Custom Software Development

early all companies face this decision as they grow: To stick with off-the-shelf software or invest in custom software development. Increasing growth in business automation requires all organizations to face the “build or buy” dilemma. One approach is to inquire if there is already a software solution out there that provides more than 80% of the necessary features required by the organization. To make this choice, certain factors like budget, nature of the enterprise, etc should be considered fully. In terms of efficiency, functionality, and usability, there is a huge difference between having an off the shelf solution versus a custom one.Therefore, before deciding which type of software would best meet your business’ needs, you should consider the benefits and limitations of both; off-the-shelf and custom software. By understanding the biggest differences between these two types, it makes it easier to make the right choice.

Introduction to custom software development

IBM defines custom software development as “the process of designing, creating, deploying and maintaining software for a specific set of users, functions or organizations.” It is also referred to as a bespoke software because it is tailored precisely for the end-users needs. It aims to work according to a precise set of requirements. Examples can include designing maintenance software for manufacturers or online banking apps for unambiguous requirements of banks. These software can be developed in-house by in-house teams or  outsourced to third parties vendors. No matter who the developing party is, custom software is designed to address the needs of these users more specifically than most conventional off-the-shelf software. The development of custom technology solutions also referred to as custom software development is usually more costly than paying for an off-the-shelf software plan. So for custom development to be successful, there needs to be a detailed plan and structure of the entire process as per the requirements. For example, Microsoft Word is an off the shelf software designed for the masses as a document creation solution to their diverse needs, however, it does not a specific purpose where content can be automatically created and distributed in per-defined channels as per users custom needs.

Process of custom software development

The process of custom software development requires the software developer and the client or organization to work in a close-knit environment. They are encouraged to agree upon the purpose, intent, and business requirements of the software, mutually to meet the specific purpose of custom software. The process of custom software development itself includes several stages starting usually with Planning and Analysis of the software, then it is followed by Designing, Developing, and Testing it. The development process is completed with the ongoing stage of Maintenance and Support of the software. At the initial stage of planning and analysis, the main objective is to gather as much data as possible for an accurate list of the software’s technical specifications. Also, this is the time of the highest adjustability as the more the detail is discussed with the customers in the initial stages, the more the influence is likely to be positive on the process of custom software development.
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