More than 10 years ago, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen argued in his now-famous essay that “software is eating the world.” And while it may seem a little cliché to state that every company needs to be a technology company, that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
In this rapidly changing business climate, organizations need every edge they can get to thrive and stay competitive. And as technology accelerates, one way to gain that competitive advantage is through custom software development.
Defining Custom Software Development
Custom software development is the process of designing and engineering software that meets needs specific to a market or organization. Often, these needs are unique and relevant to a particular industry niche, meaning existing software doesn’t provide effective solutions.
In just about every industry that requires complex business processes and in-depth strategies, custom software development offers an alternative to pre-made software. This includes:
- Information Technology
In other words, when an organization has specific requirements that aren’t provided by off-the-shelf software, they turn to a custom software development company to solve their problems.
The Advantages of Custom Software Development
But does your business really need a custom software solution? This is a tough question, and it’s one that requires significant consideration given the initial costs of custom software development.
It’s important to see these costs as an investment. Many technology solutions — expensive software licensing, for example — are often chalked up to the “cost of doing business.” But custom software development offers a plethora of benefits that provide real value to your organization. Here are just a few of them.
1. Custom Software is Tailored Specifically to Your Business
Every organization is unique. And whether you’re eyeing the development of customer-facing software or an enterprise app, crafting a unique solution that aligns with your business objectives is crucial in this competitive environment. Therein lies the biggest and most obvious benefit of custom software development: A solution made for your business solves your unique problems, not everyone else’s.
There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to things like word processors, email clients and web browsers. But when it comes to your business, it’s unlikely that existing software on the market conforms perfectly to your processes and objectives. And while you can certainly bend your organization to work around a pre-made solution, it’s far better to make software that works for you.
2. Custom Software Integrates With Existing Software More Efficiently
Software has come a long way in the last decade. Because of the rapid proliferation of things like progressive web apps and Software-as-a-Service, there are plenty of fast-moving solutions on the market that promise easy access and integration with existing systems.
That said, these integrations aren’t always simple. Limited APIs and a lack of understanding of your business’s industry or processes often result in delayed progress or outright bugs that impact productivity and contribute to costly delays and downtime.
With custom software development, businesses can transparently integrate with the software the organization is currently using. More importantly, custom software helps improve processes already in place, moving information and data from one department to the other without having to conform to the limitations of an arbitrary API.
3. Custom Software Scales Better With Your Organization
There are no two ways about it: One of the main objectives for your organization is to grow and scale. Whether that means scaling in an existing industry, expanding to a new one or simply creating new products or services, it all leads to the evolution of business processes.
While an existing software solution might be a perfect fit for your business today, it’s nearly impossible for it to meet the needs of your future business. As your organization grows, the features and processes baked into existing applications can slow or even impede growth.
Developing a custom solution means that, when the needs of your organization change, your software changes with it. With a well-defined, agile development methodology, your software grows alongside your business, adapting to and future-proofing your processes.
4. Custom Software is More Reliable
Cultivating solid business relationships and partnerships is crucial to any organization’s success. Unfortunately, in the world of software, those relationships can be fickle, with 11 out of 12 tech startups destined for failure.
When you purchase or license an existing solution, you’re essentially beholden to that business. You’ve placed your future into the hands of a company that you have no control over. And if that company suddenly goes out of business or decides to focus on other products or offerings, you’re left with stagnant software that stops receiving updates. And that’s the best-case scenario.
A custom solution means the fate of your company’s software rests in your hands. You decide how it’s used, how it’s developed and how it’s updated.
5. Custom Software Provides a Better ROI Over Time
Pre-made software solutions may seem more affordable on the surface. But it’s important to think about the ongoing costs of using a solution that’s not your own:
- Lost productivity in implementations
- Costly and time-consuming integrations
- Licensing costs that scale alongside your business
While custom software has a higher up-front investment, developing your own solution means saving a considerable amount in the long run. A custom solution can significantly increase business efficiency, productivity workflows and even sales.
6. Custom Software Means More Data and Better Business Insights
There are a plethora of software solutions that offer intelligent business reporting and insights. But as with the software itself, this reporting is made for a large audience, and it may not be that relevant or useful to your organization.
Software solutions tailored to your business processes are much more effective in interpreting data and producing insights relevant to your organization.
7. Custom Software Belongs to Your Business
At the end of the day, the biggest benefit to custom software development is that your business owns the solution. How it’s developed, how it functions and the data it uses and interprets all rests squarely in the hands of your organization.
By creating a custom solution for your business, you free your organization from arbitrary rules and regulations and open the door to functionality and features developed with your unique processes and requirements at the forefront.
Custom Software Development with Net Solutions
At Net Solutions, we’ve long fused human-centric design thinking with leading-edge technologies and methodologies to provide custom software development for every kind of business. Whether you’re a nascent startup or a complex enterprise, we can help you design, engineer and integrate custom software solutions to solve real problems now and far into the future.
If you’re wondering precisely how a custom software development company can help your organization solve complex problems and streamline processes and workflows, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.