If you are the owner of a business, you may be in the process of realizing the different kinds of software apps your business might need right now or in the future. When looking into investing in software products, you will be faced with two choices: 1) off-the-shelf software and 2) tailor-made products.
Going for shortcuts or hacks might save you some money in the short run but can have devastating long-term consequences for your business. If you want your unique product idea to turn into a remarkable success, you need to invest in quality software product development services.
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Let us first talk about what custom product development is. Then, we will discuss in detail how custom development can be advantageous for your organization.
Defining Custom Software Product Development
Custom or bespoke software product development refers to the practice of creating a software product from scratch. It is often discussed in contrast with off-the-shelf or boxed software. Boxed software is bought “off-the-shelf” and is ready to use. The license fee may be a one-time cost or charged for a certain time period and/or per user. These pre-packaged software apps come as they are, and you have to make do with what you get. Custom software, on the other hand, is built specifically for you and addresses all your needs.
Anyone who wants to have a customized software solution built for them must first approach a developer who offers this service. Some clients, especially those who are on a tight budget, choose to hire freelancers. Since freelancers come with questionable work quality and raise other risk concerns, many clients prefer working with an experienced professional software product development company that can provide top quality services.
Advantages of Custom Software Product Development
There are numerous benefits of having custom software product development built for your business. We have tried to summarize them in the following three points. To make sure you understand the extent of these advantages, we have also offered some insight into how custom products compare with off-the-shelf software apps.
Complete customization in design and development
Perhaps the most important and noteworthy benefit of custom software development is the fact that it is not just another generic product but is precisely tailored to your particular requirements and demands.
With boxed software, the product that you get cannot be customized at all. There may be some minor personalization options for users but not much else is in the hands of the customer. Often, this type of software is designed and developed keeping a typical potential user in mind. It is also pre-loaded with many, many features that may not all be of use to you. You might only need 50% of the features offered by a certain vendor. But there is no way you could ask the creator to cut down the features you don’t need or charge you only for the functions you use.
A good software product development services provider will listen to and properly document everything that you wish to see in your software product. Having a business analyst or PM analyse your requirements for feasibility is generally considered best practice. As for the design process, the UI and UX designers will conduct proper user research and come up with designs that will match the level of the intended users (you or your employees). At every stage of the product development process, they will invite you to provide your input and feedback. If at any point, you are not satisfied with the deliverables, you can ask for a redo. If you have any special security concerns that you would like the developers to address, you have complete freedom to voice them.
The implementation process can also be customized according to the competency level across your workforce. Every reputable software product development company offers multiple post-launch services, such as training sessions with end-users where they personally train users on how to interact with the new software product. You can also subscribe to a periodic app support and maintenance package where, for a pre-decided fee, your software provider will be available to help out users in case they run into any problems in the future. If you want any more features added or removed in the future, you can again contact your vendor to do so. Since you will have possession of the source code, you can also have your in-house team look into the software documentation and make any changes needed in the future.
Easier integration with your existing systems
When you approach a custom software product company to build a new app for you, they always take into account the existing systems that are already running within your organization. The tools and technologies that they choose should allow the new product to work seamlessly with your existing system in perfect harmony. There will be little to no compatibility issues faced by you or other users. If you have a central system running within the organization and you would like to extend that system or add a new system that is in sync with it, you can achieve that with custom development too.
Furthermore, a software company that cares about its clients would also keep in mind the ease of use factor. The new software that they develop for you should also be designed in such a way that those who use the current system do not have a hard time switching to the new one after the product development process is complete.
Stay focused on your core business activities
This one is a major advantage for people who prefer outsourcing their development needs over hiring an in-house team of developers. If you hire an in-house team, the recruitment process alone will eat up a major chunk of your time and energy. You may even have to involve other company employees in the process, distracting them from their other key responsibilities. On top of that, you will have to invest in each new resource you hire in terms of their salary packages, benefits, bonuses, and training sessions.
Hiring an external team to develop your custom software product gives you a major advantage in terms of productivity and efficiency. With an external team looking after all your development needs, you can continue to work on core business operations without any distractions. This will not only save you time but also preserve your productivity level. Your employees can stay focused on their respective jobs while the software product company’s team handles all the development activities from start to finish.