Over recent years, we’ve seen how enterprise software has changed the business landscape. These powerful digital tools streamlined and automated business processes, improved efficiency, explored new revenue streams, and kept business competitive.
Considering the benefits of software for businesses, it’s not surprising how the enterprise software has become the fastest-growing segment in the IT industry, with an annual growth rate exceeding 10 percent. In 2020, the enterprise software market is forecasted to cost $426 billion.
Companies gain market advantage by leveraging the benefits IT offers. As the demand for enterprise software grows, the number of options available to businesses has also expanded. There are numerous software developers in the market today. Aside from major software companies like Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce, and Adobe Inc., there thousands more software and tech services companies in the US. CompTIA puts the number at above 557,000 companies.
In general, software developers offer two types of IT solutions.
- Custom software
Off-the-shelf software refers to IT solutions that are mass-produced and ready-to-deploy. Meanwhile, custom software refers to IT solutions that are made with unique functions and features. Both of these development methodologies have their inherent strengths that might benefit your company. In this post, we’ll look at the importance of custom software development.
Importance of custom software development
To kickstart digital transformation, many businesses invest in off-the-shelf digital solutions. These mass-produced applications are general and come with limited functions and features. Initially, ready-to-deploy IT solutions work fine for company. However, as your business grows and becomes complicated, you will need an IT solution that meets emerging and future challenges. When this time comes, you’ll need to transition to a custom software tailored to your needs and objectives.
Likewise, some companies have complicated nature that can be difficult to manage and organize using mass-produced software. Senior software developer Long Ngo of US-based software firm Entrance Consulting emphasized that packaged software is not equipped with the capabilities to handle industry-specific tasks.
Often, businesses are forced to adjust their operations to suit the software’s configuration. Instead of providing a solution, the software further complicates things. This necessitates custom software development. Some businesses might find custom-software a costly affair and completely unnecessary. As a result, they become stuck with their old software, which can do more harm than good.
Evidently, every organization has its unique business processes and requirements, which is why custom development is essential for business success. Custom software development empowers enterprises to develop a personalized digital arsenal.
Bespoke software is specially designed for the client organization. It is customized to serve each department and/or process, allowing the business to automate their operations and become more efficient. Unlike packaged software, end-users are part of the development stages of a custom software solution. Their inputs are valuable in the final software. By getting feedback from actual users, developers can develop highly responsive, user-centered, and effective custom software.
The importance of custom software development in an organization is unquestionable. Here are some specific ways tailored-made applications can help drive your business to success and growth.
Consolidate multiple capabilities
Businesses often run multiple applications from different vendors. However, each of these tools may have unique technology infrastructure, different levels of implementation support, varying development methodology, and distinct language and design. To ensure efficiency within your organization, you need a harmonious technology ecosystem. Ideally, all of these solutions must run as a unitary, streamlined unit capable of delivering the different areas of your business operations.
With custom software development, the developers can integrate these solutions into one platform. Usually, canned software is not built to integrate with other apps built by different vendors. Compatibility is a primary concern of custom app developers. This is important, especially if the organization already runs other software. Throughout the development process, all existing apps are considered. They are tested for compatibility to ensure seamless integration. All future solutions would follow common standards in development and deployment, thereby making them interoperable within your technology ecosystem.
Custom software development is all about personalization. Developers build software applications intended for your business’ specific requirements and processes. Bespoke software provides optimum access and control to business leaders and stakeholders. The development process involves employees, customers, suppliers, and other collaborators, thereby resulting in a highly specialized application that is responsive to every user’s specific needs. This level of personalization proves beneficial to the entire organization.
Typically, custom software development includes ongoing IT support. Users can directly contact the developers for technical problems and concerns. Not only will this help employee transition to the new technology, but it also enables developers to implement updates if necessary.
As your company evolves, so does your technology needs. With ongoing support, you can work with developers to improve and add new features to your enterprise software. Custom software is geared towards innovation, which is vital in keeping your business competitive and future-proof.
Having a team readily available to upgrade your software proves beneficial. Customizing an existing software and adding new capabilities is better than engaging a new third-party solution and starting from scratch.
Keep you competitive
Software development is a significant investment that involves a lot of money. When you purchase mass-produced software, you’re investing only in the developer. On the other hand, when you work with custom software development services, your investment goes right back into adding value to your business. This is because the software is tailor-made to your unique business processes.
Custom software creates better solutions for your customers, giving you a competitive advantage. Businesses, which continue to use outdated and generic software, lag behind the competition.
Building custom software allows you to explore and bring onboard new technologies and innovations without a third-party provider. Discovering new useful solutions adds to your competitiveness, as your company can be recognized as an industry leader.
Tailored software development offers unparalleled scalability. Off-the-shelf enterprise solutions have limited flexibility. When your organization has unique requirements, it might be unable to scale up with your business demand. As a result, you will need to bring in a new digital solution from a different provider into your existing technology landscape. This can cause integration issues and create situations wherein maintaining the existing software becomes a challenge.
When building custom software, developers focus not only on standard industry requirements but also on specific objectives of your business. This enables custom software solutions to accommodate new features and functions without creating undue challenges for your tech team, managing your enterprise software. This is particularly important for small and medium businesses, as they require a scalable technology that can adapt to constantly changing market dynamics.
At the outset, ready-made software seems to offer a cheaper alternative. However, deploying such enterprise solutions entails other costs such as training, licensing, and subscribing to other solutions for capabilities that are unavailable with the software. These added costs offset the perceived savings.
With custom software development, you don’t have to endure these unforeseen expenses. Once you get a quotation for services, it includes everything you need from the software. Aside from saving your business money, it also avoids a lot of hassle.
Furthermore, custom software development avoids unwanted penalties by ensuring compliance with standards. Different industries have unique and rapidly changing compliance requirements. With custom software development, you are assured that you meet all of these policies and standards.
The drawback of Custom Software Development
The importance and benefits of custom software are often overshadowed by its sole drawback – its cost.
When organizations are looking for enterprise software, the first thing that comes to mind is that custom software is expensive. Indeed, the off-the-shelf software solution might seem to cost just a fraction of custom software. However, considering the return on your investment, you’ll know that custom software application is a worthwhile expense.
Accounting all expenses related to the purchase and maintenance of packaged software, the cost of software development might turn out to be cheaper. When deciding whether to invest in off-the-shelf software or custom software based on investment cost, it’s a decision between a low upfront cost with high future expenses and high upfront cost with minimal future expenses. Businesses must carefully weigh the financial costs of custom software development against its benefits.
Overall Business Success
A custom software solution is a powerful tool that can integrate multiple steps into a single platform, streamline and automate processes, add value to a business, deliver more ROI, and improve business efficiency. These capabilities are not often available with mass-produced software.
Looking at the benefits discussed above, one can see the importance of custom software development in business success. Perhaps, the main reason why custom software drives success and growth is that it embodies your goals and missions. It allows you to build a simple or complex application depending on your needs. One that is responsive to your unique business challenges.
Whatever your requirements are, custom software development services can create a specialized IT solution. Its unparalleled versatility and personalization are vital to businesses, especially in a highly competitive market.