There is a strong demand for software products in the IT industry. And while we have a strong industry attempting to supply there are so many more opportunities for successful projects. Many of the more common sides of the industry seem to be occupied, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t potential to meet the needs of more niche industries through software.
The benefits of a custom software solution are particularly strong in niche industries that have specific requirements and serve a specific target audience. Such as medical, financial, educational, entertainment, entrepreneurial apps etc.
If your business is tightly connected to a niche market that it would be hard to find off-the-shelf software to meet your needs. So relying on such product is not a prospective way to grow your business. But investing in a custom software solution just might be.
Custom software is a good option for you if:
There are so many ways in which going for a tailored solution is a benefit to your business. The ones I am listing below are the ones who are the most common ones.
- You want to grow your business
- You want to optimize your Business Process Management
- You want to create a tool that assists your company’s objectives
- You want to scale up your business
- You want to allow your employees to thrive without the weight of repetitive redundant tasks
- You want to modernize and automate your internal processes.
- You have multiple locations communication and need a better way to manage them all coherently
- Your software is outdated and no longer meets your needs
- You want to minimize paperwork – for the environment or your employees’ ease of work
Whatever your reasons for considering bespoke software, there is a lot to consider when venturing into it. Some of the biggest questions are: “Is it actually worth it?” and “Isn’t it way too expensive?”. Both are perfectly valid questions. There is a lot to think about, and the first step is to do your research and make it a priority to be well-informed.
Top 3 Advantages of Custom Software Development
1. Fits your needs and objectives ideally
Yes, you can probably find a software that is just close enough to your goals and has a lower cost up-front. Yes, maybe you can use it for several years while you build up your business to a level that is a safe bet to invest in custom solutions.
And maybe you should if that is the case. But what off-the-shelf products will never be able to provide is flexibility and precision. What about when your company branches out into a slightly different service? You will have to purchase another tool to meet those needs? What if the software you purchased does not support a feature you need? You need to go ahead and pay for that tool as well.
Over time you will find yourself using a concoction of tools that are not necessarily compatible, they weren’t built to be compatible, you pay fees for all of them. None of them provides you with all of the features that you need. And at the same time, I can guarantee that the tools you will buy will have features that are useless to your business.
Going custom, however, allows you to build a tool that is excellent in all the features your business needs without spending extra for features you never use. It can be as flexible as you need it to be while having a strong foundation to carry your business needs.
2. Scalability and easier integration
Depending on your business you choose how much you want to grow and at what point you want to scale your team and ultimately your business prospects. And having custom software helps you transition. To get to the condition your business is currently in you likely used a combination of methods, software, approaches and practices that made sense at the time.
However the bigger the project the harder it is to keep track of all different aspects of all the systems you need to align so your team can do their work.
So before you expand, creating a tool that creates a good uniform foundation for all of your services is advised. This limits all of the unnecessary expenses for licenses while optimizing the production process and allowing your team to use one tool that meets all their needs.
The best thing about this approach is that it is flexible to your needs. So regardless of how your business grows you will always have this foundation.
3. Custom support and maintenance
Using multiple tools requires maintenance that is resource-mining both in terms of time and all of the fees that go into renewing licenses. And keep in mind, you may not even use some of the functionalities you are paying for.
The second aspect to consider is technical support for all of the tools. As a former tech support agent, I can tell you from first-hand experience that support is not always what the client hopes it would be. And it is not always the agent’s fault.
Every company has different policies for troubleshooting processes, security requirements etc. There is also a chain of support that is dependant on small teams with specific access and qualification to different parts of the software to perform troubleshooting. The request for assistance is usually picked up by the first point of contact agent (that was me) and assigned to the team responsible. This is determined based on the information handed down to the agent, and from then on I have seen a case be passed around for weeks before it is resolved. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is definitely something to consider when choosing what tools to use.
Now, this is all for one product. What if your business is reliant on five tools? Or ten? What if they are not compatible with each other? What if troubleshooting an issue with one tool ends up causing issues with another? You have to reach out to the support team for each app separately and align multiple conditions to have a working configuration.
With custom software, you do not only get to maintain, develop and troubleshoot one product that serves all your needs, but you have control over the support policies. You can work with the support team as close to directly as possible and, if a part of your contract, the people who support the tool are the same who developed it and have deep knowledge of how it functions. This severely limits the risks for mishandled cases and implementing fixes that “break” key functionalities.
Is it worth investing in custom software?
Custom software is a great option to explore for many businesses. And one of the biggest reasons is if there is not software available off-the-shelf to serve your needs.
Another factor is that it depends if your business is ready to take this step. But the fact you are doing this research and reading my article points out that you are likely sick of using products that don’t fit your business. You are likely looking for a solution that fits your business and is more sustainable than what is already out there.
If you do consider opting for a custom solution, the next thing to do is conduct extensive research and decide how relevant it is to your current state. And then it comes time to choose the right partners to build your solution. The team you choose will make the biggest difference in the quality of the final process.
What is the most important thing for you when it comes to custom solutions? Do you believe the benefits are worth investing up-front for long-term efficient practices?
Guest article written by: Danila is a Tech-Enthusiast and part of Dreamix, a custom software development company. She has a strong passion for blogging, practical design, innovation and gadgets. With a background in mathematics and informatics, she explores the software development process from production to business management.