Unless you’ve dabbled in programming and development before, you probably aren’t sure what custom software development services entail and what they can do for you as a business. Most people think that off-the-shelf software solutions are more enticing due to their lower upfront costs, but these solutions are often lacking in various areas. Read this guide to custom software and learn more about its benefits, when you’ll need it and how to choose the best custom software development team.
What is Custom Software Development?
As you might have guessed, custom software development is the process of designing, building, and launching a software system that is unique and personalized to you or your company. It can be built to function entirely independently or created to incorporate third-party programs that you use during your everyday work life.
Custom software development services are meant to meet a specific need. Whether you need something for your customers, employees, or a platform for both, custom software can be developed to accommodate these needs.
Unlike off-the-shelf software, customized software is built only for you. No other brands will have access to it. This increases your software security and helps streamline company computers so that you only use the software you need. No longer will your company computers be cluttered with various software and programs you don’t actually use or need.
Custom software can work for anyone and serve any purpose. It is truly 100% customized to your needs, and specialty. You can build it to help your sales department, improve marketing, provide a customer-employee contact platform, or even help with backend programming functions.
When Do You Need Custom Software Development Services?
Businesses and individuals alike decide to invest in custom software for several different reasons. Here are some signs that you need to look into developing custom software:
You Need a More Secure System
Off-the-shelf software systems have their own security, but it’s limited. Even the best brands will have flaws that custom software won’t. As these software solutions are available to anyone, they’re easier for hackers to get into and more likely to be targeted in a cyber attack.
Some industries have very strict security and privacy regulations that your business may be required to follow. If you can’t find a software solution that meets these regulations, then a custom solution is your best choice.
You Need to Use Multiple Systems
Your business may use a variety of systems and applications every single day, and switching between them can slow down work and reduce efficiency. While some shelf brand solutions may offer a number of the programs you need, they usually won’t offer all of them in one convenient location.
If you need a software application that’s capable of handling multiple systems at once, a custom solution is the way to go. With a custom solution, you’ll be able to craft a software system that can deploy all of the applications you need from one single interface.
Your Budget Can’t Fit the Separate Costs of Multiple Systems
One of the most common reasons people turn to custom solutions is because they can’t find one single shelf brand solution that has everything they need. To combat this issue, they may end up paying for or subscribing to multiple programs just so they have access to the applications they need.
Paying for multiple shelf brand solutions can quickly get expensive. Whether it’s monthly or annual payments, it can become unsupportable. Although there’s a higher upfront custom software development cost, they often end up more budget-friendly in the long run and are a good choice for businesses that make expensive payments just to use an off-the-shelf software system.
Benefits of Custom Software Development
Custom software development comes with several benefits that many people don’t realize until after they’ve taken the leap. If you aren’t aware of the benefits, though, here’s a list of just a few:
The most obvious benefit is that you’ll receive a solution tailored to your unique business needs. You can use it to tackle challenges, automate specific processes, and adhere to security regulations for your industry. Software developers can help you include only the applications and programs that your business actually uses, and these will all be accessible through one easy-to-access interface.
Many people don’t think of custom software development as a cost-effective or budget-friendly solution, but it can be in the long run. As mentioned above, many businesses pay for multiple separate software solutions to use the programs they need. These individual costs can quickly grow to be expensive, and what happens if a brand increases its prices?
Custom software developers can help you create a program where you only pay for the applications you use. The price is dependent upon your own needs and can be adjusted to accommodate any budget.
Improved User Experience
When you onboard new employees, you won’t have to show them how to use several different software systems as well as all the programs your business uses. You also won’t have to worry about an update that could change the interface beyond recognizability and require all your staff to be retrained.
Custom solutions improve the overall user experience for both customers and employees. Your onboarding process will be simpler, and any updates can be designed so as not to disturb the user interface too much.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Over 70% of customers expect businesses to have custom software in place that delivers a personalized experience. Whether the customer is checking the status of an order, contacting you, or looking into your business services, they expect a unique and personalized experience. If they don’t get it, they may get frustrated or feel less valued and go elsewhere.
Off-The-Shelf Software vs. Custom Software
Many businesses look at the cheaper price of off-the-shelf software compared to the upfront costs of custom software and make their decision. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give you the full picture of what each solution can offer.
Off-the-shelf software is designed to meet the needs of a wide audience. It may offer different subscription prices depending on the number of users you’ll have and the features you need. In most cases, only some features will be available at an affordable rate, and you’ll need to upgrade your subscription to unlock more.
Custom software is designed to meet the unique needs of your business. It includes all of the applications that your business will use, and after the upfront development fee, you’ll only pay to expand your software or integrate new applications.
Tips When Choosing Your Custom Software Company
Not every development company is the same, and you’ll be confronted with many different options, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind when choosing your custom software development company.
Experience is vital to the creation of your software. Of course, it helps if they have some programming background, but do they have specific experience in developing custom software? You should also look for previous experience working in your industry.
Another important thing to look into is their reviews. Whether you visit their Google Business Profile or you find reviews on their website, scroll through them before you make a decision. You may even decide to ask the company for references from previous clients that can tell you more about their experience working with the development company.
An often overlooked yet important factor to consider is the work ethic and culture of the development company. To ensure the development process goes smoothly, it’s best to choose a company with similar values to you and your company. This will help prevent miscommunication and provide a better overall experience.
The right custom software solutions can make a significant difference in your business processes, helping to improve productivity and efficiency. There’s a lot that goes into the entire software development process, so you’d want to best custom software development team on your side. Give us a call today to discuss your custom software needs and how we can help you turn your ideas into reality!