Considering buying readymade business software versus developing IT solutions in-house? Tough choice. Off-the-shelf software packages are unlikely to tick all your boxes, are updated at the whim of the manufacturer, and when you least expect it, they’ll be discontinued, forcing you to upgrade or switch systems. On the other hand, software development in-house is too costly, risky and time-consuming for most SMEs. But there’s a third, winning option: have custom software built for you.
Here’s why it works.
1. Saves time
Unless software development is an integral part of your business profile, complicated IT tasks are most likely wasting your team’s precious time. There are plenty of specialized firms which can take on your software development project, tailor it to your needs, and implement it faster, better and more cost effectively than an in-house IT department would.
2. Saves money in the long run
Although the initial costs of custom software solutions may seem discouraging, with time, they prove to be worth the investment, and more. By optimizing business processes to be lean and seamless, from accounting through invoicing to tracking deliveries, they shave off unnecessary expenses, way more efficiently than mass-produced software.
3. More flexibility
If you outsource non-core activities like software development to a specialist company, you’re better off even if it costs more at the outset than handling it in-house. While hiring IT employees entails fixed costs, outsourcing custom software development means a reasonable increase in variable costs that can be offset through, say, pricing. This option allows your business to adapt more flexibly to fluctuations in demand.
4. More control and efficiency
With custom software development, you get to decide which functions and features are essential for operating the business process in question. A good IT development partner will even help you formulate the requirements by mapping your company’s needs and suggesting options you might not have thought of. Just as importantly, you can rule out all the virtual knobs and switches you find unnecessary.
5. Faster bug fixes
Should any problem arise with your customized software, it can be fixed as soon as the cause is identified – no need to wait around for the next version update. Ideally, if there’s a constant, transparent flow of information between your company and the software development partner, tweaks can be applied as part of regular maintenance, without obstructing business as usual.
6. No compatibility issues
Incompatibility with already existing programs in your company’s system can make the purchase of a readymade software a frustrating waste of money. Even if, based on what it says on the label, it’s supposed to fit into your software infrastructure, you might be in for a nasty surprise. Custom software development solutions, however, are built with your specific IT environment in mind, so no such discord can occur.
7. Never becomes obsolete
Imagine you wake up one day to find that support for your indispensable business software is being phased out and you’re strongly recommended to buy the new version, or else face security risks and decline in output as inevitable consequences of sticking to the old, no longer supported version. With custom software, that’s all just a bad dream. You may now open your eyes.