Custom software pertains to applications and programs created with a specific organization in mind, unlike mass-produced software like the ones sold off-the-shelf. It can be developed to manage a variety of business assets such as content, inventory, customer data, and human resources. You can also use it simultaneously with existing software packages to improve functionality.
Here are the pros and cons of custom software development that you should consider:
Hiring a software development company allows you to work with a team of experts who will create a program that caters to the specific needs of your company. The majority of software in the market today only provide features for one department. For custom software, such as customer relationship management or CRM systems, you can easily have all functions in one application if you desire it.
These are the key features of most CRM systems:
- Contact Management
Having a place to store and manage your clients’ data makes it more efficient for you to pull up their files for your outreach campaigns.
- Lead Management
It ties closely with contact management since you can automate processes like email marketing, contact forms, and order fulfillment to improve the conversion of leads into paying customers.
This feature provides you with information on critical metrics through easily-comprehensible charts. It gives you valuable insight into customer data that can help you deal with market trends and consumer’s buying decisions.
Collaboration tools are crucial in ensuring smooth communication across different departments from your product manager to the sales team. A centralized customer database, company chat app, email notifications, and remote access can increase productivity and promote transparency.
While existing mass-produced software may be enough for your needs today, you should think ahead to when your company grows. A bigger enterprise requires more sophisticated programs because of additional workload and a larger workforce. You can have custom software created with your current and future goals in mind. This way, you won’t have to spend again to have entire processes and tools changed to accommodate your expansion.
When you buy off-the-shelf software and use it for your company, you have to contact the developers for troubleshooting when you encounter issues with the app. It’s still manageable if you’re only using two or three programs for your enterprise. However, regarding scalability, you must think about how support and maintenance will go about for your business data backup and other necessary operations.
Custom software development is ideal for any business since most firms provide you with an efficient technical support plan. You also only need to contact the company that developed the app for you. Moreover, your data is more secure since hackers aren’t familiar with your personalized system as opposed to the common ones.
One aspect of custom software that may be seen as a disadvantage is that its development is more expensive than mass-produced programs. There’s a substantial upfront cost for the creation of the application and licenses that it entails. You will need to shoulder the expenses associated with the creation and testing processes.
The price tag for some apps can reach as high as in the five-figure range. This is because, unlike commercial off-the-shelf programs where multiple users split the cost of its development, custom software is created only for you. Nonetheless, you can view it as an investment for your business when you think about how you can continue to use it even when your company has grown.
You also need to expend considerable time and effort in identifying the needs of your business and have a program developed to solve those particular issues. The research, in itself, will take time since you have to go through each department, sift through the processes, and pinpoint areas that can be improved through automation or streamlined for quicker transactions.
Then, you will have to coordinate with the software development company and test out various features. Afterward, you can choose and decide on the ones that are required to facilitate the seamless operations of your company. It’s prudent to do thorough research first before pushing through with having an app created for your enterprise.
Custom software development may seem ideal for large corporations. However, it’s a valuable service for any business, whether big or small, because it allows you to create a unique program with all the functions and features that will improve your team’s productivity. It’s also a more secure method since you won’t be an easy target for hackers.