Perfect software is a myth. At the same time, it doesn’t really need to exist. Each software product is aimed at meeting business demands the most appropriate way in order to increase the effectiveness of the company’s performance.
This way it’s impossible to buy the ideal configuration. It always requires certain manipulation to connect your software stack, and you will always have to deal with certain drawbacks - which may result in decreased ROI.
If you are searching for the optimum line of business app development, this article will reveal the key aspects of custom software development and it’s common usage cases. You will be able to decide, if you need an outsourced development team, and get an idea on how to find a software vendor for your project.
Custom app development VS readymade software: an outline
COTS (commercial off-the-shelf), readymade, canned, packaged and out-of-box software means roughly the same: a commercially offered, licensed and leased digital product, which doesn’t require modifications.
Out-of-box software seems a great option.
So, why businesses need custom app development?
According to the rule of thumb, readymade solutions should cover at least 80% of business functionality in this area. But in reality, packaged software is able to meet only 60% of the company’s needs. The percentage drops and more underserved areas appear as the business evolves.
This problem is solved by hiring a software vendor to help with custom app development, also known as bespoke or tailor-made.
There are industries and businesses driven by obligatory compliance and regulations, for which custom software development is a must. Qulix Systems provides dedicated development teams for such projects.
For example, healthcare or banking and finance institutions still have a paper-based workflow. Secure custom software is a more convenient option, which helps to reduce paper waste, as well as to analyze, quickly transfer, and securely store data. Custom products meet compliance regulations, for example, HIPAA - for healthcare or PSD2 for banking.
For other industries, custom software may not be a must-have. At the same time, a custom app built from scratch specifically for your company is a highly valuable asset. A common concern, which arises when planning a custom app development is its cost. The product is not as costly as you might think. Especially when comparing the cost to mid-term and long-term expenses of expanding, replacing or modifying off-the-shelf solutions. Custom software may require a sufficient investment at the primary stage, but you can ask your software vendors for IT consulting services and estimates to keep costs predictable.
Other aspects are listed in a comparison table:
Custom apps offer obvious advantages in digital transformation and business process management. For example:
No bells and whistles
You pay for the most needed features. Systems and interfaces can be created similar to the ones in existing products. It means customers or employees find the new app easy to use.
Automated repetitive tasks in the best manner possible
Great UI can be offered by both out-of-the-box and custom products, but the ability of custom tools to transform your data into the formats and lists you need it - is impressive. Custom software development helps improve business processes by automating the export, conversion, sorting, and re-uploads of data in order to perform all that in seconds. Also, it can automate workflow management, i.e. remove manual steps, which can be specific depending on the industry. For example, banks usually carry out residual operations manually (or partially manually with the help of ERPs), while custom software can provide automated solutions.
Improved data access
This is crucial for back-office functionality, as it takes a lot of effort to gather data from separate sources.
For example, let’s consider financial data: CFOs may have to request it from dozens of storage places across the company to create an annual or a monthly report. Receiving and analyzing spreadsheets, like searching for specific information takes up a chunk of time. There are a lot of processes that require import and transformation of data. In this situation, bespoke apps built by companies experienced in custom app development can relieve this stress.
To automatically get a report that contains the necessary information for a board meeting, readymade software may not be enough. It simply doesn’t provide the level of details and doesn’t match the demands of the business domain in full.
Moreover: custom apps can directly facilitate the business process by simply giving the board members access to structured data. This way there is no process anymore.
If you choose custom app development, in most cases the data is more secure. The explanation is simple: your app is a tiny target for hackers. At the same time, by cracking a readymade app, it is possible to get access to all their customers’ data. Statistics say that most of readymade software providers defend dozens of hacker attacks daily.
By the time packaged software appears on the market, it can already be outdated. Although off-the-shelf products get regular updates, they add to the overall expenses.
Custom software developers can help businesses make changes anytime. The company becomes independent from the releases of packaged solutions and can upgrade the software using top-notch trends and technologies.
Custom software development provides better opportunities for smooth and trouble-free future integrations with other apps. What’s more: data analytics is a feelable competitive advantage. By seamlessly integrating with third-party software (back-office, financial services ecosystems), companies can have more options for growth.
Custom software development vendors provide full-time outsourced teams to meet changing business demands according to Agile methodologies. It means that the team can easily introduce changes - if it is necessary and if the budget allows. This option is not available for mainstream packaged solutions.
Types and Degrees of Custom Software
- Fully custom - made from scratch and implemented in order to provide the description of legacy apps prior to the use of code libraries and APIs.
- Internal apps - pre-developed software libraries (for example, a dev framework or SDK) used to limit repeat code and focus on writing code that meets specific requirements of this business domain. This is the most widespread option.
- Custom software systems - to expand their own processing capabilities, companies can use external custom software (like major programming libraries).
My Company Needs a Custom App: What’s Next?
Let’s assume, you found a custom app development company to work on your project. It’s time to discuss the software development team structure, implementation and project management. The following questions can help:
- How often can the team release working project parts?
- How can my company communicate with your engineering team?
- What can lead to increased estimates?
Reliable software vendors are able to build the project delivery workflow effectively. It means you can monitor releases every 2-3 weeks, the same for QA and testing - all that is carried out according to Agile practices. It helps to add minor changes along the way without leaving large portions of modifications too close to the deadline. Project metrics specified beforehand can show you the progress. Proper project management that engages the vendor and the customer is the guarantee that the project will be implemented the proper way.
The Bottom Line
There are numerous benefits of cooperating with custom software development companies. Businesses get increasingly specialized, the digital systems become more complex, so today a custom product is a usual thing.
Сustom apps are your chance to stand out and be innovative: your technological product can improve customer experience and facilitate your interactions. It saves you time: for example, on educating clients on your business or sending targeted push-notifications.
A custom app is a great digital asset: maintain it, keep it growing, and let it work more effectively.
For more on custom app development, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.