Custom or Off the Shelf Software: What to Choose and When
Keeping up with the latest technology trends that helps to meet the changing demands of the customers is the only means to be successful in business. Every business owner tries their best to balance their company and invest in long term initiatives or even take the less expensive approach. So, your next step for success is to implement technology in your business model and take one large decision of whether to directly go with off-the-shelf software solutions or build a customized software that can meet your potential business needs. Though choosing a pre-packaged solution may seem to be an easier task, a customized solution is often considered to be more effective.
So let’s delve deeper and understand when the solutions suit the best situations:
Understanding the key differences:
It is very important to understand the meaning of packaged and custom software solutions. Pre-packaged or off-the-shelf software solutions are sometimes referred to as proprietary and is something that you can purchase or even download that offers similar functions as everyone else would use it.
On the it other side, customized software application development is something where your specific business solutions will be built by the developers that will have all the features to meet your specific needs. This means that it is unique and specific and contains the features that you ask for.
When to select a customized solution:
Building customized solution is often very expensive, but the returns on investment is worth it. And it is very important to dedicate significant resources, time and energy in its development. These tasks associated with a custom software solution may often make a packaged product better and an easier choice, but there are some points that you should always reconsider:
When you need specific features:
Most of the off-the-shelf solutions are built keeping in mind the general requirements that make them very rigid. You will not be able to modify the functionalities according to your needs. There may be either too many or too few functions for your company. With customized solutions you can add functions that are particular to your business needs.
Your business solution should be compatible with other programs:
Your company may depend on specific software to complete certain tasks and for this, your software should communicate and collaborate effectively with other programs. This may not be possible with packaged solutions and this may impede your business progress.
When should you choose pre-packaged solutions:
In certain circumstances, a packed solution may prove to be better than a customized solution. The approach is usually beneficial when you have:
- 1- Limited budget: The cost that is associated with developing custom web applications is one of the most logical reasons for business owners to avoid the option. Off-the-shelf solutions are often cheaper and are better when you have a limited budget and if you are a startup company.
- 2- Lacking technical expertise: If you don’t have a strong software team with essential skills to handle a customized software, then you won’t be able to utilize the product to the maximum benefit. In this case a general pre-packed solution is the best.
- 3- Quick application: Time plays a great role in developing a software. Building a custom solution will often involve time and if you are lacking that, it is a good idea to go for pre-built software as all you have to do is to install it and run. With customized solutions, it is often more time taking as it caters to specific business needs.
“There are various reasons of considering either a custom made solution or a pre-packaged one. If you are looking for a perfect solution for your business, then considering the above factors for both of them is sure to help you in taking a great decision.”