Technology is continuing to become a core part of businesses worldwide; many companies are consistently looking for ways to use it to their advantage. There are tons of software on the market that can do so many things for businesses such as monitoring inventory, process orders, manage customer data, customer portals, and accounting. Whether your company is big or small, custom software can boost your business’s technical functionality in incredible ways!

So, why use custom software when you can simply buy a license for an off the shelf solution that can help you get up and running quickly? The answer is simple. Most software is created for the typical business and your business is not typical! No matter the organization, every company faces different problems. Due to this fact, there are no pre-packaged solutions available to address every dilemma your business faces. In turn, you will more than likely need to purchase different products and pay for features with these products that your company will never utilize. When you commission your own software, you are given an opportunity to tell the developers EXACTLY what your company needs and how the software should work. The product application is then custom developed around your business model. Therefore, there will not be a lengthy adaptation process and you can get right to business as everything you need is streamlined to help simplify how your business runs.

In order to make an informed decision as to what type of software is best suited for your organization, we compiled a list of pros and cons to investing in custom software. Here is what we found:

Custom Software Pros:

  1. As we all know, running a successful business has many aspects to consider. From supply chain to administration, customer service, analytics, management and so on, there are different channels to consider. Custom software solutions can help you simplify the manual process and paperwork that all the members of your team need to complete for the success of your organization. Consider automating your business practices for easy team access and faster processing. Permissions for employee access can be set, but the foundation for a collaborative organization is set.
  2. Businesses rely on good reporting in order to monitor performance and success. With custom software solutions you can choose what type of reporting tools you want and how to access them. You work hand-in-hand with the developer to ensure that your team will be able to pull reports easily and effectively.
  3. When you choose to use a store-bought software suite, you will eventually reach a limit to what that business can do for your needs. Software integration abilities are ready-made in store-bought options, but you have no control over which ones. With that said, why pay a software company to continue to develop integration options that you have no interest in using? Custom application software can continue to be scaled for your businesses’ needs while working the way you want them to. In choosing a custom software option you are allowing your company to focus just on what you need and are thus guaranteeing yourself a smooth integration process of software that helps your business operations work seamlessly.
  4. Software is designed to help businesses monitor inventory, manage customer data, budget and process orders. Custom software can not only help you accomplish the basic tasks that store-bought software provides, but it can also be designed to help you manage your sales leads in a smarter way. Developers can take the latest AI technology and implement it into your product to help you filter through your leads in a more effective manner. When you are better able to prioritize your leads to target sales first, promising leads can be identified and followed up accordingly.
  5. With a custom software solution, the code for the software is written directly for you which makes gaining unauthorized access a more difficult task for nonusers. What this means to you is that your custom software solution can help further your companies protection of sensitive data. You have the ability to integrate items such as biometric authentication into your software to help restrict unauthorized access. In the world of custom software, you are in control and can dictate how secure your product needs to be, allowing you to rest easy knowing that the right security decisions have been made for your organization.
  6. Custom software is extremely scalable. As your corporation grows, your software’s capabilities can too. New features can be added to accommodate expansions whereas most of the time store-bought products can not be scaled for your growing businesses’ needs. Think of it this way, if employees can achieve what they need today in and day out at a quicker pace, then this saves you as a corporation both time and money as your custom software is making a more efficient workflow which leads to a more productive office environment.
  7. Custom software will help give your organization a competitive edge. Custom software helps increase overall efficiency and creating a better user interface for your customers. The more you grow and innovate your organization, the bigger the consumer base you will achieve.
  8. The largest benefit of having custom software created for your organization is the ability to have technical support in your back pocket. With most major software companies technical support is a department that could be considered lacking in its ability to help its users. From waiting on the phone for extended periods of time to not having the ability to truly know the product and way in which you are using it. Typically, upon request for help, a support ticket is created and issues to the department. The most you can hope for is an eventual phone call back. This slow process can be long and infuriating. When custom software is developed with Momentum3 there is a specific developer in charge of maintaining your software. Not only do they know the ins and outs of your platform, but they will also be able to provide you with the direct support you need when you need it. That’s right, there will be no nasty phone trees or troubleshooting scripts read to you. Momentum3 aims to be your long-term partner for success that those off-shelf solutions just can’t promise you.

Custom Software Cons:

  1. The initial cost can seem overwhelming to may businesses as the thought is that custom software solutions are too expensive. Though initial fees for development might be higher than when you subscribe to an existing product, you need to think on a long-term basis. Off the shelf applications typically have monthly costs involved, and most charge you for additional employee users. These charges add up quickly, and within a year or two, you are facing a total cost that outweighs that of a custom application. When you think of choosing to have your own application created, think of it as a cost that will pay for itself over time with the increased profits it will ultimately lead to.
  2. Buying an over the counter product can be purchased and implemented immediately, whereas custom software can take weeks or even months to build. If you are looking for a quick fix, a custom software solution may not be for you. The same could be said for a pre-packaged option as well. It is not as easy as loading a program and getting an instant benefit. Customizing and implementing software that wasn’t built for your organization can take a surprisingly long amount of time. Is it worth the time you must spend learning how to change your business to suit the software’s design? We will leave that up to you to decide.
  3. When you purchase an off the shelf product you can very clearly read the bullet points on the back of the box telling you exactly what the software will do for you or won’t do for you. When you start a custom project there are no clear guidelines that can seem overwhelming. A good development firm, such as Momentum3, will be able to walk you through the design phase and help you clearly understand what features your product has, and how it will work for your organization. Though this process is time-consuming, it is custom which will guarantee the ease of use as it is rolled out at your organization.

How do you know if your business should consider investing in a custom software solution? I encourage you to reference the following questions.

  • Does my business have a critical need?
  • Would my business be able to process a customer purchasing process with an application?
  • Does my application need to work to benefit multiple departments simultaneously?
  • Is our current software difficult to use or outdated?
  • Does our business need a new edge that helps it stand apart from its competitors?
  • Could our business process speed up if our software slightly changed?

If you found yourself answering yes to any of these questions, you may find yourself in an unrealistic position as you search for a pre-made software solution to fulfill your requirements.

When companies choose to invest in custom software solutions, your companies’ specific needs are targeted, and the product is thus created to eliminate the current issues you are facing. As you face the decision of rather you should create a custom product or buy an off-shelf product, we encourage you to weigh the pros and the cons. While your immediate needs are important, we want to encourage you to think about the big picture and factor in future expansion. By choosing the right type of software now, you can streamline your business tasks, reduce errors and make everyone’s life much easier for years to come.

At Momentum3, we work with your organization to cater to your goals and build your software with your objectives in mind. We regularly seek feedback from you to ensure that our team is building your ideal software product so that both the client and employee sides to your business can transact as effectively as possible. Custom software will work for your business because it was designed to.