For a business, building a custom software solution will require a commitment of people, time and money. If you need software, you may be deciding between buying and customizing a software product or building a custom software solution.
If you are wondering what is the value of owning a customized software solution and the situations where custom software is the better option, then read below. We review the top five reasons our clients choose custom software over buying a product.
The main benefit of a custom software application is that you get to create exactly what you want.
Your business, its people, customers, solutions and its processes are unique. The challenge with purchasing an existing product is that you want your product to fit your organization, not the other way around.
An off-the-shelf product may be a close match for what you need but the differences may require you to change your processes, create workarounds, or buy/build additional products to fill the gaps.
Part of evaluating a product purchase is determining the size of any gaps and the implications to your organization vs. the benefit in reduced time and cost to implement it.
Software can be used to differentiate your business and create a competitive advantage over your competition. If your ideas are new, innovative, and disruptive for your industry, you will need software that is designed and built to match your vision.
The great thing about custom software is that it allows you to do what has not been done before, enabling you to watch trends and create something new and even revolutionary.
When you purchase a software product, you are not in control of the ownership, support, future enhancements, and releases of the software. The software company may decide to sunset the product, leaving you without support, or they may require upgrades that you are not ready or able to take on.
If you extend their product using APIs or programming directly against the database, you can not guarantee that the API calls or database schema will stay the same. If they do change, then you may be in a situation where you are unexpectedly repairing code at the worse possible moment.
Additionally, If you would like to see new features or functions added to the product, then you are at the mercy of their prioritization and release schedules, assuming they take customer suggestions at all.
Ability to Stay Relevant
Businesses are constantly changing and adapting to meet new business needs and to stay relevant. The beauty of custom software is that it can change with you. If you would like to add a new service, vertical or industry to your offering, then a custom software product can be adapted to meet your needs. You are only limited by the time and effort you are willing to spend toward enhancing your software.
A Product You Can Resell or Offer As A Service
Building a custom software solution allows you to resell the software or offer it as a service to others. You may have heard the terms Software as a Service (SaaS) or white labeling in this regard.
Software as a Service generally means a web or mobile product that is offered on a subscription basis to businesses or end-consumers. The users login to the product and use the services it offers. Examples of Software as a Service are SalesForce, Gmail, Office365, and Facebook.
White labeling is where you allow other businesses to offer your software to their customers, but the software is branded with their own logo. To their end user, it appears as if they own and created the software.
Custom software is not for everyone. If there is a product available that meets the majority of your needs where the gaps in functionality can be managed by changing internal processes, configuration, or additional software, then the lesser cost and speed to implement may make a great trade off.
On the other hand, if you need your software to set you apart from your competition, match the uniqueness of your business, or be a new product offering, then a custom software solution is probably the right choice.
If you are still not sure which is better for you, then let us know. We are happy to discuss your specific situation and give you our thoughts.
The Checklist For Sharing Your Software Vision
Before you get started in developing your software app, your thoughts and ideas should be clarified and written down so they can be consistently and easily shared and understood. To help you get started on the right foot, we have created a checklist.