Defining Custom Software Development – The Long Version
Custom software development is exactly what it sounds: it is software that is developed to meet the specific needs of an organization. Typically, a business will either build a customized software solution in-house or more often, outsource the development to experts who have all of the tools and skill sets to complete a project from start to finish. This isn’t surprising given SMBs report having as few as one IT person for all of their IT needs.
There are many reasons why a company would opt for a custom software product over an off-the-shelf solution. One of the main reasons is because the out-of-the-box functionalities of a commercial product simply do not meet all of the requirements of a company. Many organizations develop custom software to create a brand new functionality that speeds internal processes and/or makes them more efficient, combines multiple systems into a single solution, offers customers a new capability, or produces another source of revenue.
Companies who are questioning whether or not it is worth the time and investment to develop their own software solution can ask themselves several questions:
- Are any of my processes slow, inefficient, manual or disjointed?
- Could I replace any of my processes that are manual or no longer meeting our needs?
- Do we want to expand our business?
- Are we relying on multiple software applications to do one thing?
- Would we benefit from integrating systems?
- Do we have an effective, easy-to-use, consolidated platform to communicate with each other and customers?
- Would a new functionality or capability improve our competitive stance?
- Would our data be more accurate and real-time if we had an automated solution?
If you could answer “yes” for any of the above, it’s no longer a matter of “what is custom software development” and more “how fast can I get custom software developed?” Custom software can provide significant benefits to all of the above questions and the return on the investment may be felt immediately. It isn’t a quick fix, so prepare for a lengthy process – but it’s worth it to have an end product that is exactly what your company needs.
What Is Custom Software Development – The Short Version
Want to know what custom software development is in a nutshell? Here are a few takeaways you can take to the bank. Custom software can be:
- A unique piece of software that can be a competitive advantage
- A solution to solve various business problems
- A new source of revenue
- A brand-building tool
- An interactive engagement tool
- A major boost to efficiency and productivity
- The key to integrating and consolidating data, systems, and processes
- An effective way to improve data integrity and accuracy
- A scalable, flexible solution that adapts to business needs
While off-the-shelf software has its place, custom software clearly has advantages. Talk to experts who build custom software for a living. Interview multiple providers and find a team who will take the time to listen to your needs, work with you on design, and develop your solution using best practices and transparent communication.