Answering the age old questions
When choosing software for your business, you will often find yourself asking the question: Should I go with commercial off-the-shelf software or should I go with custom software? A lot of professionals will suggest packaged or off-the-shelf software as a better choice over custom software. In a lot of cases, packaged software might fulfill a business’s requirements. However due to the nature of packaged software, it might not meet your business requirements if your business has a unique requirement.
Since all businesses tend to be unique, there are times where generic software is the best solution to meet all your requirements. Generic software doesn’t necessarily account for businesses that are scaling. There are limitations in commercial off-the-shelf software such as shorter lifespans.
Here are five business cases where customized applicationsare the better choice:
1. When you want a personalized approach with customers.
Businesses that are B2C will prefer software with great user experience and options for personalization. If you treat your customer as a unique individual, you are more likely to build trust with that customer. Off-the-shelf software are very limited in this regard. Customised software for customer-facing organizations can ensure that the user journey is completely unique and different from whatever is available in the market. This also gives you a competitive advantage that you can use to define your brand.
2. Preserving workflow and business processes.
Your business is probably flourishing because of the unique decisions and workflows that are being adopted in your organization. Don’t let packaged software dictate how you should approach a problem. Unfortunately, off-the-shelf software can be very limiting in this regard because they must cater to a wide variety of businesses. Popular workflows adopted by businesses around the world might be considered in generic software. But popular need not mean efficient for your organization. However, personalized software is designed for your business, its processes and workflows. With custom applications you don’t have to worry about adopting new generic processes and forcing it on your staff. You can continue growing with the best workflows for your business needs.
3. When you need to adapt quickly to market trends.
Personalized apps can be important in cases where your biggest customers or vendors are making a shareit for laptop software change or adopting a new data protocol that your business has no choice but to follow. This usually happens if your business is part of an integrated supply chain. Off-the-shelf software can sometimes be slow to adapt or change to meet industry standards. In this case, customized solution will allow you to quickly add the new functionalities with minimal or no interruptions.
4. When you need to scale your business.
When you buy off-the-shelf solutions for your business, you will find a host of features that not relevant to your business. This is because off-the-shelf software must cater to a wide audience. However, if you find yourself in a situation where your organization is growing and requires a few additional features, that are either going to cost a lot or aren’t available, you will be in trouble. As your business grows, adding features and planning for additional features is highly feasible in the case of customer software development. This means you have a robust software that is tailored to suit your immediate and growing needs. And you will not have to spend on licensing fee for additional features later on.
5. When you want to reduce total cost of ownership.
The price wars between commercial software and personalized ones can be tricky. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a software that does the job, but doesn’t require too much investment in the future, then commercial software is the way to go. However, with customized applications, the total cost of ownership of the software may be more economical than commercial software in the long run. Delays in upgrades, licensing fees, maintenance and support charges will bog down commercial software over a longer period of time. The cost of licensing is eliminated in the case of personalized software, as the business will own the software. Maintenance would also be cheaper as you will be involved in the development of the software. You have far more control in the case of customized software. There are simply too many variables in commercial software that can put your business at risk.