Advantages of Custom Software
Commercial off-the-shelf software are made with general features that the developers feel would be ideal for all their target customers. They are therefore quite efficient in handling the general tasks of your business.
However, the software also doesn’t give you any advantage over your competitors because they can also purchase the software and utilise the same features. The software is also rigid and requires you to model your operations to fit its features.
This can be quite a limitation if you want to use technology to take your company to the next level and gain an edge over your competitors. Many companies have realised this and are opting to have custom software developed for their companies. Here is why you should also consider doing the same.
One of the main challenges of using an off-the-shelf software is that it is very rigid. For you to make the most of its features, you need to adjust your business operations accordingly. In other instances, you may even need to purchase other software or hardware thus increasing the cost.
Custom software helps you overcome this challenge. Once you have explained to the developers what your business requires, they will ensure that the software they create for you has features to address those needs. Unlike off-the-shelf software, custom software also doesn’t come with a load of extra features that your company will probably never use.
As your business grows, its operations are bound to become more complex rendering some of the features in your software obsolete. With the commercial ready-made software you have no option but to buy another version of the software that is designed for bigger businesses. This translates to extra costs despite no assurance that the new version is ideal for your business.
This is not the case with custom software. Since software developers are hired on a contractual basis, they are obliged to maintain the software and improve it to suit your needs. They can therefore modify the custom software to remove or include features that suit your company’s new needs.
You can therefore have custom software developed for your small startup and have it modified to cater for the needs of the medium enterprise or corporation that your company grows to be.
Integration with other software
At the time that you get a developer to create a custom software for you, you are probably already using some other software. With off-the-shelf software, if the existing software are not compatible with the one you have purchased, you have no option but to purchase another one that is compatible.
The custom software developers can help you navigate this problem. Rather than changing your existing software, the custom software will be designed with specifications that make it compatible with them. This makes it much easier for you to integrate all your software into one interconnected IT system.
Improved technical support
Developers of custom software usually offer long term technical support. If there are bugs in the system, you can have them look at the system and fix it. The service is also prompt because they developed the software and know where to look.
This is quite the opposite of the commercial off-the-shelf software developers. Unless there is a warranty cover, they have no obligation to fix your system and if they do, the response time is usually wanting.
In addition, commercial ready-made software companies may not be able or willing to resolve the problem for you if the problem is a result of integrating their software with other systems, software or hardware,
The technical details of off-the-shelf software are in public domain. Hackers can use these details to easily get into systems that use such software.
Custom-software, on the hand, are personalised and only a few people are privy to the technical details. This makes them less vulnerable to hackers.
Cheaper in the long run
The initial cost of setting up custom software is quite high and puts off a lot of startups, and small and medium enterprises. In the long run, however, custom software proves to be much cheaper compared to the off-the-shelf alternatives.
You don’t have, for instance, to keep paying license fees and for updated features. Commercial off-the-shelf software come with a lot of features that may not be necessary for your business while the custom software is designed with only the features you want. As such, you get value for your money with custom software.
If reviewed in the long run, custom software always prove to be a bargain compared to the off-the-shelf alternatives.
In today’s competitive business world, technology is the most efficient tool to give you an edge over your competitors. Off-the-shelf software are not going to give you this edge because their features are rigid and available to everyone, including your competition.
Smart business owners and operators have realised this and have embraced the use of custom software. The flexibility of custom software allows you to be innovative in your business operations and give your customers a unique experience.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.