Are Custom Software Solutions for You?
Last week we analyzed the challenges faced by small and medium-sized companies when using off-the-shelf software. This week we will look into 4 major reasons why you should consider getting a custom software solution for your business. Having your own software not only enhances the way you run your company, but can also have a tremendous impact on how your customers see you, and also on the way your competitors start seeing your brand. Let’s get right to it.
Reasons why you need to get a custom software solution
You’ve started your own business, and goal should always be focused: to grow your company. In order for this to happen, you need to stay competitive in the next 2, 3, or 5 years, and custom software will help you do that. If you choose to get your own software that fits your business needs perfectly, then your way of doing business and dealing with information will be different from the way your competitors do it. If you purchase an off-the-shelf solution, you must realize that it has been marketed to everyone in your industry, so if your competitors did not purchase the solution this year they will most probably buy it next year, which forces you to lose that competitive advantage. Focus on the features that you want a potential software of your own to have, and start thinking about how to design its development with an IT partner. Your custom software is part of your identity, so why not consider giving it your own brand look and feel?
Off-the-shelf software can be costly, and it often comes bloated with features you will never use. Furthermore, vendors of such software generally operate on a monthly subscription fee model, which in itself can be quite expensive for a small company in the long run. Additionally, you never know when they decide to fix bugs and to release an upgraded version. Therefore it is easier to develop simplified custom software to meet the exact needs of your company. That’s why hiring a custom software development company can be a good option.
Let’s say your website isn’t connected with your CRM and you need to put a lot of effort into keeping everything straight. Now, think about a piece of custom software that will do a lot more for you than a regular CRM or ERP. I am talking about a system that will replace 2 or 3 platforms that are generally used in any business. This would help you and your team mates work efficiently, and as a bonus you won’t need to remember all those credentials.
Let’s say you are already using a piece of software that you are relatively happy with. You’ve been thinking about integrating it with something else available on the market to boost its productivity. But then you realize that the program you would like to purchase does not integrate well with the platform that has worked fine for you. Do you toss what works out the window and start spending resources to learn a brand new system? That can be costly. Instead, consider getting a custom software solution that will integrate with what you already have, and add those extra features that would make your system irreplaceable.
The list of reasons mentioned above is not exclusive. Increased security and flexibility are also among the reasons for getting a unique solution. Just think about it: custom software solutions are not a luxury, in fact you’d be pleasantly surprised by the costs of creating them. They are a necessity when there is a clear, growth-oriented business development strategy.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, we’d like to hear more about the challenges you’ve faced by using off-the-shelf software and your experience with custom software.