Are you looking into new software for your business? It can be challenging to choose between the different options available.
As you may know, there are 3 types of software out there. Off the shelf is software you pay upfront for and install into your organization as is. Software as a service is usually a cloud based web application in which you pay annual or monthly subscription fee to use. Lastly, custom software is the development software tailored for your exact business.
Choosing which solution to implement may be intimidating. In this article, I’ll list 10 signs that indicate custom software may be your best option.
1 — You are Unique!
The most common reason to get custom software is that the way you do business is not standard. Perhaps you like your current process and it is unique (it might even be a competitive advantage!). Because of this, you want something that will adapt to your process, not the other way around. Custom software is perfect in this sense because you can mold it exactly to meet your needs.
2 — Reporting and Analytics
Most off the shelf software and software as a service come with very standard reporting features. If you need more powerful or custom reports, it might mean you may have to download data and try your luck in Excel. This can be very frustrating and time consuming. Having a custom solution means developing reports that you will actually use.
3 — Integration with Current Systems
It’s likely that you have other software systems in place. This may mean entering the same information multiple times across these various systems. When developing a custom piece of software, you can use it to connect your new system to others. You can pass information from one system to the other without spending countless hours entering data.
4 — Nothing Out There
There may not be any software out there that closely meets your needs. From our experience developing custom software, the best solution is to develop a custom solution rather than customize an existing one which only partially meets your needs. The new system not only will fit better to your current process, but will be easier to maintain, and will be more flexible and scalable.
5 — Own Your Investment
If you intend to use your new system for many years to come, it is best to put the money towards your own proprietary system. Developing a custom software solution means that you own the product and you can be sure it will be around as long as your business is.
6 — Want Complete Control
The only way to ensure your software perfectly matches your vision is to develop your own system. There might be some software out there that may match your initial view of how things should work, but innovation is a very iterative process. Once you start using your new software and seeing what is possible, your vision will expand and you will want your new software to do able to do the same.
7 — Changes and Upgrade
When working with a software, you will eventually wish little things were added or changed to the system. If you need to have control on how and when these changes are made then a custom software solution is a nice fit. Your business will not be waiting on a vendor for the next update.
8 — Flexibility
Businesses are always changing. Your software may need to adapt to your business’ new needs. Custom software has the flexibility to grow and adapt as your company grows and changes.
9 — Ease of Use
This is a very typical case we encounter as custom software developers. Lots of businesses use software in a way that was not intended, which involves many workarounds in order to get the desired functionality. If this is the case, then you need to develop something for your own process. You will be amazed how much time you will save and how much easier your day will be.
10 — Unique constraints
Each business has various constraints. For example, if you are a business that has unique and strict security requirements it may make your software selection more limited. Building software without these constraints in mind can greatly affect the end result.
So there you have it! Next time you are looking into new software for your business, consider the 10 points above to see if a custom software solution would be a good fit for it.