Once you realize that your business activities can do better with an innovative software solution, it’s time to look for the available software development options. Depending on the business scale and budget you’re ready to allocate to this business need, you can choose between custom software development and off-the-shelf software. The latter is much more affordable as it’s generic, produced for a broad scope of needs and large user populations. The former is costlier because it’s developed specifically for you. Still, it offers numerous benefits in terms of security, flexibility, and unlimited customization.
In this article, experts of Brights will familiarize you with the concept of custom software development, equipping you with the vital knowledge for making a decision. Read on to clarify what custom software is, how to get a top-notch custom software product from a provider, and what gains this solution will bring to your business.
The Importance of Custom Software Development
As we’ve just discussed above, custom software is called this way because it’s developed from scratch for the needs of a specific client. Thus, a custom software provider first analyzes your business requirements and then develops a unique solution meeting all your expectations and needs. Here are the benefits you get when opting for custom development.
Custom software is infinitely scalable, meaning that you can apply it sustainably at any stage of business development. Thus, as soon as you plan a startup or want to advance a mature business, a custom software solution will be equally helpful for you.
Custom software products tend to be costlier than off-the-shelf software, but that expenditure quickly pays off. You will enjoy a great mix of features attracting clients to your business, making your operations quicker and more efficient, and achieving business process optimization, all of which unavoidably leads to increased revenue.
Custom-tailored solutions for your business will work exactly the way you need them to, as they are developed from scratch with proper regard to your existing IT infrastructure and technology you use in the workplace. Thus, a custom software product will integrate smoothly and effectively in the current operations, resulting in frictionless performance.
Once you pay for off-the-shelf software, you become tied to its provider. For instance, many programs are provided on a subscription basis, and as soon as you stop paying, you will be plugged off the provider’s network. In other cases, especially when using cloud solutions, you entrust your sensitive data to an external provider. So, if they experience a breach or stop working because of an emergency, you can lose that data and face severe business issues. This will never happen with custom software, which works for you the way you want, is located on your chosen servers, and belongs to you as your property.
Outsourcing for Maintenance and Management
You can also outsource a ready-made custom software solution to an external provider if you need an expert to conduct maintenance and regular management of that product. It often happens that the business is okay with the development terms in one agency but doesn’t want to stay with it for the post-integration service. Thus, a credible provider can study your existing architecture and take on the job of maintenance, audit, quality control, and day-to-day management.
Keys to Effective Custom Software Development
To maximize the value of custom software development for your company, you need to follow some basic partnership principles and rules. They can improve your bond with the outsourcing provider and help you get a software solution that meets your expectations.
Collaboration is key
The main contributor to success in the work with an outsourced provider is collaboration and effective communication. You can’t expect impressive outcomes if you don’t keep in touch with the provider or avoid giving feedback on the intermediate reports. It’s also vital to establish joint working hours for communication, especially if you have a considerable time difference with the software agency’s office. Discuss several communication channels with your project manager and set expectations for the quality and regularity of that communication before signing the contract.
Methodologies, technologies, and practices
The use of specific technology and methodology in the process of custom software development is also a critical point for discussion with your provider. Software development agencies typically use Agile, Waterfall, or Spiral methodologies for software design. Thus, you need to know which one your agency is using, as it will indicate the checkpoints and deliverables you can ask for.
Development methodologies to consider
The best methodology used today is Agile software development since it’s a flexible and adaptive model giving clients greater control over the project’s deliverables. So, you should look for an agency with an Agile approach to ensure an effective collaborative process.
Before you start working with a software provider, make sure you’re on the same page regarding what’s expected from them. You need to have a complete set of project requirements at hand, negotiated and confirmed by all involved parties. In this way, upon signing the software development contract, you will be sure that your partner knows what they should do, when they need to submit this work, and what quality metrics will be applied to evaluate their performance.
As you can see, custom software development has many benefits and strengths for any business. It takes more time to develop a custom software product from scratch, and you will need to pay much more for it than an off-the-shelf solution would cost you. Still, such products are much securer, more stable, and more sustainable in the long run. So, it’s better to find a reliable provider and invest in custom software development if you plan to run your business for years to come.