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Custom Software Development: What is it and why do you need it?

Posted 24/10/22

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Running a software business, whether as an entrepreneur, business owner, or a software development team, requires you to keep up to date with existing developments. The world of technology is always moving fast. And 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.

Therefore, software management and development is a crucial thing that can be manageable in the software business. However, developing and managing software itself is a challenging matter. Each user has their own needs, different software usage skills, visual tastes sometimes different, and the desire for additional features that vary.

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.

Definition of 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, for example, provide software services with various functions and uses to be widely marketed to their users. In that case, Microsoft Office and 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.

Examples of using custom software development, such as:

  • Field service equipment maintenance programs for manufacturers.
  • Online banking application designed for the bank’s unique needs bank and its customers.

Usually, custom software development is also known as bespoke software. This term refers to its own definition, created with special settings depending on the request. The team that processes custom software development can be internal or outsourced software development.

Read Also: 5 Easy Peasy Steps to Outsource Your Software Development

Custom software development is also known as application customization, application modernization, and application management. What is meant by application customization refers to the modification of the COTS application to support individual needs.

Meanwhile, application modernization is intended to keep up with user demands and a market that never stops growing. And application management to maintain the effectiveness of the software in carrying out its tasks, such as installation, updates, performance optimization, and service functions. These three advantages of custom software development for your own software product. But, then, are there advantages and disadvantages for your business?

benefit of custom software

The Advantages of Custom Software Development

There are several advantages provided by doing custom software development, including:

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. As with custom software development, all processes, designs, and functions are based on existing needs, so offering tailor-made solutions for the user market makes your business more acceptable.

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.

Guaranteed Security

Another advantage of custom software development 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.

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.

Read Also: 7 Reasons Why Coding A Custom Application For Your Business Is Beneficial

The Disadvantages of Custom Software Development

Now that you know some of the advantages of custom software above, let’s look at the slip-side of using custom software.

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.

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 this time-consuming can drain you or the team working with the outsourcing partner.

Read Also: Did Your Software Development Process Fail?

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.

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 really necessary for custom software

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.

More Resources:

  1. The Most Popular Guide to Software Development Today
  2. How to Manage Offshore Software Development Team
  3. How To Hire an Offshore Software Development Team

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