When Is Off-The-Shelf Business Software The Best Choice

April 26, 2018

Businesses depend on software to manage inventory, payroll, billing, invoicing, accounting, ordering, and many other aspects of daily operations. Many businesses are able to find off-the-shelf software, while others turn to a custom software developer to create bespoke software to meet the unique needs of their business. While custom software provides some valuable advantages, there are many cases when off-the-shelf software is the better choice.

What Is Custom Software Development?

The process of developing custom software involves defining the specific needs that the software needs to meet and determining the features the program will need to include. The developer then designs the software and tests it, often making modifications throughout the process according to the client’s wishes. When the software is ready, the developer will typically provide training for employees. Often, custom-designed modules can be integrated with off-the-shelf products in order to cut costs, but in some cases, the business prefers to have a completely proprietary software solution that will represent the company’s brand.

What Are The Advantages Of Bespoke Software?

Many business owners find that their custom software increases their efficiency because it does exactly what is needed without requiring any time-consuming work-arounds. Custom software can also be a cost-effective solution in that the owner doesn’t have to pay for any features that won’t be used. In computer software development , custom software provides consistency among multiple locations of a business or among franchises. It can also provide greater security and better compatibility between components. Finally, bespoke software can be designed to grow along with the business, saving money on future software purchases.

When Is Off-The-Shelf Software A Better Choice?

Despite these significant advantages, custom software development is not the best solution for every business. Since it comes at a considerably higher price than off-the-shelf products, it doesn’t make sense for a small business that can’t afford the expense. Small and new businesses may need to wait a few years before making such an investment. In addition, off-the-shelf products can often be a great fit for certain common business models, like restaurants, hotels, and online retailers. programming and software development researching off-the-shelf options to see how well their features match a business’s particular needs.

Companies that stay small may never need services that off-the-shelf software can’t provide. However,many companies start out using off-the-shelf products and then upgrade to custom software once their business takes off. Large, complex, and unique businesses tend to get the most benefit from the flexibility and efficiency that bespoke software can offer.