“One size fits all” has never been a great concept, and in the business computing environment it can be particularly limiting. Every business has specific challenges, and it’s impossible for generic solutions to be a perfect fit for every company. That means off-the-shelf software applications created for typical scenarios usually can’t compete with custom software, which is developed to address a company’s specific needs, but they are often chosen because of the belief that it’s complex and costly to tailor-make a program. What business owners don’t always note, however, is the effect custom software has on a business and the benefits it brings to the table.
#1: Better Efficiencies
Optimizing your operations is critical for increased profitability, and the more efficiently you perform, the closer you are to achieving it. Custom software enables companies to fulfill requirements specific to their business, such as:
- responding to requests and orders faster,
- providing in-depth quality control, or
- delivering higher numbers in the same time period.
This reduces time spent on production, increases the quantity of products or services generated, and boosts revenue to the company. A program tailored for your requirements will help you meet your needs, and avoid the risk of staff using less efficient, improvised tools, which might have security risks that can harm your business.
#2: Lower Costs
Yes, you read that right! Certainly, there are costs involved in developing custom software, which could be higher initially than those associated with an off-the-shelf solution. In the long term, however, the costs are often lower, if you take into account issues such as:
- Annual or upfront licensing costs
- Charges for additional users
- Staff training on the system
- Modification to support compatibility with the client’s systems
- Workaround solutions for missing functionality
When business owners calculate the software cost to company over a five-year period for both options, they are often surprised to see that the return on investment outweighs the costs for a customized solution.
#3: Support and Maintenance
The most reliable software program develops problems occasionally, but when that program is a mainstream application with a huge help desk in another state, you’ll either have to wait your turn for assistance or hire an engineer on-site permanently to resolve issues.
With custom software developed by local engineers, you’re just a phone call away from getting help in a very short time from experts who know your system inside and out because they developed it. This is useful in times of need as well as for ongoing maintenance, modifications and updates.
By purchasing off-the-shelf software, you’re investing in the developer’s business. By building a custom software solution, you’re investing in your own company and increasing its worth. Your return on investment isn’t limited to cost savings and higher profits—it’s also inherent in the value of the company over the long term. What’s more, your own software program could enable you to open up new revenue streams, improve your employee retention or develop other competitive advantages.
Don’t follow the rest of the sheep. By implementing custom software in your business, you show the world your individual expertise and stand out among your competitors. And that translates into a bigger share of your target market and a higher success rate!