Is there such a thing as a universal solution to a unique software requirement? Here at Code23, we firmly believe the answer is ‘no’. Before we explain why – by listing no less than 11 benefits of opting for custom made software – let’s remind ourselves what customised software is…by first looking at what it’s not.
Off-the-shelf software is designed to be a one-size-fits-all solution to the most common needs shared by many companies. Custom software is the polar opposite. It’s designed to provide a solution to the specific needs of one company. As such, it can give you a competitive edge in your sector. After all, it’s easier to stay one step ahead of the competition if you’re not using the exact same software as them.
So without further ado, here are our 11 favourite reasons for using custom software.
1. It’s for your users
Whether the target end-user for your software is your staff or customers, no one knows them better than you. So who better to define the user journey, or UX, than you? Choosing custom software development gives you the freedom to get involved from the very beginning and help ensure that the functionality and design provide the optimum – and unique – experience for your users. If the software is for internal use, considering the user experience can help your staff accept the new system, and if it’s for external use, the user-friendly experience could help bolster sales. It’s a win-win choice.
2. It’s personalised
Custom software isn’t only tailored to your users, but your business. Your involvement in the development process ensures the end product matches your business needs. In other words, the applications and programs can be created to streamline your business workflow and give you options to grow. When it comes to custom web design, your website needs to be different from everyone else’s to ensure you stand out in a crowded market. Custom web design can help achieve that and more. Don’t just take our word for it though, here’s our guide to the pros and cons of custom web design or theme build.
3. It’s one solution for many tasks
We’ve all been there. There’s that show we really want to see on Netflix, the latest series everyone’s talking about on Amazon Prime, and then there’s that movie you really want to watch but it’s only available on Disney+. Before you know it, you’re paying for multiple solutions to your entertainment needs! The same applies to software, where some companies have one application for sales, another for invoicing, and yet another for shipping. Before you know it, it’s all getting rather costly. A custom software solution can positively affect your finances by providing a single cost-saving solution for all those tasks.
4. It’s a long-term saving
Custom software isn’t a short-term solution. It’s a long-term investment. That’s because, after the initial cost of the build, you’re left with a solution designed to support your current and future needs, by having the flexibility to grow with your business. Off-the-shelf software may seem a cheaper alternative but you should factor in the cost of additional hardware or updates that may be required to allow the software to meet your ever-changing needs. Custom software can also help eliminate inefficiency by making commonly repeated tasks quicker and easier to complete, giving you a head start on your competitors.
5. It puts you in the driving seat
There’s no denying there is some great off-the-shelf software out there, yet one thing to consider is what would happen if the developer stopped supporting or updating it. You might need to find a new off-the-shelf software provider and start afresh. You’re also beholden to future cost increases and potential restrictions due to the terms and conditions. Custom software, on the other hand, leaves you in control. You own the rights to the software, the code that powers it, and have independence from the software solution company that provided it.
6. It grows with your business
It’s possible you could outgrow off-the-shelf software. As your business expands your needs change. The business requirements of a start-up would look very different from those of a market-leader. Custom software won’t limit the growth of your business but give you the structure and functionality to develop at your own pace as it’s designed to be scalable and future-proof.
7. It’s synergistic
Earlier we discussed using different software applications for different business needs. If your business is tied into a lengthy contract with an application – or has legacy software that would be too costly to completely replace – custom software is (yet again) the answer. Whereas off-the-shelf software can run into problems when trying to integrate with other systems (leading to lower productivity and raised costs), custom software can be designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing set-up.
8. It’s super-secure
66% of experts say that security is the biggest concern when it comes to cloud computing strategy. (By the way, for more software-related statistics, check out our guide to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) trends of 2020.) So it’s important your software is as secure as possible. While off-the-shelf software does offer protection against hackers and cyber threats, custom software takes it to another level with added measures designed to protect your unique system, your staff and customer data, and your brand reputation.
9. It’s a time saver
Does your company have any everyday business tasks that are repeated on a loop, day in, day out? Then think how much time you could save with a piece of software designed to automate that task for you. Custom software designed to quickly and accurately complete these everyday needs can increase productivity by freeing up staff members to spend time on other tasks such as lead generation or training.
10. It’s super-supportive
Another advantage of custom software is the support you’ll receive from the software solution company. Rather than having to wait for scheduled maintenance or updates (as is often the case with off-the-shelf solutions), you’ll have a dedicated support team on hand to answer your queries and resolve any potential technical issues as and when they arise. It’s reassuring to know your software – and business – is in safe hands.
11. It’s not taxing
Did you know that you might be eligible to receive tax return on the costs involved with custom software development? That’s because there’s a Government scheme to reward businesses that spend money developing new products, processes, or services – such as custom-written software. If you meet the criteria, you can claim back up to 33% of the project costs as tax credit. You can find out more and check your eligibility here.
So there you have it. Custom software can help make your business more efficient and realise your business ambition. You can check out our even deeper dive into custom software vs. off the shelf here.
We know what you’re thinking? Do we do custom software? Why, of course! We can help design, build, and create your own custom-written software unique to your business needs. So if you’d like to take the competitive advantage, click here to find out more.