Startup owners have, at one point or the other, found themselves in a dilemma of choosing whether to buy software for their business or develop custom software. While there are obvious benefits for both, developing customer software has several clear advantages in the long run which third-party applications can rarely catch up with.

Table of Contents

    • What is custom software?
    • Benefits of using custom software development
      1. Customisation
      2. Integration
      3. Scalability
      4. Security
      5. Support
    • Conclusion

What is custom software?

Software developed from the ground up, keeping the business users in mind, comes under custom software.

Custom software doesn’t have to be full-fledged, feature-rich, or even the most well-designed software right out of the box as it is organically developed from user challenges and required workflows.

Unlike conventional software packages, the benefits of custom software can be seen right from a minimum viable product (MVP) to complete scaleups as your business grows. This makes it a highly flexible mode of software development where the software functionalities can be changed as quickly as the company requirements.

Suggested read: Product Development for Startups: Expectation Vs. Reality

The need for custom software development

It all depends on how your business operates in normal conditions. When you have too few processes to keep track of, it’s better to use productivity tools to track your workflow. But when you have too many requirements to track with simple third-party software, things could get pretty complicated real fast.

When you think of processes  specific to your use case, the first thing you may try to search for is a software package that could incorporate all the functionalities you require. But trying to fit in an existing software package and paying for reduced control and support might feel limiting as your workflow improves over time. This is where custom software comes in handy.

With custom software development, the software vendor works closely with your team and tries to figure out the best possible product that suits your budget and timeframe. The solution can be version controlled to ensure that every feature you may use is precisely what’s necessary to run the business well.

Top 5 benefits of custom software development

1. Customisation

The primary benefit of custom software is the unmatched flexibility it offers startups to utilise their resources. Although not all features require to be functional at the launch of the application, developers can easily ensure provisions for adding features when needed.

      1. Custom-made software greatly improves the productivity of the teams that use them, as it is tailored to their workflow and requires less time to get accustomed to.
      2. They are often made with the team’s UX in mind, which not much off-the-shelf software can offer. This also means the solution feels unique to the company and caters to all niche challenges the business takes on.
      3. Another major benefit custom software development has over conventional software is the infinite flexibility it offers for businesses. You can literally build complex processes and automation without depending on external plugins or integrations.

2. Integration

As a growing business, your software needs keep changing with time and the industry you get into. At this pace, it’s unfavourable to lock into any particular platform as you might still be exploring ways to better your offering. Having custom software for your startup clears the way for infinite integrations.

      1. Custom software developers understand the need for future integrations and leave provisions to work with third-party apps and other allied services. They can also evaluate the level of usage of these integrations and advice on best practices too.
      2. There can be continuous integration and tweaks for the software as the team grows proficient in using the software. In such cases, developers keep the updates ready even before the company gets ready to use them.
      3. A custom software solution is unique to the business, which implies that the learning curve can be made as low as possible. Understanding the team’s software acumen and challenges becomes the basis for software development, not the price range of modular software packages.

3. Scalability

The biggest benefit of custom software development is the ubiquitous option to scale the software with your business. This is especially true when you are a small business and slowly gaining customers. While your current needs may be limited to a functioning website and an easy-to-use CRM, the needs will change as you grow your customer base and employees.

      1. While SaaS models are in fashion today, they are severely limited by the features they offer. Third-party software can only do so much to keep up with your business. And custom feature requests are out of the question.
      2. You also limit your data access, which can become a bottleneck for your business when the SaaS software becomes insufficient for your business requirements.
      3. Custom software gives users the ability to update and upgrade their software as needed to suit the needs of the business. It also pays less to invest in custom software instead of developing a workflow on third-party software and migrating it to a custom software platform later.

4. Security

Businesses that take data privacy seriously should consider developing custom software to run their business processes. As data privacy is a top priority for most end-users of B2B and B2C businesses, you mustn't relinquish the security of your data to an external agency.

      1. Websites or apps that have transactions enabled would be better off using a custom software solution rather than boxed software. The level of security that can be added by a software team is always more than out-of-the-box solutions and can also be updated regularly.
      2. Using conventional software may incur more security charges, which your customers may have to pay for you to maintain profitability. This is especially disadvantageous to your business if your costs are currently affordable to your users. Any jump in costs could force your customers to rethink their decision and could seriously affect your retention rate.
      3. Security standards for custom applications can be constantly upgraded to match current standards. Cyber attacks are often targeted at applications that have a locked version of security standards. If your business runs entirely around the data your collect, it’s always best to go for custom software development.

Interesting read: Role of AI in Cybersecurity - How AI can enhance and improve security of your business from the growing cyber threats.

4. Support

Having a custom software development team handle your app development is especially great when it comes to continuous support. As custom software developers spend a lot of time understanding the use case clearly and developing a minimal solution, you can always seek assistance if and when any difficulties arise during operation.

      1. Working with custom software rarely encounters outages, but when they do, you almost always get a dedicated team to get you back on track. Often, support teams are at the ready to solve any difficulties a user may find using the software.
      2. Running standard business software does not always ensure end-to-end support the moment there is any difficulty running the software. One core limitation is that standard software might only have guides or templates for the users to solve challenges.
      3. The primary advantage for startups in investing in their own software is to get continuous support from the software development team. This can translate into a progressively improved user experience for the business and ensure that the product grows with the business.

Software development plan template - A template created by our experts to help you efficiently plan your software projects.

Conclusion

Having full-fledged software right off the bat is never the intention of custom software development. What these vendors offer is a personalised solution that only the business and its users find immensely valuable.

At NeoITO, we work with customers across the globe to develop custom software that addresses unique business challenges. With use cases that vary across industries, we value how each business carefully considers its user needs and their particular challenges.

If you see the benefits of custom software development and are looking to develop a custom software solution for your business, we are always ready to help. Read more about our customer success stories or Talk to us today!

Book a FREE Consultation