Lets first address the elephant in the room, Custom software is a big investment. For that reason alone, many companies choose commercial off the shelf applications (COTS), when they need internal or customer-facing software solutions. Besides COTS does cater to the basic needs and they are proven products while custom software is an unknown factor.
The problem, however, is that the money-saving strategy (lower up-front cost of COTS applications) doesn’t tell the whole story. Working with a good software development firm to develop custom software applications unique to your business may cost more in the short term but will pay off big time in other areas such as measurable ROI.
In this post, we share 11 reasons why working with a custom software development company is worth the cost.
1. Expertise and Experience
COTS solutions are never built for a specific business, so they may not address your unique needs. On the other hand, with a custom software development company, you get to choose the one that has experience in the industry you are in. They will be able to build a software application specific to your business. They will also be able to guide you with expertise and industry-specific features in your product.
2. Don’t pay for what you don’t need
Off the shelf products often tend to charge you for features you don’t need and require multiple rounds of upgrades (costing you time and money). If you have configured or customized the COTS, you would have further headaches of ensuring all of these features function as expected after the upgrades and fixes. However, with custom software solution you only pay for the features that you need. Since it's built from scratch custom software often doesn’t need many updates and fixes as COTS.
3. Opportunities that you might miss out
A good software development company will work with you as an extension of your IT department. They understand your business and collaborate to ensure that the solution delivered is in line with your business. As time passes the software development company consultants would be able to identify opportunities for automation, integration, and innovation that you may have not thought about.
4. Rest assured software will meet your needs
This is the primary advantage of using custom software development instead of COTS. Working with a reputable company with a proven track record means that your software is exactly what you want for your business. It will address every challenge you want to solve and there won't be additional tweaking or add-on software necessary.
5. Integration and training
Custom software is built not just to your needs but also to fit perfectly in your environment. The software application will be custom made to interact with your existing systems and processes to deliver a smooth experience to you. Your users will be able to adapt to it quickly and you will spend less on training. One application developed specifically for you can replace many systems in your environment. Thus, saving you cost in training, licensing and add on procurements.
6. It's faster than you think
Custom software development has a reputation for the long-drawn-out process. It is true when using older methodologies for development such as the waterfall model.
The new lean development methodologies like Agile is aimed at delivering the minimal viable product (MVP) as soon as possible. The model also delivers the product in multiple sprints (installments). You will start seeing workable product faster and be able to contribute to the development by providing valuable feedback throughout the development.
7. The cost won’t spiral out of control
COTS software might look inexpensive on paper, but when you factor in the long-term cost of maintenance, additional configurations, add-ons, working with custom software development firm starts to look more reasonable. Using agile methodologies as specified above can help in lowering the cost by developing exactly what you need in shorter intervals and thus keeping the cost under check.
8. Team effort
When you partner with the right custom software development firm its match made in heaven. Your software goals become theirs and in my own experience, I have seen development company delivering more value and features than what is agreed on. The developers often add their vision to the project while you provide the business rules, nitty-gritty operations of the business.
9. Latest Technology
Custom software development firms invest in learning, updating to the latest technologies so they can provide cutting edge applications to the customers. A good software development firm would able to guide you on using the latest technology solution rather than COTS application which may have been developed several years ago with older technology. Your application is as good as the advancement in the software it has been written in. Thus, by using a custom software development firm you will benefit from up to date innovations without additional investment.
10. Written with security in mind
Custom software is always written with security in mind. COTS applications are also built this way but once the vulnerability is found, everyone who uses the software is at the risk of an imminent attack. The code of the custom software, on the other hand, is known only to the development firm and to you. You may even buy the IP rights when you choose custom software to have full control. Security-conscious firms often choose a custom software development approach mainly for this reason.
11. Competitive edge
When your business offering is unique you also need a unique product to compliment the service you provide to the customers. You obviously have an advantage over competitors if your software is custom-built. Your application can encompass innovation, automation and design features better than that of your competitors. Custom software is also scalable, and you can make modifications to your software to keep an edge over your competitors.
I hope you have enjoyed reading through the advantages of working with a custom software development firm for building your application. Let me know what other factors are you might consider, and let us help you build something amazing.
Srivatsan Aravamudan - Sri
Senior Solution Consultant
Call: +65 62689551