What is custom developed software?
Custom software is designed specifically for your business. Which makes it different from software packages developed for the mass market. Such as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, or existing free software.
Custom software can accommodate your particular preferences. It can be developed in an iterative process. Allowing possible hidden issues to be taken into account. Including issues not mentioned in the original requirements.
Why is custom software developed?
Custom software enables you to achieve your business objectives. When off the shelf software is inadequate or does not exist.
Larger companies use custom software for critical functions. Including ecommerce, inventory and customer management. Or to fill the gaps present in their existing software packages. Existing software may be legacy software, based on old methods or technology.
Even if it’s no longer used, a legacy system may continue to affect your business. Due to its historical role. Historic data may not be in the required format. The effect on business intelligence and reporting can be significant.
Custom Software development drawbacks
Custom software development may seem to be expensive compared to off-the-shelf software. Though, in many cases, off-the-shelf software requires changes to support business operations. In which case, the cost of off-the-shelf software can be more than developing custom software.
The higher initial cost of custom software can be unimportant for businesses, because it’s efficient. And even small efficiency increases can result in large savings in labor costs and resources.
Cost is not the only consideration, as the choice of custom software can include the following requirements:
- For the application to work with external programs
- Enhanced or personalized processes
- To secure the future development
- For the purchaser to own the source code
The main drawback of custom software is development time. Custom software goes through a development process that may take weeks or months.
What are the advantages of customized software?
Custom software provides better efficiency and security. Custom software development produces the most efficient system. Because it can provide support for the specific needs of your business. Support that is not available in off-the-shelf software.
Custom software will produce the best or most well-targeted service improvement. Custom software can be tailored to work the way you do. Rather than having to choose a package that caters to a generic market. For example, one business may want software that responds in the shortest time. Another company may focus on producing the best results. These two objectives may be in conflict. An off-the-shelf package will sit somewhere in the middle. With custom software each business can focus on their target audience.
Custom software is more flexible than off-the-shelf software or spreadsheets. It’s built with a wide range of processes to address your business needs.
- Custom software is made to your specifications, to best serve your business' needs.
- Custom software development can help protect your business from external threats.
- Custom software is more scalable than off-the-shelf software packages.
- Custom software development helps save on hardware acquisition costs.
- A custom software investment is the property of your business. So it’s an asset which adds value to the company.
Custom software design methods
We use proven methods for all of our custom software development. Your defined processes and requirements are our priority.
Following a particular software development method ensures:
- Your software and its development is efficient
- Your application gets developed with the lowest cost to you
- Your software is of the highest quality
An important objective is to make future maintenance easier.
The development of each and every project is in some way unique. Depending on your particular requirements.
Off-the-shelf software drawbacks
The use of off-the-shelf software comes with a lot of not so obvious trade-offs
- An increase in software component-integration work
- Dependency on the vendor
- Security issues
- Not compatible with future changes
Off-the-shelf software packages may contain bugs. And used at a business without formal testing. These bugs may slip through and cause business-critical errors.
Off-the-shelf software comes with upfront license costs which vary. In some cases, these costs run into the millions of dollars. Software houses that release off-the-shelf software often change their product. So, it may need upgrading to be compatible every two to four years.
Off-the-shelf Software Security implications
Using off-the-shelf software is serious security risk. According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Off-the-shelf software can introduce significant risk into a business' software supply chain. The risks are greater when using off-the-shelf software than with custom software.
Software industry observers say that supply chain disruption poses a major threat. “IT supply chains will be targeted and compromised. Forcing changes in the structure of the IT marketplace and how IT will be managed in the future”.
Off-the-shelf software issues in other industries
In the medical device industry, off-the-shelf software can be software of unknown pedigree (SOUP). That’s software developed with an unknown software development process or method. This prevents its use in medical devices. Faults in software components could become system failures in the device itself. If steps are not taken to ensure compliance with fair and safe standards.
Off-the-shelf software obsolescence
When off-the-shelf software becomes obsolete, it requires the development of a replacement system.
Off-the-shelf software may work out of the box. In practice though, it must be configured to achieve the needs of the business. Then integrated to existing business systems. Extending off-the-shelf software via custom development is an option. Consider this decision carefully. Due to the long term support and maintenance implications. Off-the-shelf software vendors don’t support customized usage. So upgrading off-the-shelf software products brings its own sets of issues.
How to choose between custom software development and off-the-shelf software
Have custom software created to meet your needs or settle for an off-the-shelf product?
There are five main criteria involved in selecting the correct software system:
- Development cost and time
- Other staff costs
- System efficiency
- Service improvements
Hybrid software development model
A hybrid model of custom software development is possible. The focus is on the mismatch between off-the-shelf software features and the business requirements. The tactic is to use software which satisfies a maximum number of requirements. Then develop custom software (extensions or add-ons) to fill the gaps left by it.
Nexus Software has provided the technical “brains” behind many SUCCESSFUL, revenue-generating companies.
We are committed to developing applications that make your business more successful.
“Your business can be more effective and efficient, because Nexus software developers build systems that work.”
When you choose Nexus Software Systems, you get an experienced team of developers that will work with you. Through every step of your custom software development project. To understand your unique objectives and help you to develop an effective application.
By choosing Nexus Software Systems for your development, your application:
- Costs less
- Takes less time to implement
- Works with your current system
- Requires minimal additional training
- Enables you to have complete control of your finished product
We’ve been developing custom software solutions since 1985.
Whether you would like to build a new application, add functionality, or improve off-the-shelf software. We can help you automate your business processes. Convert all your data into a common format. And make sure you’re getting what you need from your technology.
When you are ready, contact us to learn more about custom software development …