Custom vs. Off-The-Shelf Software: Which is Best?

Every successful company in the world uses software in some capacity in its operations. Staff members utilise data-processing software that connects to the company’s back end to expedite the distribution of goods and services to customers or to enable third-party companies to participate in the company’s supply chain and other pipelines.

When it comes to the day-to-day operations of your company, you have the choice of using “off-the-rack” software or software that is developed specifically for your company. Do you intend to build your own software in-house, have it developed by an offshore or nearshore team, or purchase proprietary software from a third-party vendor? Continue reading this article to find out which option suits your company and why.

1. Cost Saving Compared to Annual Licensing

The initial expenditure for purchasing commercial off-the-shelf software is often lower than the expense of building a one-of-a-kind solution from scratch. However, customers are often left in the dark about the hidden fees, which may easily snowball into a sizeable amount of money. 

Several things often influence the expenses of off-the-shelf software. First, there is the licensing fee. Paying these licence payments is a prerequisite to using the programme and earning “product owner” status. Depending on the size of your business, you may have to pay a hefty sum in licence fees before you can legally carry out what are essentially simple tasks. Don’t forget that you’re still responsible for the annual licence fee, regardless of how much you actually used the product that year. 

Say you want an off-the-shelf CRM solution. You decide to acquire fewer licences than needed since most off-the-shelf CRM systems are billed by per-user licences, and you reasonably assume that not all users would be utilising the system simultaneously. When the system is fully operational, however, you realise that many users fail to log out when done, causing delays and other problems. When all of the associated inefficiencies are taken into account, the “cheaper” ready-made option ends up being the one that results in higher overall costs.

Although the initial investment for bespoke software development is higher, the benefits are clear. As your organisation expands, you won’t be hit with unexpected costs or forced to limit access or purchase more seats.

2. Software Dedicated to Workflows Rather Than a Close Fit Solution

It should be no surprise that custom-made software will fulfil your needs better than any pre-made option. When selecting and implementing a software solution, companies are responsible for considering the unique interactions with their customers, the requirements of their internal management, and their overall goals.

For example, custom CRM software designed for your company provides everything you may want or need to manage your interactions with current and potential customers. Custom software development is the way to go if your company’s sales model is complex or doesn’t fit cleanly into the standard B2B or B2C sales paradigm.

Problems with compatibility are inherent to commercially available software, implying that your specific business processes, equipment, or other systems may have mismatches with the packaged solutions, rendering them useless or inefficient. On the other hand, bespoke software is designed specifically for a company; thus, it perfectly matches how the company operates.

3. Software that Can Be Expanded in A Modular Fashion as the Business Grows, rather than Being Bloated with Functionality that Will Never Get Used

As the company’s ultimate authority, you are well-versed in the present and the company’s projected growth and the associated needs over the next several years.

When a company grows, the quantity of data it processes will likewise grow to match the increasing number of users and customers. If a company’s CRM software is not adequately scalable, the constraints it imposes on the company’s capacity to grow may be a stumbling block. 

Making updates to commercial software after purchase is not a simple task. However, the opposite is true with bespoke software. Instead of being bogged down with features you don’t need, custom-made software allows for modifications and incremental additions as the business expands. The software is your property, and you can make any changes you may deem necessary to stay up with the latest technological developments and trends in the industry without slowing down your firm. Custom software solutions provide more room and flexibility to make adjustments as needed.

Wrapping Up

Once considered a luxury item, bespoke software solutions quickly become the standard of choice for many businesses. Bespoke software development allows you to choose which features will be included, how to make those features modular, and how far you may push those modules if you want. The potential for growth of your company is mirrored in the potential growth of bespoke software. In terms of integrations, there is nothing that you would be missing out on either.

Check out Dev Partners if you need a custom software solution or more information on a web application development company. They take great care in developing bespoke web-based solutions for organisations of all sizes to improve operational efficiencies and cut costs. They have, over the years, established themselves as a go-to for technological solutions for some of the biggest brands in the industry.

Michael Caine

Michael Caine is the Owner of Amir Articles and also the founder of ANO Digital (Most Powerful Online Content Creator Company), from the USA, studied MBA in 2012, love to play games and write content in different categories.