When looking to adopt a new piece of technology for their internal operations or customer-facing functions, most businesses are often faced with two primary options that they may think are worth considering.
The first option is off-the-shelf software solutions: ready-to-go software products that creators usually offer to customers for a fixed price against an annual or lifetime licence. An off-the-shelf product is a pre-built computer software product that the buyer can buy “off the shelf” and use right away. Often, customers do not have the option to modify the product to their liking before or after buying it. They are forced to use the product as is, adjusting their needs according to the features that it offers.
The second option is to go for custom software developers. Custom or bespoke software is specially built keeping a customer’s needs in mind. The customer tells the developer about a problem that they would like to solve for themselves, their business, or their customers. The developer comes up with a software solution that would perfectly and accurately cater to the customer’s requirements.
While off-the-shelf software has its pros and cons, our conversation today revolves around the benefits of custom software solutions such as those offered by GoodCore, for example. Allow us to shed some light upon six of the most important advantages of bespoke software development.
Tailored to your requirements
The biggest advantage of choosing to go with a bespoke solution is that such a solution can be modified to accommodate all your requests. Whether you are a business or an individual, you can ask your chosen software development company to come up with a solution that will address all your business or technical needs.
You can choose the technology stack you wish to build your software on, using a development process you want to follow. Similarly, you can choose whether you want to launch your app on the web or mobile platform. If it is a mobile app, will it be an Android or iOS app or both? It could even be a desktop app, built specifically to digitally solve a certain problem for your employees.
Improved support and maintenance
Most off-the-shelf software products come with generic user manuals that may sometimes be hard for a layperson to understand. They define some standard functions and troubleshooting protocols. If you choose a bespoke software development company for your app, they will offer you an additional post-launch support package whereby you can contact their tech support team whenever you run into a problem or difficulty.
Easy to use
Ready-made software is built with a broad demographic in mind. It is impossible to cater to each user. Thus, developers go for a best-fit solution that can be conveniently used by the largest possible fraction of the intended audience. As a result, the app can become over-stuffed with features or become difficult to navigate.
On the other hand, custom software is built according to an individual client’s express requirements. Therefore, bespoke software developers make sure that the product is well-suited for the intended user’s persona. The developers know exactly who the software will be used by and, thus, keep their profile in mind while designing the application. Custom software is also not overly cluttered with unnecessary features or a complicated design. This makes it extremely user-friendly.
Flexible and scalable
For small businesses, even off-the-shelf software can incur huge expenses due to their complex pricing plans. As your team grows, the costs incurred from this per-user or licence-based software can add up to a significant number. It would also be extremely costly to switch to a different software product, and difficult (or even impossible, given that you do not have access to the program code) to make changes to your current off-the-shelf solution if your business’s needs change over time.
When you hire a software development company to develop a customised product for your organisation, there are no hard and fast rules. You are in control of everything, from development to implementation. You can decide to use development technologies and tools that are easy to scale up (or down, if needed!) with minimal additional costs. Your software developers can make adjustments to your source code to accommodate any future requirements or implement necessary updates. This makes
Smooth implementation and integration
A major problem that businesses face during their digital transformation process involves their existing systems. Off-the-shelf systems often fail to take into consideration other digital systems that organisations may already have in place. Some businesses do not want to let go of their existing systems and want both new and old systems to work together in harmony, which causes alarming problems. Employees can have a hard time adjusting to software that is completely new – and possibly more complex than the previous one – to them.
A bespoke software development company that builds custom solutions will dedicate its time and effort to studying the existing systems and make sure that the new software accommodates the old ones where required. It will also offer proper training sessions to its clients. You can choose if you want these sessions to be online or on-site. E.g. if you are a UK-based business that wishes to conduct an on-site training seminar at work, you can choose a reliable software development company that can send its team members to your office and train your staff in person. These sessions can significantly smoothen the launch phase of the new app.
Off-the-shelf software solutions are often aimed at large demographic groups to solve their common problems. Custom solutions, on the other hand, address very particular problems identified by the client. If you look hard enough, there is always some sort of existing digital solution to most business problems in the shape of an off-the-shelf offering. However, resorting to employing an existing piece of software within your organisation will make your performance very similar to that of your competitors. Custom solutions help you stand out from your competition.
For example, if you are a business in the UK, you could probably use an existing local software solution that could help you digitise your financial reports. However, if you hired a software development company in the UK, you could gain an edge over local competing businesses by asking your software partner to integrate a custom reporting solution into your existing financial software. Your software would be more efficient, accurate, and relevant to your business, with no fluff attached, and your competitors would have no clue of your internal operations.