Custom Software or Off-the-Shelf: A Guide to Successful Software Solutions for SMEs
The biggest challenge tech companies are facing is delivering working software, which is a good ROI; this is because businesses are still confused about which software development process to pick and how to work on it.
Today, a business without software is nearly implausible. Handling daily tasks and working faster needs software support. From project management to hiring talents, the software is everywhere to lift the office process.
The technology market already offers a variety of software to the most common needs. However, for companies whose operation is a little complex doesn’t entirely depend on it.
Let’s take a dive to find out which software solution is the best fit for your business.
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is the process of designing, building, deploying, and maintaining software solutions for specific users, functions, or organizations. This solution aims at a narrowly defined set of requirements. Also, termed as bespoke software, it is usually built by in-house development teams or outsourced to a third-party.
What is off-the-shelf software?
Off-the-shelf software is readymade software products made for specific work that takes a broad set of requirements, allowing it to be packaged and sale to the general public. Microsoft Office, Photoshop, accounting software like Tally are some of the common examples of packaged commercial off-the-shelf software.
How is custom software different from off-the-shelf software?
Framework: The off-the-shelf software comes with a unified design and a standard build for a wide range of users. You might need some of the features, and some are extra for you. On the other hand, made from scratch custom software offers opportunity to add features and functionality according to your process need. This support your workflow much better, and you can also make changes over time to maintain a distinctive competency.
Price: The best thing about off-the-shelf software is that it cost less than custom software development. The off-the-shelf solution is for different businesses who are willing to buy it, and that’s how the cost of building the software is divided among the businesses. While custom software is made exclusively for a company to support their business needs, it requires high investments.
Performance: Besides the required features, off-the-shelf software also comes bundled with rarely used features that take up the system resource. Whereas, custom software eliminates unnecessary features, increasing performance.
Time: Off-the-shelf software takes less time for setup. On the other side, custom software takes much time and effort in deployment.
Updates: For off-the-shelf software, you have to pay for future updates to keep it going. Also, it comes with limited updates. Custom software updates are released according to your business needs and budget.
The pros and cons of both the solution
What research says?
Research by GoodFirms shows that about 61% of development companies established takes an average of 4-6 months to develop a customize solution. Also, about 38% of companies take 2-4 months.
In our opinion, the development time depends on the complexity of the software, and also, testing does take time to make the product a flawless one. However, a minimum of 2-4 months is expected to build custom software.
Another survey by GoodFirms show we are in the right path of following the best software development methodology as 61% of software development companies said they follow agile software development. As it creates efficient team collaboration, involve clients, and suitable for adapting to changing requirements.
Which software suits your business?
If you are not looking for long-term profit and want support for everyday work with low flexibility & upgradation, then a readymade software pulls the task. Also, installation cost and set up time is less for a readymade solution.
However, if you are a growing company, with lots of unique products/services and corporate data, then a custom solution is expected. It not only offers you scalability but seamlessly integrates with your existing software workflow.
Before taking any decision, you must talk to an outsourced software development company in detail about your business expectation for the best solution.
We hope this short piece helps you to discuss with our sales rep.