Should Your Company Custom Build Software or Buy a Canned Solution?
In today’s increasingly connected world, technology is king. As such, software development has become more important than ever before for companies in a wide array of industries and fields. Improving your business through software has become more of a necessity than a luxury, and many businesses struggle with the decision between purchasing off the shelf software or investing the time and money into creating custom built software programs. They both come with benefits and disadvantages. Consider the pros and cons of these two options and determine which better suits your company or product.
Custom Built Software
Those looking for innovation are drawn to custom built software, as it allows company specification and results in a unique, one of a kind software program not found elsewhere. It provides a competitive edge that off the shelf software simply can’t.
- The Pros
Should you choose to create custom built software, you’ll have ultimate control over every facet of the program. From the tiniest details to the must-have features, everything can be designed and adapted to your specifications.
If you’ve ever used off the shelf software, you know that running into bugs is inevitable. With custom built software, you have the opportunity to work and rework certain features to perfection. With the right quality assurance tools, you can quickly spot issues and have your developers fix them with immediacy. Should customers complain, you’ll be able to immediately answer their needs with quick changes.
A Leg Up on the Competition
Gaining a competitive edge in an increasingly evolving world can be tough, but custom building software programs specific to your company’s needs can grant you this edge with ease.
A Great Team
You can easily assemble a dream team of talented developers, thanks to the influx of outsourcing options. Sites like https://remote.com/ allow business owners to quickly locate qualified talent anywhere in the world. You truly have a global workforce available at your fingertips, and finding the right individual or individuals for your software project can be as simple as the click of a button.
- The Cons
Embarking on a custom software build means committing to months and even years of project time. Software development isn’t quick, and it can take some businesses months before they see return on their development investment. If you’re looking to get your business started more immediately, you’ll likely need to pursue off the shelf software options.
Expensive Price Tag
One of the largest and most challenging disadvantages of custom built software comes in cost. The upfront costs alone can be extensive, and easily reach into tens of thousands of dollars if not more. For some, budgetary limits mean custom software is simply unrealistic.
Off The Shelf Options
While custom built software can be enticing, it’s not to say off the shelf options don’t have their share of advantages.
- The Pros
Production Begins Sooner
With canned solutions, you won’t be waiting on an extensive development timeline. You’ll have the opportunity to get your product or service to consumers more quickly and begin pulling in revenue sooner.
In all regards, it’s cheaper to purchase canned solutions rather than pursue custom built software. If you’re just starting out and don’t have the private funding or personal capital to handle a great deal of extra expense, off the shelf options are probably your best bet.
- The Cons
Generally, canned software solutions aren’t going to cater to every problem you encounter or every need you have. Software solutions may cover a great deal of general issues, but if your business has a specialized need, know that off the shelf options may simply not address all of your concerns. Because you purchase as-is, you won’t be able to modify the way it works or fix any bugs that may arise.
Selecting off the shelf software or custom built software is a high personal decision and depends largely upon your business’s needs. Consider the disadvantages and benefits of both and determine which best suits your company.