Custom developed 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 is designed to meet the specific needs of your business. It’s tailored to your unique workflows, processes, and requirements. 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.
Custom software enables you to achieve your business objectives. When off the shelf software is inadequate or does not exist.
Companies use custom software for critical functions. Including e-commerce, 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, data may not be in the required format. The effect on business intelligence and reporting can be significant.
The main drawback of custom developed software is development time. Custom software goes through a development process that may take weeks or months.
Custom developed software 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.
While off-the-shelf software may have a lower initial cost than developing custom software, the long-term costs add up. Most off-the-shelf software today is licensed by user for a period of time. For off-the-shelf software vendors, this means continuous revenue streams, but for businesses, it means recurring costs. Additionally, the more employees there are, the more licenses need to be purchased.
One solution to offset this would be to purchase off-the-shelf software for the interim while investing in developing custom software solutions. This allows organizations to reap the benefits of software implementation, without being locked in.
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:
Custom software development produces the most efficient system. Custom software provides better efficiency and security. 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.
Custom software is more flexible than off-the-shelf software or spreadsheets.
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:
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.
The use of off-the-shelf software comes with a lot of not so obvious trade-offs
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.
Off-the-shelf software comes with upfront and recurring 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 few years.
Off-the-shelf software packages may contain bugs and when used at a business without formal testing, these bugs may slip through and cause business-critical errors.
When off-the-shelf software becomes obsolete, it requires the development of a replacement system.
Extending off-the-shelf software via custom development is an option. Consider this decision carefully. Off-the-shelf software vendors typically don’t support customized usage. So upgrading off-the-shelf software products brings its own sets of issues.
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.
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.
Have custom software created to meet your needs or settle for an off-the-shelf product?
Choosing between custom developed software and off-the-shelf software depends on several factors, such as the specific needs of your business, the level of customization required, and the available resources.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding between custom developed software and off-the-shelf software:
Business Needs: The first step is to assess your business needs and determine whether there is an off-the-shelf software that meets those needs. Off-the-shelf software may be more suitable if your needs are generic and can be met by software already on the market. If you have unique business needs, then custom developed software is a better option.
Efficiency: One of the main benefits of custom developed software is that it can be more efficient and streamlined than off-the-shelf software. This is because custom software is designed to work specifically for your company, so it can be optimized for your company’s processes and workflows.
Cost: Custom developed software is typically more expensive than off-the-shelf software. Though, custom software is more cost-effective in the long run because it meets your specific needs and improves your business processes.
Level of Customization: If you need software that can be tailored to your specific business requirements, then custom developed software is the way to go. Off-the-shelf software may not offer the level of customization you need, and you may have to change your business processes to fit the software.
Time: Custom developed software can take longer to develop than off-the-shelf software. If you need a solution quickly, off-the-shelf software may be a better option.
Support: With off-the-shelf software, you rely on the software vendor for support. With custom software development, you have a dedicated development team that understands your business and can provide ongoing support and maintenance.
Scalability: Consider the future growth of your business and whether the software can scale with your business needs. Custom developed software can be tailored to your specific needs and can be more flexible in terms of scalability, while off-the-shelf software may have limitations in terms of scalability.
Choosing between custom developed software and off-the-shelf software requires careful consideration of your business needs, budget, and available resources. It is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a decision.
“Your business can be more effective and efficient, because Nexus software developers build systems that work.”
By choosing Nexus Software Systems for your custom developed software, your application:
Since 1985, we've been developing custom software applications that make businesses more successful.
Nexus Software has provided the technical “brains” behind many companies that you may interact with every day.
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.
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 developed software for your business.