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08.12.2021 | 5 min

Off-the-shelf vs custom software development - what is the best solution for your company?

If you want your business to stand out, custom software development is the best choice. If your company want to offer exceptional value for your customers, investing in software development is the best way to achieve it.

Off-the-shelf vs custom software development - what is the best solution for your company? - 2022 31
Table of Contents
  • What does off-the-shelf software have to offer?
  • How can your company benefit from custom software development?
  • Step by step: custom software development process
  • Start transforming your business now

If you want your business to stand out in the market, you need to offer your customers exceptional value. One way to do this is by investing in software development.

When you decide to take such a step, you have to choose whether you want to invest in off-the-shelf software or a custom-made product.

What does off-the-shelf software have to offer?

Off-the-shelf software is software that is commercially available. It can be a great choice for companies looking for a simple solution.

The best thing about ready-made software is that it can be deployed immediately and is often a cheaper option than custom software. However, its features will be limited and may require numerous adjustments to integrate with existing systems. Adding new features can be very costly and, in some cases, impossible.

If you want to offer your customers something they can't get anywhere else - custom software development is the right choice for you.

How can your company benefit from custom software development?

Custom software is created from scratch only to answer the specific needs of your business. It is created to offer unique features that your customers will not find anywhere else. Moreover, it can be changed and improved over time when you want to introduce new features or respond to the latest trends in your niche.

The main advantages of custom software development include:

  • Excellent performance

Custom software is designed in a way to be fully integrated with your business processes and operations. Specially built features improve customer service, increase efficiency and automate time-consuming manual tasks. This saves your team time and gives an opportunity to focus on more creative initiatives.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Custom software development is more expensive than ready-made software - at first. Once you realize that it doesn’t fully rise to your expectations, is not perfectly integrated with your internal processes, and so that it requires investment in customization, the costs of it combined with the price of ready-made software can be far greater than building custom software from the very beginning.

  • Security

Security is a crucial aspect both for companies and their clients. Custom software enables you to create reliable software that will meet the highest security requirements.

  • Personalization

Thanks to custom-designed software, your company will gain a competitive advantage and attract customers with your unique solution. Over time, you can add new features and be the first to respond to emerging trends in your industry.

This is a challenging task, so to ensure it is successful, you first need to find a qualified, experienced, and ready to face any difficulties development team. If your company does not have its own development team, outsourcing custom software development is the fastest and most cost-effective solution.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the custom software development process.

Step by step: custom software development process

Step 1. Research and exchange of knowledge

In order to build software that will run flawlessly and meet the needs of customers in the selected industry, both the development team and the customer must be on the same page.

Usually, cooperation begins with numerous meetings (discovery workshops) during which the development team learns about the industry that the software will serve and the client's expectations, what functions the software should offer. This part of the process is time-consuming and often challenging for both parties as they work on mutual understanding and communication. Nevertheless, this step is crucial to prevent future problems and misunderstandings.

Step 2. Realistic plan of implementation

The next step is product design workshops where you prepare a detailed plan of the development process, with realistic deadlines and a roadmap of your project. This will help both of your teams in cooperation.

Important note: custom software development process can be full of surprises. New obstacles can emerge as we go, so as a client, be prepared for some delays. It is always better to devote some extra time in order to achieve a high-quality product.

Step 3. Building software architecture

Once both teams have a clear perspective on what future software should look like, the development team begins working on building the foundation of the software - the software architecture.

The software architecture includes source code requirements and restrictions, interactions between different components, and more. This will help both teams understand the complexity of the software.

Step 4. Software development and testing

At this stage, the development team creates your software taking into account all the features you want to offer and all the industry details and customer needs they learned in the previous stages.

As it progresses, the development team will provide updates and reports. Your task is to ensure easy communication and clearly inform about the aspects you would like to change.

After reaching the desired product, the development team will start testing the software to make sure it works perfectly and guarantees complete data security. Any errors found are fixed before final commissioning.

Step 5. Software maintenance and support

Now that you have custom software that meets all your expectations and serves your customers, it's important that it works flawlessly. Despite doing a lot of testing, some issues may arise over time and the development team will be there to fix them and make appropriate changes so that it doesn't happen in the future.

Start transforming your business now

The decision to invest in developing custom software can be one of the best business decisions you have ever made. The development process doesn't have to take ages and be full of problems if you choose the right team of professionals.

Our development team is experienced in custom software development for international companies operating in different industries. We are open to challenging projects and qualified to lead the digital transformation of your company. If you need a highly qualified development team to build your custom software, contact us.

If you want to learn more about the opportunities for your business before you decide if custom software is for you, try attending product strategy workshops. You will discuss your business model, get a full project overview and gain valuable feedback!

We can build custom software solutions for your business needs
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