’t as cheap as you think. I agree it’s affordable, but the subscription fee and hidden costs can quickly add up in the long run. Meanwhile, custom software needs a big investment initially but usually eases down after a while.
Regarding performance, custom built software offers more flexibility and scalability than commercial ones. You can freely adjust the application according to your requirements and business model.
With such pros and cons, when should we use custom software and vice versa? To learn the best use case, we have analyzed both development strategies to help you make up your mind!
Why Would A Business Use Bespoke Software?
Custom software development can assist firms with digital transformation, automating business processes, increasing team collaboration, and fastening workflows.
Firstly, it caters to specific business requirements. Thanks to this, you can build an impactful solution that fits your business model and strategy instead of paying for a bundle of features that includes what you don’t need.
Secondly, it automates manual operations and improves efficiency. Custom developed software entails recurring manual activity that can be optimized, freeing up time for team members and management to focus on more critical business problems.
Third, it helps you save money. Many organizations choose off-the-shelf solutions since they are easier to produce and can be swiftly integrated into the business. Bespoke software usually requires a big initial investment, which might scare you.
Yet, in the long run, the cost will ease down and give you much more freedom in managing the applications. Meanwhile, commercial tools might not be the best when your firm expands and scales.
Custom software also has higher security control since you manage the setup and keep all your data in-house. This is a huge plus for businesses with sensitive data flow, such as financial services, healthcare, and governance.
Is There Any Limitation Of Custom Software Development?
You should know that bespoke software necessitates a substantial investment. The more you add in features or adjust the elements, the more expenses you have to face. While it may be worth it in the long run, the initial investment may be over budget for some organizations.
Time is another element that must be considered. Custom software development will not be thoroughly tested for flaws and may not be ready to use when it arrives at your desk. Because it needs a time investment to test, the process may require numerous iterations before you achieve the intended outcomes.
This entire period of time spent in various stages of software development may be exhausting for you. Also, it’s easy to lose sight of your end goals. It’s vital to understand your company’s requirements and speak with your developer about how you want the product to meet those demands.
Types of Custom-Made Software
Here’s the five most frequent types of customized software that enterprise firms might use. However, before you examine the customized program in depth, let’s learn the basic nature of each application.
|Custom Software Type||What is it||Best For||App Example||Why use customization|
|Content Management Systems (CMS)||A content management hub for your website. This software stores all your website posts, images, documents, videos and much more. Some advanced CMS even provide templates allowing you to build your landing pages.||
||WordPress, Sitecore, Wix||Mainly due to security issues with OTS software.|
|Customer Relationship Management (CRM)||CRM software manages all the customer data in one place to let you organize and manage relationships better. Also, automating common processes helps to monitor your performance and productivity.||
||HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho||To make it best match their business model, automate the unique sales funnel and keep the data safe|
|Enterprise Resource Planning System||It manages the day-to-day operations, including sales-marketing, manufacturing, logistics and HRM||
||Oracle, SAP, Odoo||To make it best match their process, operation model and requirements. Many OTS tool lack of flexibility.|
|Operations Management Software||It is intended to assist a business with everything from automating production capabilities to managing business processes.||
||NetSuite, Odoo||To make it best match their business model and strategy|
|Enterprise Software Solution||Enhance the business and management reporting tasks by providing convenient online payment, interactive product catalogues, automated billing systems, and high rate of security.||Big companies, enterprise||NetSuite, Salesforce, Microsoft||To improve scalability and flexibility|
4 Best Cases To Leverage Custom Software
Just because you have enough resources doesn’t mean you should always go for custom software. Many clients came to Synodus wanting a custom one, while off-the-shelf software can quickly solve their requirements.
Many do not acknowledge the time and money spent creating software. It’s lengthy and complicated. Thus, my advice is to go for custom if most off-the-shelf software can only deal with less than 60% of your problems.
Are there any cases to determine if custom software development is the right path to take when developing software for your company? Consider the following seven examples.
When You Prioritize Security
Try to implement custom development if you want to produce high-quality software with additional security features in your project. This is best adopted for businesses in financial services, insurance, legal services, government, and healthcare.
When Your Business Needs Greater Adaptability and Agility
We noted earlier that the business climate is constantly changing. As a result, every organization must change or risk becoming obsolete. Tailoring software makes it easier to adapt to new trends and respond faster.
Customized software development can assist you in integrating modifications to your system if you want to provide more value to your organization by launching new offers faster than competitors.
When Off-the-shelf System Can Solve Your Niche Processes
Even businesses in the same industry differ when it comes to company processes and operations. Workflows must be tailored to the precise ways that daily operations are carried out to perform more efficiently.
When You Require Extensive Integration To Work
Large corporations frequently operate independently from other departments, even within the same organization. When integrations are implemented in these cases, problems are most likely to happen since the process might cause compatibility problems, which reduces efficiency and production.
Meanwhile, custom software development can help you integrate various systems into a single software solution.
The Process Of Building Your Software
Custom software development involves multiple stages, including:
- Gathering requirements: This stage produces a document detailing the project’s scope, aims, and objectives. You take multiple steps to identify bottlenecks, analyze how technology can fix them, and align with other business processes.
- Analysis and design: This stage produces a detailed design document outlining the software architecture, database design, and user interface design.
- Development: During this stage, the development team builds your software. Typically, software is built in incremental steps, each is evaluated and validated before going on to the next. This stage produces a working software application that is ready for testing.
- Testing: The testing stage confirms that your program fits the previously specified requirements. They may perform unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptability testing, among other things. Before the software is deployed to a production environment, this stage tries to find and fix any defects or difficulties.
- Deployment: Installing the program on servers, configuring the product to operate with the existing infrastructure, and training end users on how to use the software may all be part of this stage.
- Maintenance: The software development company provides continuous maintenance and support to ensure the software functions properly.
Tips For A Successful Custom Software Development Project
Choose the Right People for the Work
Custom software can be created by the labor forces below:
- Your in-house IT teams
- Software development firms and vendors
It’s better to manage everything in-house. However, there are several disadvantages to using your IT team for this purpose. For starters, your workforce already has commitments; removing them from their everyday tasks may cause a slowdown in the overall organization. Second, your technical staff may be untrained or inexperienced in certain aspects of software development.
Outsourcing this process is frequently the best option. You can collaborate with teams that have previously built and implemented specialized software. You might even find a company that specializes in your industry’s products.
Create a Feasible Plan with Clear Milestones
To lead and direct the initiative, form a team including your engineers, subject-matter experts, and a project manager. You should create a project road map with your team and make sure it’s achievable.
These are numerous stages of development that must be accomplished at a precise time and budget to keep the project on schedule. Examine the work at each milestone to determine whether you need to adjust your planned timetable or budget.
Record the procedure
Documentation is essential at every level of creation and implementation. The following items should be included in your record:
- A test plan and checklist for thoroughly testing the program
- A scope declaration to guarantee that you don’t end up trying to solve too many problems with the software.
- An implementation strategy that specifies who will use the software and when they should begin using it.
- A training strategy and extensive user documentation so that people would know exactly what to do when making decisions among new resources.
Synodus – Bespoke Software Development in APAC
Unilever Factory in Vietnam has worked with us to craft a production planning and auto-weighing system that fits their manufacturing model. The application tremendously saves time and cost by up to 80%, protects the data, and improves operation performance.
This has proven the power of custom software development.
Do you want to have a robust application for your team? a CRM, ERP, DMS, data management system, a mobile app like dozens of Synodus clients did?
We are just one chat away!
Harnessing the most extensive tech stack with emerging technologies of AI, machine learning, IoT and low code, our team of 250+ mavericks will cater to every stage of your digital transformation journey.
Aiming to become your strategic partner, we focus on transparent communication, no fog of tech development and seamless deployment, all in one.
Custom software development‘s investment return can be significantly higher than commercial software if you adopt the right use cases. The initial stages might be time-consuming and tedious, which might tire and scare you. Yet, in the long run, flexibility in customization and scalability can be highly beneficial to your business.
Don’t just cross custom software development out of your list. To learn which is better for your business model and strategy, you can always talk to our experts!
More related posts from Software Development blog you shouldn’t skip:
- In-House Vs Outsourcing Software Development: Best Guide For 2024
- Calculate Your Custom Software Development Costs: How To & Tips
- Top 10 MVP Software Development Company For Your Next Project
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