Modification date: August 31, 2020

What Is Custom Software for Business?

logo
Syberry

What Is Custom Software for Business, and Does Your Company Need It?

Custom software, sometimes known as special software, is software specially created for a certain company or individual. The alternative would be mass-market software such as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions or free open-source software.

While many companies across every industry can benefit from custom software, it may not be the perfect choice for every business. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of custom software versus COTS to help inform your organization’s decision.

Advantages of Custom Software

Custom software increases the effectiveness of the business due to process automation. As discussed above, when business processes are adequately automated, they decrease time and other resources.

First and foremost, because custom software is designed specifically for your business, it can take into account any and all specific expectations, preferences, processes, and challenges that off-the-shelf solutions are simply not equipped to handle. And because your organization works in close collaboration with the custom software developer, the product can be adjusted as needed both during and after development. Furthermore, during the initial stage of software development, i.e. the discovery phase, you can include representatives from each team that will be using the software — such as marketing, engineering, research and development, general management and others — to ensure the new product supports the goals of every department and the company as a whole.

Second, when you use software designed specifically for your business, it’s very likely that that is the only system you’ll need to use. You will not need to purchase licenses from third-party vendors or pay per-user fees. And if you do use additional systems, your custom software will be designed to integrate seamlessly with the other platforms. No more managing duplicate data on various platforms or using your staff resources for manual data management across platforms.

On the other hand, we see that a lot of clients using off-the-shelf solutions are juggling many different software platforms to compensate for the gaps in each solution. When every crucial task — from content marketing to stock management to client management to finance — needs its own system, the costs (in time, money, and human resources) add up quickly.

And finally, when you invest in custom software, your business ends up owning the code, as opposed to having a temporary contract for the use of software. This is beneficial from the perspective of perpetual access and power to make changes as needed. But it’s also a critical business asset to have on the balance sheet. If you plan to sell your business one day, this custom software designed specifically for your business and its unique needs will add significant value.

But Isn’t Custom Software Expensive?

Custom software development is often considered expensive compared to readymade solutions and products. This might be true in regards to software that meets your most basic needs — for example, there’s no need for a small business to commission a custom accounting software rather than simply purchasing access to Quicken. However, as a business’s needs get more complicated, the case for investing in custom software quickly becomes clear. In many instances, COTS solutions require intricate setup procedures in order to operate correctly in the context of a particular user’s business. This may involve asking full-time employees to stop what they’re working on for weeks in order to customize the new solution, and it may even require hiring outside experts. So much for an “off-the-shelf” solution. The cost of setup alone — not to mention maintenance and any opportunity costs due to associated delays — might well exceed the upfront cost of custom software development.

In addition to those setup costs, off-the-shelf solutions often entail per-user, per-month costs, which tend to increase along with the number of users. And anytime the company producing your COTS solution updates the software, that means spending even more time and resources making sure the new version of the solution meets your needs and remains compatible with any other programs you are using.

Choosing between Off-The-Shelf and Custom Software

There are two main considerations to explore if you’re considering off-the-shelf software.

The first is whether the software solution you’re considering aligns with your business processes. Because any off-the-shelf software solution will have standard processes and workflows built in. If those don’t match your businesses, then in order to make the software work for you, you’ll have to redesign your processes to meet its parameters and its limitations. Additionally, the software likely won’t take into account any more complex processes your business has in place, so you’ll need to be prepared to spend time and money compensating for any inefficiencies that arise as a result of the mismatch.

Custom software, on the other hand, will be built around your company’s unique needs and processes. Your team can work closely with process engineers and the software vendor to ensure all of your processes, dependencies, and workflows are documented and accounted for. And a good software development company will be able to consult on how to automate and streamline any processes that aren’t currently working optimally for your business. In short, everything is created with your needs in mind.

The second key consideration is ongoing support. If you’re considering off-the-shelf solutions, you need to get very clear with each vendor about whether they offer professional setup or support services — and, if they don’t, what third-party service providers exist to fill in the gaps.

It should be noted that most reputable custom software developers also offer support service during product implementation and after so that, whenever you need to make a change, fix a but or better understand a function of the software, you know exactly who to call for expert help.

Yes, custom software often involves a significant upfront investment, and no, it’s not always the right choice for every business. But if your company is looking to solve unique operational challenges, enhance the customer experience, or build a vehicle to empower ongoing revenue growth, custom software may be exactly the solution you need.

Publication date: August 31, 2020

Explore More Resources:

What our customers say about us

Syberry has provided satisfactory services thus far, and they are very responsive to any issues that arise. The team also possesses strong communication skills. They delivered a functional piece of software at a reasonable price, and they've managed the project very well.

Richard Harkness

CEO, ADEPT Driver

Elk Grove, CA

How we help ADEPT Driver Company

We developed a web-based driving simulator for teens and another for adults. The products run on Chromebooks, and the team added features that enable them to measure a driver's ability to avoid a crash.

Technologies used

I don't think you could find a better company to manage and build your project. I get so many compliments on my application, and it has a lot of unique and complex development.

Todd Surber

CEO, PIXRIT

Charleston, South Carolina

How we help PIXRIT Company

A photographer approached us to build a web-based software platform that combines the fastest social media manager with state-of-the-art galleries and provides the ultimate tool for photographers to upload, store, back up, and share their photos and manage their SMM activities.

Technologies used

The user-friendly software hasn’t encountered any issues or bugs in more than three years. It’s high quality has helped grow the clientele. Straightforward and consistent in communication, Syberry met every deadline and ensured a hassle-free development process.

Vince Hughes

Owner, Steel Estimating Solutions

Knoxville, TN

How we help Steel Estimating Solutions Company

Our client was inspired to create a product that helps steel erection companies perform faster, more efficient estimations and bids. We developed original proprietary software from the initial concept.

Technologies used

The new platform received positive feedback and performs better than its predecessor. Syberry communicated the project’s progress to their partners well by breaking down their steps and utilizing a management system. Most importantly, they delivered world-class service for a cost-efficient price.

Bill Fahy

Owner, FDI Creative Services

Houston, TX

How we help FDI Creative Services Company

Following strict regulations and requirements, we used AWS to develop a custom e-commerce web app that includes shipping integration. Since the site’s launch, the team has continued to make updates.

Technologies used

The application was delivered on time and within budget. Syberry explained their process thoroughly and accommodated to scope changes effortlessly. Their stellar project management, highly responsive communication, and proactive attitude set them apart.

Ricardo Casas

CEO, Fahrenheit Marketing

Austin, TX

How we help Fahrenheit Marketing Company

We developed a large, complex .NET application with various third-party integrations. The team built the software from scratch based on existing wireframes.

Technologies used

The end solution exceeded the client’s expectations. Syberry delivered high-quality products on time and at outstanding value. They provided frequent updates and repeatedly sought feedback at each stage. Customers can expect a highly experienced team that easily translates concepts into solutions.

Rudy Milkovic

Executive Director, Velicom

Austin, TX

How we help Velicom Company

Our team built video streaming software as a web and desktop app for a third-party client. We completed end-to-end development—from scoping to feedback cycles to QA—using PHP and Wowza Streaming Engine.

Technologies used

Syberry has successfully improved the frontend performance of the platform and continues to make thoughtful suggestions for enhancements. They have proven to be communicative and reliable, mitigating the common concerns of outsourced teams. Syberry remains mindful of business goals and client needs.

Cory Kowal

VP of Products, THG Energy Solutions

Tulsa, OK

How we help THG Energy Solutions Company

Taking over for another vendor, we served as the ongoing software engineering partner for an energy company’s cloud-based platform. The company provided scoping, development, testing, and deployment services.

Technologies used

The added team members sufficiently fulfilled the needs of the project. The product was successfully launched and has received positive feedback. Syberry continues to be a supportive partner in development. They provide an impressive team and their expertise fosters a smooth collaboration.

Chris Cox

CTO, MyMelo

Louisville, Kentucky

How we help MyMelo Company

We provided staff augmentation resources for a development project. The team contributed engineers to follow an established roadmap to perform updates and add features.

Technologies used

Syberry delivered a solid website that has become a database of close to 40 organizations. The team worked quickly and efficiently to get the website up and running, and they continue to invest their time into the project. Additionally, they have been a communicative partner.

David Snyder

Product Director, Covid Resource Network

West Orange, New Jersey

How we help Covid Resource Network Company

The company developed a website that serves as a database where organizations can find and donate to other organizations. Currently, the team is working on enhancing the website and fixing bugs.

Technologies used

When the system is up and running, it will save time for the internal team. Syberry was a patient partner, and they performed well throughout the collaboration.

Joyce Cubio

VP of Operations, Ernie's Mobile Home Transport

Yuba, California

How we help Ernie's Mobile Home Transport Company

The team built an information hub for a mobile home transport and permit service. After discussing the existing system and processes, we delivered a new structure for forms and data.

Technologies used

All deliverables have exceeded expectations and function properly once launched. The Syberry team is skilled in juggling multiple projects, and provide strong expertise in software development. Their dedication to the project has fostered continual success in the engagement.

John Fox

Executive VP, Fox Business Automation Solutions

Lakeland, Florida

How we help Fox Business Automation Solutions Company

Brought on as a third party, we supplied ongoing development services. The team work on multiple projects and deliver according to predetermined design specifications.

Technologies used

Contact us to learn more about how Syberry can help your business achieve its every goal!

0 / 2500

Sign a mutual NDA NDA preview before a conversation.

When to sign an NDA?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between parties, such as the software developer (or a software development firm) and yourself, outlining information to be shared and requiring that information be kept confidential.
Send
Submit loading...

Was this page helpful?