The Top Advantages of Custom Built Software
Is your off-the-shelf software really meeting your needs?
Many businesses use ready-made software applications to help automate certain tasks, and while there are certain times when these solutions come in handy, the biggest problem is a lack of adaptability.
Your business needs are rarely, if ever, one-size-fits-all, and a pre-made, mass-marketed solution may not be giving you the competitive edge you deserve.
To stay ahead of competitors, your best bet is to use a custom built application. Here’s why…
Built for You
Custom applications are tailored made to accommodate the needs of your business, your team, and your customers.
Using an out-of-the-box software solution is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Ready-made software just doesn’t understand the nuances of your business the way you do.
It’s designed to appeal to the mass market and to work for most businesses. But your needs are not always the same as most businesses.
Many businesses experience bottlenecks in different ways and for different reasons. Maybe your company does a great job at data entry, but your project management is taking up too much time and is spread out over too many systems.
Or maybe you’re doing great with project management, but your paper processes and data entry are eating up too much of your work day, causing focus to be diverted from higher level work.
Even if you implement an off-the-shelf solution, you may not get the help you need in the areas you actually need it most. You may also find that you’re adding more software on top of processes that actually do work well already.
Custom built solutions, on the other hand, enable you to add one or two highly customized applications that can target holes in your workflow. You can fill them in without wasting time and money on software you don’t need.
Software development firms that create off-the-shelf products will often make changes to their software or add or remove features based on what they feel is mass market appeal, or in some cases, to meet certain contractual obligations.
This means that even if an application was perfect for you when you bought it, it may not be perfect for you six months from now.
But the same isn’t true for custom built applications. Because they’re highly customized to your needs, they can also be adapted and re-focused when those needs shift.
In terms of training, they can also adapt to the needs of your current staff and any incoming staff that might arrive later. On average, companies spent roughly $1,200 per employee for training each year.
Since the application is modified for each department already, every employee will have a good sense of how to use the application fairly quickly, so additional training is kept at a minimum, saving you time and money.
This is a major benefit if you’re in an industry that experiences rapid growth, or if you’re in the early stages of your business (or a product launch) and you’re not sure what your needs will be a year from now.
Another advantage to using custom applications is the ability to integrate with your current software.
Businesses often require multiple programs to run optimally, and adding software that isn’t made to fit with those programs – or needs additional third-party support to integrate properly – will only add to the bulk.
Additionally, templated software usually requires you to adjust your processes, not the other way around.
Custom applications are built to be compatible with the software you already have installed. In fact, it can even automate processes that weren’t previously integrated in your setup, simplifying the process further.
It can also help in cases where technology is developing faster than you can keep up with. Instead of dropping thousands of dollars to replace your whole system, custom software can be used to update the areas you need while still being compatible with the rest of your system.
At the end of the day, new applications should make your life easier, not harder. Custom built software can do that for you.
One of the biggest benefits of using a bespoke solution is the level of support you will receive compared to an off-the-shelf product.
Off-the-shelf software is essentially rented, not bought. Should the developer decide to terminate or change the product in a way you don’t want, you’re mostly out of luck.
With ready-made applications, you always run the risk of being abandoned or left unsupported using software you have very little control over.
However, having a custom solution means that you have ownership over the product itself. It’s yours. You can decide how, when, and where it’s implemented, which means you can also decide what to do with it later.
That’s where having the support of a team of developers comes in handy: they can make changes to your specifications, on your timetable. Your software will never go out of date until it stops doing the job you want it to do.
With custom built software, you have full access to reliable technical support and product maintenance when you need it, not when the market needs it.
Another downfall of off-the-shelf software is security. It’s often a prime target for hackers because it’s easier to attack multiple companies all running the same programs.
Because off-the-shelf solutions are widely used, they’re more susceptible to external threats than custom built applications. With a custom solution, you’re the only one running your program.
This also means that you will probably draw less attention from hackers in general. You and your developer are the only ones who know the source code of your software. While that doesn’t always guarantee you won’t be hacked, it does make it less likely you will become a target.
With a custom application, you will most likely recognize the signs of an external threat much sooner as well. If things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, you’ll know right away, and be able to contact your developer to address the issue before it progresses.
A tailor-made software application that is only used by your team reduces the chances of intrusion and can improve the overall confidence you have in your software.
Custom built software applications offer a number of benefits over off-the-shelf software, especially in the areas of customization, scalability, support, and security.
It can also save you money in the long run by giving you exactly what you need, when you need it, reducing any excess software bloat. You’ll only pay for what you need, and you can change that software at any point.
You will also reduce any associated training time and the need for additional integration, as your software will be made to fit your business like a glove.
And most importantly, custom built software will give you an advantage over your competitors who are stuck running off-the-shelf solutions that simply can’t meet all of their needs.
If you’d like help designing and building a custom software application, let us know!