Companies are always on the search for software that can help them improve and speed up their daily business operations. To do so, businesses most often invest in off-the-shelf solutions. However, finding one software that meets all their needs can be quite tricky. For that reason, businesses often invest in multiple products.

If you need a unique product that will satisfy all your company's needs, you should consider investing in developing custom software based on your unique set of requirements.

In this article, we cover the basics and key benefits of custom software development and how it can help a company increase business output and reduce costs in the long run.

In this post:

  1. What Is Custom Software Development?
  2. Top 6 Benefits of Custom Software Development
  3. Custom Software vs. Off-the-Shelf Software Comparison
  4. Why should a business utilize custom software development?
  5. How Much Does It Cost to Develop Custom Software?
  6. Best Practices for Custom Software Development
  7. Build Your Custom Software with Geniusee
  8. Conclusion

What Is Custom Software Development?

Custom software development is creating applications for specific business needs. In-house team or outsourcing partners will work with you to understand your needs in detail and then develop a program that will cater to them.

Building custom software can be pricier than buying a ready-made application, but it tends to save time in the long run if it gives businesses an edge over their competitors. Custom software can also be adjusted to add features in the future when required.

Now that you understand the meaning of custom software development, let's explore its competitive advantages.

Top 6 Benefits of Custom Software Development

Not sure what custom software can do for your company? In this section, we explain the most common advantages of custom software development.

Benefits of custom software development

1. Personalized to the Specific Needs of the Company

Custom software developed from scratch based on what you need can be a beneficial solution for a company, as it is designed to match the specific needs of a business or an individual. In addition, custom software is built to scale and grow with the company, so it is possible to add or remove any features on request.

2. Custom Software Is Cost-Effective

One of the greatest advantages of custom built software development is that it is cost-effective. While ready-made software might seem less expensive at first glance, it often has additional costs that make it more expensive in the long-term perspective.

When buying off-the-shelf software, businesses often have to pay for features they don't need, as those are a part of the software. However, investing in personalized software helps exclude unnecessary features. The company can build a list of functions they need and rely on one product instead of investing in multiple ones to get everything they need.

3. Fast Software Integration

Integrating multiple solutions to get the full picture of your work takes time and effort. Custom-built software is developed with consideration for a company's workflow, and integrations between different applications are quick.

Your business probably already uses multiple software solutions. However, you may have a hard time integrating those existing solutions with a new out-of-the-box product. When developed from scratch, tailor made software features seamless integration, allowing you to save costs and speed up its introduction.

4. High Reliability and Security

Off-the-shelf software is made to meet the needs of companies from various industries. In terms of security, this means that the software’s source program code is publicly available, making it easier to hack the software.

Since tailored solutions are not publicly accessible, your company will enjoy decreasing of security concerns: 

  • A tailor-made solution includes a detailed analysis of the company's specific requirements and calculates hidden risks that may happen along the way for that specific company. 

  • Customized software is always thoroughly tested based on a company’s unique requirements, granting high performance and reliability to deliver maximum value for your business.

5. Scalability and Flexibility

One of the most significant advantages of customized software development is that it can be adapted and changed as your business grows. Many companies tend to outgrow their off-the-shelf software, and they lack flexibility as their features are pre-determined by the development company.

Unique solutions allow you to choose from a variety of features and functions, only adding the ones required for your company's particular needs. Whenever you need new features or support for the growing demands of your company, a custom software solution will undoubtedly accommodate all your requests.

6. Continuous Support and Maintenance

Companies that develop off-the-shelf software most often include customer support. However, they also tend to discontinue support or updates for some of their products. Also, it is not uncommon for software companies to have bad customer support. 

Since custom applications are tailored to a company's specific needs, companies can ask for support whenever something goes wrong. Customized solutions are built knowing what problems are common in your industry, allowing for better troubleshooting and faster issue resolution.

To better understand the differences between custom and off-the-shelf software, we prepared a more detailed comparison between the two.

Custom Software vs. Off-the-Shelf Software Comparison

In this section, we explore the greatest differences between custom and off-the-shelf solutions.

Comparison of pros and cons of custom software and off-the-shelf software

In some cases, the price might be a deciding factor when choosing between custom and ready-made software. But how expensive can custom software be?

Why should a business utilize custom software development?

Custom development allows you to achieve the optimal level of digitalization and automate most of the business processes. It helps a business to create and integrate an application or program of any complexity and scale, given the appropriate resources. What competitive edge can bring custom-developed software to business?

1. Strict Compliance with requirements

Unlike boxed solutions, whose functionality often only partially matches the needs of your business, custom development allows you to create the software that you need. No third-party functions, long downloads, and remote databases - nothing more. Instead, the enterprise gets only the features it needs and the level of scalability that fits its business model. Over time, the staff will find it easier to work with a custom solution, and it will bring the business much more results than any available off-the-shelf software.

2. Harmonious development

Custom software grows with the business. Unlike boxed solutions, whose updates the user does not control in any way, the clients who have custom software can change and develop it in accordance with their vision and the current needs of the enterprise. As a rule, IT companies assist customers not only with integration issues but also with further product improvement. For example, Geniusee is always in touch with clients and provides them with extensive post-integration support. It includes updating software, fixing bugs, introducing new features, and changing existing ones.

3. Control and ownership

Custom software is the property of the customer, and even the developer does not have the right to dispose of it without permission. The uniqueness of the solution not only increases competitiveness, but also increases the level of cybersecurity within the company. Any errors or bugs identified by the customer must be immediately corrected by the software development team. Unlike boxed solutions, where you can wait months for the necessary updates. The completeness of control also makes it easy to integrate and combine custom solutions with others, such as applications, CRM or ERP systems.

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4. Long-term savings

Custom solutions may seem expensive compared to boxed software, but often this only reflects the short term. As a rule, the long-term use of "boxes" is associated with a number of additional costs: from paid updates to the need to overpay for new accounts when expanding the business. In addition, there is always a risk that the off-the-shelf application will cease to be relevant at all. Then your company will have to switch to a completely new solution, overpay again, and also incur losses associated with retraining teams. Here, custom software will always be more reliable. Created specifically for your business, it will not lose relevance and will be updated in accordance with the changing range of tasks. You pay only once - for the development of the initial product without additional risks and unexpected expenses in the future.

5. Direct interaction with IT specialists

A boxed software developer is a faceless vendor who doesn't know your business and has no interest in benefiting you specifically. In addition to your company, hundreds of others will use their “box”. This not only reduces the flexibility of the solution, but harms its reliability, as well as trust between the client and the supplier.

On the contrary, IT companies that provide custom app development interact directly with the business. Therefore, it is important for us that the software meets your interests and satisfies you. For example, the Geniusee company does not just create a product for sale, but put its reputation on the line. Our success is the success of our clients. Our further development depends on your satisfaction. Therefore, we are directly interested in providing the most effective digital solutions for business.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop Custom Software?

Multiple factors affect the cost of developing personalized solutions, so it can be challenging to provide an accurate estimate. According to Intersog, custom software applications can cost between $50,000 and $250,000.

Here are several factors that significantly affect the price of developing custom software:

  • Project complexity. The more unique and complicated features the software has, the higher the cost.
  • Software size. The size of the software depends on the number of pages and screens. The more pages and screens you want, the more work has to be done, increasing the price.
  • Team size, expertise, and location. To develop high-quality software, it is necessary to hire own team of experts. Developers from North America and Western Europe tend to charge the highest license fees, whereas developers from Asia and Eastern Europe tend to do a great job for a smaller price.
  • Delivery timeline. Complex software requires much time for development. The longer it takes to develop the application, the higher the cost of the project.

Now that you’re more familiar with the costs and requirements of custom software development, it’s time to focus on some of the best practices that will help you get started in no time!

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Best Practices for Custom Software Development

Developing custom software is a project that requires time and dedication. Here are the best practices to ensure that everything goes smoothly:

  • Create a realistic plan with milestones. Team up with experts who can create a realistic roadmap for your project and make sure to keep the project on track.
  • Implement code effectively. Hire experienced developers who can ensure that the code is implemented effectively and smoothly.
  • Carry out appropriate testing. Test the basic elements during the development of the software. Once the software is complete, beta users should carry out user testing.

Document the entire process. Document every step of the development process in case some issues arise.

Best practices for custom software development

Keeping all this in mind, you may ask if there are ready solutions that can help you develop your own software. 

Build Your Custom Software with Geniusee

Geniusee is your go-to team that will make sure your custom software runs smoothly.

Geniusee is a software and product development company focused on the wins of its clients. Founded in 2017 in Kyiv, Ukraine, it cumulates the expertise of 150+ skilled professionals who have already completed notable projects in multiple industries.

Teaming up with Geniusee means working with a results-oriented team equipped with a versatile tech stack.

Our quality is proven by numbers! The Geniusee team has completed more than 100 custom software development projects on time and within budget in different domains, including finance, retail, automotive, real estate, transportation, education, and tourism. Geniusee has been working with companies located in different countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, and Ukraine. Contact us to check our expertise personally.

Conclusion

Custom software development is the creation of software for a client's unique business needs. Choosing custom software comes with various benefits, including fully personalized products, high security, reliability, scalability, and flexibility.

Even though the price of custom software may seem high initially compared to off-the-shelf products, investing in custom software undoubtedly pays off in the long run.