• Aida Xie

Custom Software vs Off-The-Shelf

With the digital world descending upon us, companies are looking for solutions on a daily basis how they can accelerate their businesses faster, cheaper and more efficiency by developing software. The question is if one should go for a custom software or an off the shelf solution.

Custom software for businesses bring high value due to meet the exact needs of the business user. This software is usually created for companies or businesses under contract and not packaged for reselling. On the other hand, Off-the-shelf software includes a pre-packaged software application for a variety of demands. An example would be, Microsoft Office is designed for the general public as a solution for many users.

Custom software development for enterprises comprises of the operation, development and release of a software product suitable for a single entity. The software is designed retaining the company’s infrastructure, branding and implementation needs in mind. Therefore, we understand custom software is built based on specific requirements. It can expand and help perfectly fulfil business requirements with ever-changing trends and technology developments.

Here are some reasons to choose custom software development for business:

1. Focus on necessary features only. You can choose the features you need most to grow your business instead of paying for a pre set list of features, some of which may not be essential to your business needs.

2. Integration with existing systems. With custom software, you can design applications that take into account existing systems and applications.

3. Implement a technical solution instead of waiting for the software provider to update their packaged software.

4. Receive custom reports for specific events.

The flip side of custom software:

1. Custom software requires considerably more resources to develop and thus comes with a higher cost and risk. When a business decides to build a custom software development, it must include all the costs associated with the development process. Off-the-shelf software cost way lower because costs are being distributed among many different users.

2. The risks associated with custom software also varies on the software development company that you engage. Does the software company really have a deep understanding of your needs and do they have the right skill set to develop your custom software to the way that you require?

In conclusion, the most important consideration lies in the budget and timeline for the development followed by selecting the right software development company for the job.