The Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Software Development
Today, custom software development services mean that more companies have unlimited options in acquiring the software solutions they need for their businesses. However the choice of custom software over commercial licensed ‘off the shelf’ software is one that you’ll want to put some thought into. Both custom software development and off the shelf software solutions have their benefits and you need to consider your options before making a choice.
Is Custom Software Development More and Less Expensive?
Initially, custom software development and programming is going to cost your company more than buying licensed software. This is often an important factor for small organizations on tight budgets. Licensed software recovers development costs over hundreds or thousands of licenses so can afford to charge less than custom software.
However, custom software development is often cheaper in the long run. When you buy off the shelf software you aren’t actually buying the software. You are buying a license to use the software on one computer. If you install it on many computers, you have to buy multiple licenses. Many business applications also have an annual license fee.
Once you buy custom software, it’s yours. You actually own it and can install it on as many systems as you like. Heck, offer it for free download on the internet. The choice is yours because it’s your product now.
Does Custom Software Require More Training?
When you use custom software, you will never be able to hire an outside expert because there are no outside experts. The only people who know how to use it work for you. New employees require training from scratch to use the software properly.
However custom software means you have an application designed to do exactly what you need it to do. It is designed to meet your company’s needs and to perform the functions you want as efficiently as you desire. This means while initial employee production will be low as the system is learned, future production is likely to be faster than commercial software would allow.
The ‘commonality’ of off the shelf software also has its restrictions. Because it’s used by so many businesses – just about every other business is working within the confines of that software. This may be fine for word processing software or spreadsheets, but when it comes to proprietary information, do you really want to shoehorn your processes into an application that isn’t built precisely for you?
What About Custom Software Updates?
Licensed software is usually in a state of constant development. The company offers regular updates to fix bugs, improve security and add new features. These are provided at no additional cost to the usual licensing fees. A custom software development company will not continue to improve the software once the project is complete. You can ask for further work but it will cost more money.
Then again you can direct the evolution of custom software. You decide what new features are important and which ones are not. You aren’t paying for a lot of unused bells and whistles that not only add to the cost but also increase the computer resources the software uses. Custom software doesn’t need as many security updates as licensed software. Since it is proprietary, hackers have no idea what or even if security holes exist.
If you are still unsure of your need for a custom software development services, contact 1st Custom Software and our experts can help you weigh the pros and cons for your precise situation.