What Exactly is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development is the process of designing and developing a software for a specific group of users within a company. Custom software is developed to ensure that all your specific requirements and preferences have been fulfilled.
Off-the-shelf software(s) meet the needs of many common business problems. This is the reason they are packaged and commercially marketed and distributed.
Microsoft Office, Trello, and Shopify, for example, are packaged commercial software products and services. They meet the generalized needs of office productivity, managing lists, and ecommerce website creation, respectively.
Custom software, on the other hand, is designed to meet specific objectives, for example:
- a modernization and maintenance program for a manufacturing business process
- an online retail app designed for the unique requirements of the store and its customers.
The more unique the nature of the problem is to your business, the higher the chances you will need a custom solution.
Debunking Custom Software Development Myths
Is custom software development actually expensive, slow, and intricate? It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Even with the obvious benefits of custom software, some businesses may not completely understand all the value it delivers.
Here are some common misconceptions, debunked.
Custom Software Solutions Come with High Cost
If you look only at the upfront cost, then it may seem a commercial off-the-shelf is cheaper than the custom-built. However, if you analyze the numbers in the long run, you will get to know that custom software development is a cost-effective option when compared to commercial software.
For example, many packages are licensed on a per-user installation basis, so a custom product can be used by several users and on different systems without incurring any additional licensing costs.
Development Takes Longer Time
While it’s true that custom software takes time, it does not necessarily have to take too long. With custom application software development, you should be very sure about the process and technology stacks that the software development company will be using.
If you plan out the estimate and use precise methodology like agile, you will know how long it might take to complete a custom project.
Commercial Software is Better
This is again a common misconception about custom software. Commercial software is built for industries; hence it must be better. If you are partnering with a reputable custom software development company, not only is custom software development on par with standard software products, it can be better in terms of functionality since it’s tailored around your unique business needs.
Considerations while Choosing a Custom Software Development Company
According to Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. And it’s not a different case with custom software development. After all, there are many moving parts, roles and responsibilities, and requirements associated with each and every module. Custom software development is an iterative process defined by process stages to implement necessary features to achieve the desired product.
Here are the following major considerations while choosing a custom software development company to ensure the successful development of customized software.
Analysis & Planning
Capturing requirements is the backbone of the whole development process. The development team needs to focus on the position of the company, market niche, business values, and overall plans for the future. This analysis will help them define a tech stack and flesh out the features of the product.
During this analysis phase, decisions about technologies, methodology (whether Agile, Waterfall, or a hybrid of the two), and many important factors are made. This should also include the time estimation for the overall project and the budget as well.
Design & Development
Once the requirements are done, a team of software architects, graphic designers, and developers begin to design the software. The company should pay close attention to the visual design, brand identity, and user experience of the software product. In the same manner, the company should deploy a talented pool of frontend and backend developers to make sure how the system works with user connections, a connection of web to the database, and the functionality of the application itself.
Depending on the methodology like Agile, Waterfall, etc. testing and quality assurance may occur during development. The software development company should adhere to the best QA processes to make sure that the software built during development meets and complies with all the defined and/or required specifications. In a similar fashion, Software Testing takes place to report any errors/bugs within the software. This process helps prevent end-users from experiencing any problems beforehand.
Release & Maintenance
Once the software has cleared the QA and Testing phase, the software is released. Further, if any bugs/problems arise after release, subsequent updates or bug fixes should be covered under the maintenance phase. The development company should offer maintenance/optimization to fix post-launch security updates and other maintenance activities.
Custom software development helps your business build products or solutions that work specifically for the needs, wants, and desires of your company – internally or externally. The next time when you think that the solution you’ve found will work fine right out of the box, there’s often going to be something you can make a little better. It could be your business process automation using some key integrations, application customization, or application modernization. A custom project doesn’t have to be a huge project.
As a leading custom software development company, we’ve worked with various clients to build custom software projects solutions that have changed the way they run their business processes and improved the way they deliver value to their customers. We’d love to hear your challenges and are ready to assist with custom software development so that you can bring efficiency and growth to your organization.