Custom Software Development – Is it the Right Choice for Your Business?
By Ravindra Salunkhe
The advancement in technology over the years has successfully transformed the way businesses have been operating. It is nothing less than a revolution and it is making lives simpler and convenient for not only for business owners but also for the employees. Software development is just another aspect of IT that has managed to make things easier and bring down compliance costs for a company.
However, the demand for custom software development has been increasing every year due to the flexibility that it offers. There are many commercial applications designed for various needs like HR operations and so on but the problem is they are based on predefined requirements. What if you want a solution that will just cater to your requirements and your people? At that time, you have to hire a custom software development company. But is it worth it? What is a custom software development and why is it important for you? We will be discussing all such questions in this article.
What is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development is a process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining software based on a specific set of users, functions, and organizations. In contrast to commercial off-the-shelf software, it aims at a narrowly defined set of requirements.
There are many custom software development services providers that can help you out with building a solution specific to your needs. This is a profitable way to go for since it not only saves time but also helps you make convenient decisions and save time.
Why is custom software development important?
There are many ways in which custom software development can benefit your business and we will be discussing that in a while. It helps in meeting the unique requirements of your business at the cost of modifying and maintaining commercial software. Hence, when it comes to organizations and software, most business owners prefer agencies over commercial software.
Here are some of the benefits of going for custom development software:
Businesses require 100% productivity of their employees and swiftly working software helps in saving precious time. Custom software is purpose-built for fulfilling these two reasons. A custom-built software does not require tinkering with COTS and further increases efficiency.
Custom software may require integration and collaboration as and when the organization grows. Designers and developers can further gauge the changes and do the required as part of requirements gathering. And then these features can then be incorporated into the software without incurring extra costs of licenses or subscriptions.
- Lower integration costs
The problem of integrating commercial software with existing and legacy systems is a big issue for most of it. If you have faced the same issue, then you would agree that you require extra investment to get commercial software to communicate and operate with their existing infrastructure.
Bringing in big revenue for your business is one of the purposes why you probably have started the business. Depending on the terms and conditions, you can license a custom-made software on your name and sell it to other organizations.
If the commercial software vendor goes out of business you are stuck completely. Plus, the time required to find a new vendor and software plus the investment required will also be added. On the positive side, custom software integration can be your own and you don’t have to depend on any vendor for support. You will have to support the software but it will be worth it since it will be all yours.
We have taken you through the 5 most important reasons for considering custom software development. If you are impressed by the benefits of custom software, you can contact the custom database software company for getting a custom database designed just for you and your operations. So, if you are intrigued to know how these services work you must move on to the next section.
Custom Software Development Process
Now that you are totally aware of custom software development and the reasons to embrace it, it is time that you know the process followed to make it worth the time. We will walk you through the development process from start till end.
- Analysis and planning
It is a process full of questions and hence they should all be tackled in the very first stage. This stage is known as requirements gathering. The developer needs to know everything you are expecting in your software so that there is no scope left for questioning once the development phase starts. All research required to complete the project is carried out in this phase. Once everything is in place, all you have to do is decide the structure and go ahead in the design phase. This structure is known as software architecture.
The analysis and planning phase is extremely important for custom software development. It builds a solid foundation for the design phase. In this phase, the design of the software is completed with respect to requirements and research. The aim is to build a UI for the software that is user-friendly and beautiful.
Now comes the most important one and that is the development phase. Here we ill do all the tech stuff from coding the software to making its deployment with the right approach in mind. It is done in two stages: Front end development and Back end development. Everything from databases, design, and coding is finalized in this phase. The design part is known as the front-end and the database part is known as the back-end.
- Quality assurance and testing
The development phase is not the last one to be completed by any means. There are multiple reasons for it and the important one is quality and testing. Development is one thing but testing the code for bugs, errors, and any other detail you might have missed. Testing the application for every little bug is essential so that the application runs smoothly when it goes on the mission. Therefore, quality assurance and testing are important.
- Intermediate deliveries
Intermediate deliveries can help you fasten the feedback loop and make the necessary changes before moving to the immediate next phase of developing modules. This way you can make the major beneficial changes and can be released for customers without waiting for the delivery date.
Once the testing and assurance are completed, make sure you document the results well. This documentation is for future reference. In case a bug arises or you have to develop similar software, documentation is going to help you for sure. This documentation consists of everything you used to develop custom software: from technology stack to the code.
The whole custom software development scenario is based on the fact that it is meant to fulfill the organization’s requirements as it is without the fluff. The maintenance phase is just the extension of that thought on a broader scale. The maintenance phase aims at resolving bugs, adding or deleting features, and improving the software further.
The importance of this phase is bigger than it seems to be. This helps us to inform clients about the project progress, bugs, any potential issue that we found and solved, etc. This is to be done in three important phases like start, in the middle, and at the end. This way you keep your client informed, and can help you manage the deadline and communication in a better way.
Here is a bonus for you. You might be a business owner who is in a dilemma to choose between commercial software and custom-made software. We have a checklist for you people like you that will help you make the decision without any problem.
Checklist To Evaluate If You Need Custom Software
Organizations can ask themselves the following questions to know if custom software is right for their requirements or not.
- Does the organization need changes to any of its processes?
- Will outdated applications be replaced?
- Is business growth a part of the near-future plan?
- Are multiple pieces of software employed to complete a single process?
- Are there tools needed that can integrate with other systems?
- Does your organization have a set of their own processes?
- What are the potential benefits expected from the software?
- Is ease of use one of the objectives of the software being developed?
- Are the employees, customers, and vendors facing issues with using the current software?
- Do you wish to communicate better with your customers?
If the answer to the above questions was mostly yes, you need custom software for your organization.
The custom software development market is on the rise and it is giving stiff competition to Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS). The reasons are many and we have discussed all of them. Be it custom software integration with your existing system or standalone software for your organization, these applications are sure to boost productivity and prove to improve the efficiency of the daily work routines.