Is Custom Software Development Worth the Price? Everything from Pros & Cons
Businesses that tend to embrace digital transformation and change are more likely to become the industry leader. And custom software development can be the stepping stone for such forward-thinking organizations to scale exponentially.
This blog is a comprehensive guide on custom software solutions. We will highlight some key benefits of building custom software along with the challenges involved in it. By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine whether your business needs custom software or not.
Let’s start straight away!
Custom Software Development
Custom software, commonly referred to as bespoke software, is a tailor-made software application built particularly for a business enterprise in order to meet its preferences and specifications. Custom software, as opposed to conventional off-the-shelf software (accessible to a broader audience), is designed and developed from scratch to help organizations streamline their business operations.
Types of Custom Software
Custom software is usually divided into the following three categories:
Software as a service (SaaS)
Custom Mobile Apps
Custom mobile apps are designed to cater to the needs of a broad audience. Uber, Airbnb, etc., are a few examples of custom apps.
Building custom apps requires substantial investments and capital funds. However, if the idea is right and the execution goes as planned, the app can become the next Uber. On average, the cost of mobile app development in New York and other major tech cities is around $100,000.
Although the concept of SaaS is relatively fresh, it’s becoming increasingly popular in the industry. Software like Slack and Salesforce are regarded as the industry standards. Startups , android app developers and small businesses with a lack of resources and capital subscribe to such software monthly or yearly.
Enterprise software products are built for specific organizations to streamline their operations. The practice of enterprise software development has been used since early 2000. On average, enterprise software costs more than SaaS or custom apps.
Benefits of Custom Software Development
Custom software development enables enterprises to stand out from the competition. Here’s a list of the primary benefits of building custom software applications:
Custom software applications enable organizations to blend the element of personalization in their daily operations. The stakeholders and executives can plan the design and functionality of their software according to their business needs. Also, they can instruct the development team to alter the software at any stage.
Custom software applications help enhance an organization’s performance and productivity. They are built to cut the clutter and streamline operations. With custom software, employees and businesses as a whole can focus on innovation and productivity instead of wasting their time using redundant COTS.
Compared to commercial-off-the-shelf software, custom software applications are super-fast and easy to use. Unlike COTS, customer software applications are specifically designed and developed to perform some particular tasks. Hence, the speed and reliability of these tools are generally better.
Businesses can easily integrate custom software applications with their existing software and other tools. Thus, it can save valuable time in creating a data warehouse and migrating the existing data into the new software application.
Security & Privacy
Advanced security and privacy are the most crucial benefits of building custom software applications. Since these applications are built specifically for an organization’s use, it’s hard to get access to them. This comes in handy for businesses involving large chunks of datasets and confidential information.
Steps Involved in Custom Software Development
The custom software development process involves the following five primary steps:
The first step involves gathering requirements from internal departments of the company. The development team conducts meetings with the stakeholders, executives, and HODs to understand their concerns.
The requirement gathering step aims to ensure all the queries and concerns from the management and administration are heard.
After the requirement gathering step, CTOs and CEOs, along with some stakeholders, brainstorm ideas for the software. In this step, the goals and objectives of the software are defined and documented after the mutual agreement of the company’s representatives and the development team.
Once the objectives and strategies are defined, the design team comes into play. They start building prototypes and wireframes to finalize an architecture for the software. The design team collaborates with the development team routinely to ensure the production is going as expected.
Once the software architecture is ready, the development team starts working on the backend. This step is often the most time-consuming and exhausting. The development process usually takes 2 – 12 months, depending on the project’s complexity.
Once the software is ready, it gets through a series of tests. The tests can be either automated or manual. However, android app developers usually prefer automated testing as it’s more reliable. The development team ensures the product has no flaws and integrates perfectly with the other tools and software.
Challenges of Custom Software Development
Below are the two main challenges involved in custom software development.
The first major challenge is the overwhelming cost. Custom software development requires a substantial capital investment. The cost is too high that most startups and small businesses can’t afford – and mid-level companies have to plan to be able to go for it.
The other major challenge is the time required to build the software. All the design, development, and implementation part can take between 3 – 12 months and sometimes even more. And most companies find it hard to dedicate this much time to it.
Most forward-thinking companies plan software upgrades accordingly. Those who fail to do it find it hard to go for custom software development. Thus, they end up buying subscriptions to commercially available software – compromising their privacy and productivity.
So, if you are a business owner looking to streamline your business operations, custom software development should be your go-to choice – especially if your business can be affected deeply by cyber-attacks. Make sure you plan it to avoid any mishaps in the future.