The success of a business often relies on the ability to quickly adapt to changing market conditions. Customer demands, streamlined workflows, and data-driven strategies are just a few of the challenges businesses face. Without the right tools to support each of these goals, businesses can find themselves falling behind in today's competitive market. To avoid the downfall, businesses choose custom software development over off-the-shelf solutions. But why? Read on to find out everything about custom software development for businesses.
What is Custom Software Development?
In a nutshell, it's the process of developing unique software for a specific customer or organisation. Custom software can range from simple programs used by small businesses to complex applications used by large enterprises.
Unlike off-the-shelf software, custom software is tailored to meet the needs of an individual business. The business's goals, processes, and daily operations are all taken into account to create a software solution that will increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Why Choose Custom Software Over Off-the-Shelf Solutions?
Before we answer the question, it is important for you to understand what exactly off-the-shelf software is.
Off-the-shelf solutions, also known as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, are ready-made applications that are available for purchase by the general public. These solutions are often designed to cater to the common needs of a wide range of businesses.
Popular examples of off-the-shelf solutions include Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and QuickBooks.
So, the answer to this question depends on the unique needs of each business. Off-the-shelf solutions are great for small businesses with simple processes but can become expensive and inefficient if your business needs something more complex.
Let's give you an example; suppose you own a business in the hospitality industry. Your establishment requires software that can manage bookings, billing, inventory and customer relations.
In this case, an off-the-shelf solution may not be able to fulfil all the requirements of your business. To get customised features, you would need to invest in custom software development tailored specifically to your needs.
Benefits Of Custom Software For Businesses
Now that you know why businesses choose custom software over off-the-shelf solutions, let's look at some of the benefits of custom software development for businesses:
Every business operates differently and has different needs. With custom software development, you can create an application that is customised to the unique requirements of your business. This will help you increase efficiency and performance in many ways.
As your business grows, your online presence also grows. You may need to add more features and tools to your existing software applications in order to keep up with the changing needs of your business. With custom software, you can easily scale up or down without any hassles.
Any third-party involvement is thrown out the door when you opt for custom software development. This means that you will have complete control over the security of your data, which is an important factor in this day and age. An article published by Discovery actually states that about 32% of all South African companies have been affected by breaches of some sort. With custom software, you can ensure that your business doesn't become part of this statistic.
Off-the-shelf software might appear cost-effective in the short term, but when you factor in costs such as training, support and maintenance fees, custom software development is much more cost-effective over time.
Your staff members will be able to work smarter and faster when they have a custom-made software application that is customised to the specific needs of your business. This can help increase productivity levels across all departments, which can, in turn, lead to increased profits for your business.
How To Get Started With Custom Software Development For Your Business
By this time, you might have realised that you should definitely opt for custom software development. But where do you start if you're not a skilled web developer? Here are some steps you need to take:
1. List Your Requirements
Go through your current processes and list out what you need the software to do in order for it to be effective. Think about the features, functionality and integrations most important for your business.
2. Define Your Objectives
Together with your requirements list, you need to define the objectives you want your software to achieve. Think about what kind of ROI (return on investment) you expect and how the custom-made software can help streamline processes to increase efficiency within your business.
3. Consult A Software Development Company
Once you have a clear idea of what it is that you need, get in touch with custom development services, like ours, at Starbright to discuss the best options for your business.
4. Create A Project Plan
With your custom software development company, you should create a project plan which details the scope of the project, timeline for completion and budget. This plan will act as a reference guide throughout the entire software development process.
5. Monitor The Progress Of Your Project
As with any major business decision, it's important to stay in close contact with your software development team. Monitor the progress of your project and provide feedback where necessary to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
6. Test Your Software
Once the software has been built, it's important to test it thoroughly to ensure that all features are working properly. You can enlist the help of your team members or a third-party testing company for this step.
7. Launch Your Software
This is the most exciting step! After testing is complete, launch your software and start using it in production. Make sure to share the news with your team and customers so that they can experience the new features for themselves.
8. Optimise Your Software
Once you've launched your custom-made software, it's time to optimise it. Monitor user feedback, track usage metrics, set up SEO, and find ways to improve the user experience for your customers. This is an ongoing process that can help you develop a product which truly stands out from the competition.
Custom software development for businesses can be a great way to improve your business operations and stay ahead of the competition. When done properly, custom software development can provide you with an efficient solution that meets all of your needs.
Get started on your project today, and don't forget to reach out to us for all your software development needs. We can help you with simple API integrations, online portals, intranets, as well as any other application you may need.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the benefits of custom software development?
Custom software development can help you streamline processes, reduce costs, improve customer experience and engagement, and increase performance.
2. How long does it take to build custom software?
The timeline of custom software development depends on a number of factors such as the size and complexity of the project. However, on average, it can take anywhere from six to eighteen months.
3. What type of custom software can I build?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to custom software development. You can develop applications for web, mobile, or desktop, as well as create custom CRMs, ERPs, intranets, e-commerce stores and so much more.