Running a startup, whether as an entrepreneur, business owner, or a software development team, requires you to keep up to date with existing developments. Based on Market Research Report, The global custom software development market size was valued at USD 24.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3% from 2022 to 2030. the intense competition also requires you to rack your brain to win the heart of users. So making them keep using your software is a big deal.
So, all you have to do is develop custom software. But, before going too far, you must know for sure what custom software development is. Is custom software development really necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of software development for your business? Find out the answer by keeping reading this article.
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is creating software for a specific set of users, functions, or organizations starting from designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining the software according to the needs and desires of the target users.
Suppose we know that Microsoft Office and Sitebuilder.com, for example, provide software services with various functions and uses to be widely marketed to their users. In that case, Microsoft Office and Sitebuilder.com are not doing custom software development but commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS).
COTS targets a broad set of requirements, enabling it to be packaged, marketed, and distributed commercially. While custom software development aims at a group of narrowly defined conditions and is more specific to users.
What are examples of customized software?
After convincing you about the custom software, there are three examples of the most daily used custom software to further strengthen your choice. Here we go.
1. Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management System, or CMS for short, can meet its users’ needs and allows the development of existing features. Moreover, improvements can be made at any time.
Let’s make an example of using a CMS. For example, if you are a housewife, you want to buy cooking utensils online. So, of course, you need a website that provides a cooking supply store. Besides being able to be purchased online, you also want to be able to compare prices at store A and store B because household needs are not only in the kitchen aspect. You also want to see a clear picture of the cooking equipment you will buy and be able to do a product consultation with the shop you choose. Lastly, website design is essential to grab your attention.
To meet those needs, a CMS might be what your website needs to stand out. It facilitates social media integration, website maintenance, online security, and more.
Now, let’s take a real example. WordPress is an ideal type of CMS software. This platform is easy to use and customize. You can add widgets, make adjustments, improve SEO, and many other advantages.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CSR)
In the business world, Customer Relationship Management or CRM is certainly not foreign. CRM is commonly used to track customers, vendors, prospects, or referrals. In CRM, you can store their various data, including names, phone numbers, addresses, hobbies, favorite foods, shoe sizes, and even trauma or disease history. All data can be customized as needed. This makes it easier for start-up companies to apply CRM in their business.
But the question is, why should CRM be used? The first reason is to build and maintain relationships with customers. This is important to do to create long-term relationships. Apart from that, some of the most essential benefits of other CRMs are monitoring marketing campaigns, completing appointments, managing contacts, identifying trends, finding patterns, and handling customer service. The CRM platform uses dashboards and various reporting and analytics tools that help business owners track everything on their websites.
An example of a CRM platform is SalesForce. SalesForce advises business owners to focus more on innovation than infrastructure and embrace customization. This means you need a tailor-made approach to stay on top of the latest trends and make periodic changes to keep up with your competitors.
3. Business Process Automation System
A start-up company often encounters a job that does not yet have a master (the employee in charge of the task), which causes additional work for the existing employee to take over the responsibility.
For example, a cashier also has to serve in customer service. But, instead of providing excellent service, when they get a call from a new (or existing) customer calling to request additional assistance or information, they process the request the old-fashioned way, involving paper forms. And when busy giving change, the previously recorded paper form goes into the customer’s shopping bag. And the customer requests are lost.
However, that is only a tiny sample of inefficient and tiring work events. Manual tasks take time, and the worst thing is that many companies still use this method.
Businesses should automate their processes and consider business process automation systems. Another reason is to simplify communication. Secondly, automated workflows allow the creation of an owner responsible for each step.
Consider Process Street an excellent example of a custom software process automation system. Process Street makes managing team workflows, tracking workflows, scheduling processes, controlling permissions, using forms, and integrating other applications easier.
Key Takeaway: custom software development brings innovation to your startup
Apart from the three examples of the most daily used custom software above, several other measures will be briefly mentioned. Namely, the fourth one is Automated Invoicing. An example of this product is Tipalti. Then the fifth is the Customer-Facing Web Portal, for instance, the eXo Platform. And the last one to be mentioned here is Bug Tracking Software.
How can custom software development help startups?
There are several advantages provided by doing custom software development, including:
1. Tailor-made solutions
When you build COTS, most of the built features and functions sometimes correspond to user requests. So there is software that is made just because you or your employees are happy or able to make this type of software, but it certainly cannot be enjoyed by your user market. So offering tailor-made solutions for the user market makes your business more acceptable.
2. Return on Investment
The development of custom software does involve a lot of costs and investment that can be applied to it. But in the long run, they may give you a higher return. Custom software has a high investment initially, but the cost becomes almost negligible in the long run. You can make a clear ROI to see that developing custom software will pay off a bigger investment in the next few years.
3. Guaranteed Security
Another advantage is that security can be included in the program according to your company. In addition, the chances of intrusion are significantly reduced because you use your own tools without external interference so that your business will not be easily disturbed by other parties.
4. Long-Term Risk
Often, companies that develop COTS try to maintain their existence by releasing newer versions of their software and discontinuing all support for older versions. This entails additional costs that can bankrupt the company and stop providing support altogether. You don’t need to feel that risk when doing custom software development. Custom software is always available and can be updated as much as possible.
What are the disadvantages of customized software?
Now that you know some of the advantages of custom software above, let’s look at the slip-side of using custom software.
1. High Investment
As described above, developing custom software requires a high investment, especially at the beginning of the manufacturing process. This needs to be observed by several businesses. As an entrepreneur, of course, you must be able to determine the decisions taken, not to even make the company go out of business.
Making a good ROI is highly recommended before deciding to develop custom software.
2. Time Involved
Apart from investing money, you should also support your time developing custom software. This process may take months or even years. Custom software takes time for due diligence, avoidance of defects, and readiness for use by the user. Therefore, the process can undergo several iterations before you get the desired result. The bad news for your business is that time-consuming and can drain you or the team working with the outsourcing partner.
3. The Danger of Choosing the Wrong Vendor or Outsource
When outsourcing the team, you should pay extra attention to making custom software. Instead of profit, you can stagnate. So choosing the right outsourcing is a surefire way to save your time as well as your money. But unfortunately, a lot of outsourced software development provides unprofessional and low-quality solutions.
4. Takes Longer Time to Upkeep
Choosing to make custom software certainly provides a fairly high reward, but it is also accompanied by other higher costs. For example, expenses may result from maintaining software features, such as backups, performance optimization, updates, bug fixes, and testing.
It would help if you had a very specific team of developers to keep it working properly. However, you will continue to depend on those who develop it because only they know how to manage it, whereas commercially licensed sites can be handled by multiple developers. Ultimately, this can result in higher costs if there are significant issues and service delays if the development team is busy with other projects.
Is custom software development really necessary? Now there may be an inner turmoil within you, but just as effort will not betray results, neither does price cross quality. It all comes back to your business capabilities and how much you can take risks. However, if you are still curious about custom software development we have several articles that can help you in the software development process.
Why choose custom software development?
Custom software has a high investment initially, but the cost becomes almost negligible in the long run.
What are 3 examples of customized software?
Content Management System, Customer Relationship Management (CSR), and Business Process Automation System
Who needs custom software development?
startup, enterprise, small medium enterprise and all size of company