Is custom software development more expensive than a ready-made solution? As far as the price is concerned, building software has never been cheap. However, out-of-the-box applications have hidden drawbacks that in the end are likely to result in greater expenses and even reputation loss.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the advantages of custom software development, how to estimate custom software development cost, and the reasons why to choose custom software development rather than an out-of-the-box solution.
Custom Software Development is Worth it
Let’s define what is the difference between custom software development and out-of-the-box solutions.
Out-of-the-box is a type of software that was designed to cover particular business demands, fulfill particular business functions and processes. For example, it could be enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, human resource management, business process management, accounting, construction, customer services, and many others.
As a rule, out-of-the-box solutions offer a general set of functionality and aren’t customized for any specific needs of a particular company. For example, Microsoft Office, MS Dynamics, Atlassian project management tools, Salesforce, etc. They can be acquired as a monthly/yearly subscription, one-time purchase, or even for free.
Custom Software Development
Custom software development allows building applications that are tailored to the business needs of a certain company. It means that software developers can include in your application the functionality that can help your company to improve its business processes, enhance customer experience, and increase brand recognition.
Therefore, when you choose custom software development services, you ensure that you get only those features that will be helpful for your company’s development.
Here is a quick comparison of out-of-the-box and custom software.
Ready-made software can be a great solution for some businesses. However, there’re many cases when your company needs a custom software solution. Your own business application can work as a brand representative and a custom software program could help to enhance inner workflow in your company.
Here are some more examples when custom development exceeds out-of-the-box solutions. With custom software you:
- Pay only for the features needed for your business processes which results in high application ROI. While in off-the-shelf apps you pay for a subscription for unnecessary functions.
- Adapt your application for the current business needs and the requirements of your customers. Out-of-the-box solutions aren’t very adaptive and their customization usually requires extra investments, employees’ training, and they still won’t perfectly meet your business demands.
- Do one-time payments for your application upgrading while ready-made software is sold for you on subscription terms. It means that you don’t own the application you’re subscribed for which can end up in data loss when the subscription is over.
- Can build your unique brand which stands out in the market. Consistent brand development allows you to attract new customers and keep customer loyalty high, resulting in higher revenues.
Custom Software Development Cost
When considering custom software development many businesses think that it’s expensive. However, even startups with tight budgets could afford custom software development services as their cost depends on many factors. Some of them are:
The size-cost relationship is quite obvious. The price of a simple app with an internal database for several employees will differ much from an E-Commerce site that needs to keep extensive data on products and customers in one place.
Besides that, you need to consider the size of your software architecture, whether you need to build a lightweight or a heavy one. The database size and architecture complexity are always based on software requirements. Therefore, before searching for a software development company, make a list of features you want to include in your software or an application.
The second point that significantly influences the software development cost is its complexity. The more sophisticated an app’s architecture, the higher is the price. Besides the architectural design, it’s important to consider which features you want to include in your software. For example, a simple calculator will be easy to embed, while including a chatbot or CMS will require a bit more development effort.
Embedding cutting edge technology
Thriving to keep the leading positions in the market many businesses experiment with the emerging technologies in their apps. For example, some may adopt bitcoin payment solutions, Augmented reality (AR) elements, or voice assistants in their applications.
Although these experiments can be quite costly, they help companies stay popular among their customers and attract new ones.
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design is what makes your customers reopen your application and use it over and over again. Design elements are an essential part of custom software. They distinguish your application from a standardized solution, provide outstanding customer experience, and make your brand prominent.
However, design elements can considerably increase the price of a developed application. Therefore, you should be cautious with design elements not to exceed the budget yet make your application unique.
Ability to integrate with third-party systems
Another point to consider is whether your application or software needs to integrate with any other apps or systems. For example, you may want to add payment systems in your application like PayPal or a CRM system like SalesForce, or maybe you need an integration with Amazon or Google cloud.
Integration with third-party systems often implies unforeseen obstacles or technical delays. As a result, it increases investing costs in software development. The more integrations you want to include in your software, the higher the price.
Scalability and Migration
Your software grows upon your customers’ demands. One day you might need to scale your application by adding new features, extra storage, or migrate data from one platform to another.
All of these will require additional spendings as software developers will need time to develop new functionality, adjust your application to backend software, and tune it up.
When deciding on what to choose an out-of-the-box solution or custom software development services, companies should consider their budget expectations and features they want to include in their software as custom software development prices can vary greatly. It depends on many factors such as size, complexity, scalability, design, and advanced technologies they can include in their applications.