So you’ve started a business and the first question on your minds is, should you get a ready-made software or a custom one? This is one of the biggest factors that can determine how advanced and successful your business will be. You want to stand out from the competition and make a name for yourself and your brand. Let’s first look at what these two are exactly. Custom software is software that has been built for a specific company. It has been designed to cater to the specific needs of that business. It is tailored to fit the current and future requirements of the brand. This enables the business to run smoothly and efficiently because of that unique software. On the other hand, a ready to use software is able to fulfil the requirements of many organizations. It is not made for any specific brand but for everyone in general. This type of software is also called commercial software or ready-made software. This type of software is used to fulfil the general needs that every business has and not the specific needs of one type of business or brand. There are many reasons why people would take time to decide on which software they want to use. Some operate different types of businesses under one roof and cannot make their software customized for one specific business. Others may want to do so but do not have the funds make that happen. The business owner may also have plans of venturing into another type of business in the near future and cannot take the risk of customizing them only to be limited later. Every software has its advantages and disadvantages. Business owners need to look into both areas before making that huge decision that will determine which course their business takes.
- Custom software is tailored to the needs of a specific business or brand and operates smoothly. There are no hitches as the software is designed to accommodate the specific type of work the business does.
- Custom software will not contain unnecessary features that the business does not need. There will be no clutter in terms of apps that the business will never have to use in the course of their work.
- When the organization or brand encounters any problems, they can just directly call the developers and get their issues checked and fixed. This enables the brand to save precious time and would not have been possible if they did not have custom software.
- When you have custom software, you can be able to expand and improve it as the business grows. This will enable you to keep your software updated and in-step with the advancement of the business.
- The most important advantage of having custom software is it makes you stand out from the competition. It is something that they do not have. Your custom software is something only your business has because it is tailored only for you. If that software is well-designed, then you will slowly start to get ahead of the competition.
- Custom software will increase the productivity of your team and business. The programs in custom software are designed with the specific needs of your business in mind. This will enable your business and team to work faster and smarter. Your team may also not have to shift from one website to another if an integrated platform was designed. An integrated platform would mean having all data in one place.
Cons of having custom software
- Custom software is built by one single company and the initial development cost is usually very expensive. If its build by unexperienced development team. Also if project development is awarded to a company worry by their earning and helping you to achieved your goals fast is not part of their culture.
- The custom software may take a longer time to implement as opposed to having a readymade software. However, if the development of the software is undertaken in phases, then this may reduce the waiting period. Prototyping the software and a good company using Agile Scrum development culture would help you out on this matter.
- Custom software is usually not tried, tested and approved. Sometimes the workers find underlying problems when they are using it. The problems the custom software may have can be discovered later on after the company has fully started using it.
- There may be the risk of hiring developers that will not make the product come out the way you want it to. You have to research and seek testimonials about a developer company before you fully decide to invest your money, dreams and expectations in them. Find people that you are sure will deliver.
- When you create custom software for your business, you will be fully dependent on that company. If that developer company goes out of business or is unavailable because of any reason, you will be inconvenienced when you need them. Business continuity and disaster recovery is something that you should take under consideration before go under contract with any developer or company.
- Something software development company tell you they have the experiences because they bill someone else for similar work in the past, but remember companies has rotation all the times and many times the people with the actual knowledge about the referred solution from the past are not part of the company nowadays. This is something that happens more often that you can think.
Pros Readymade software
- When you want to share files with other users, it will be very easy because there are high chances that other users are also using the same type of software. There is a big user community.
- You will not have to spend time waiting for it to be developed so it’s quick and fast. You can start using it immediately without having to waste time waiting.
- Readymade software is cheaper because it does not have to be made from scratch. There are many users and the prices have been made fair to entice more people into buying the readymade software.
- If you want help, support or maintenance services, they are easily available because there are so many people using this commercial software. The maintenance costs are also very low and affordable.
- Readymade software is very easy to use. If you don’t know how to use it you can learn from the millions of people who are currently using it.
- This type of software is already tried and tested. This means it is very reliable and you can depend on it not to let you down with some underlying issues that have not yet been discovered.
Cons of readymade/commercial software
- Readymade software has a lot of features which are not needed by the organization. Those many features clutter the workspace.
- If you want to buy off-the-shelf software and have it customized, you will have to pay more. It’s expensive, way more expensive that adding a feature for your customized software. maybe the quadruple!!! yes, your read it right, sometimes the quadruple of what could cost you got the same if you own the code from a custom solution for your business.
- It takes a long time for readymade software to be updated to industry needs. Readymade software is not instantly updated when technology advances or improves. Sometimes, people buy a solution from a well stablished company with good reputation with 10-20 years in the market but are getting a legacy software with structure, coding style and technologies from 1990s.
- Readymade software will not meet the exact requirements of your business.
- You will not be able to stand out from the competitors through having a good software. Readymade software is used by many businesses and there’s nothing unique it bring s to your business unless you customize it. usually more than the half of functionalities wont fit your business workflow and this is what make you outstand your competitors. In other words, everyone using the same system will compete on equal condition and the one with more money or resource will will the battle.
- In the end when it comes to choosing the type of software you want, you’ll have to look at the nature of the business you are running.
Nowadays, there is a pattern from startups and middle size companies to use multiple thirds parties solution in order to get all tools they need to run the business. If you take a look into property managing process at any company in USA, you will see most of them use one of two most common solution for that industry and none of them actually full-fill all their needs. Property management corporation use a readymade solution for the property, another one for leads, another software to communicate with customers, another for reviews, another one to collect money and so on. Think carefully before you start and select the optimal path, not only for what you could need today, also what you could be needing within next 6 to 18 months. In other words, PLAN AHEAD!!!