Every business has its specific needs. On occasions, existing software will be sufficient to help an organization overcome an existing problem. In other instances, businesses will have to invest in custom solutions developed just for them.
The expenditure on enterprise software has increased over the past few years, and it’s expected to grow even further in the future. In 2011, the worldwide expenditure on enterprise software was 269 billion US dollars. in 2017, the number went up to 352 billion. By 2019, enterprise software expenditure is expected to surpass 424 billion dollars.
It’s easy to understand the advantages of custom software development. The biggest and most prominent pro is that such solutions offer access to functionality that isn’t typically available in off-the-shelf products. Taking a deeper look, these advantages can be broken down even further. To do that, we asked software developers from Itransition to provide a deep insight into custom software and its benefits for an enterprise.
Organizations are not static. As they grow or enter new fields, their requirements to software change.
At the same time, off-the-shelf solutions are pretty rigid when it comes to scaling up or down. A change in software will come with a downtime and loss in productivity. Staff will have to undergo training in order to begin using a new solution effectively.
Scalable custom platforms eliminate these problems. There will be no downtime. The team responsible for the initial development will also be responsible for the maintenance of the software and making sure it will match the company’s requirements in the years to come.
This is probably the biggest concern to address in relation to custom software.
The diplomatic answer here is that an accurate price estimate will be difficult to produce because it depends on the scope of the project. The diplomatic answer is also the correct one. Development will vary on a case-by-case basis. The best thing here, however, is that the business will be paying solely for the functionalities that it actually needs.
Off-the-shelf solutions often feature an array of “extras” or features that will never be put to good use. In this sense, custom developments are highly cost-effective. You will be paying solely for what you intend to use. In addition, the learning process will be simple because functionalities can be developed in any way you deem appropriate.
Usually, developers will charge per hour of work. The number of hours needed to build a custom software solution will depend on:
- The type of software development itself
- Software size (a bigger number of screens and functionalities will obviously be more expensive)
- The creative design (from scratch or a modification?)
- Whether integration with other software systems will be required
- Whether existing data will have to be migrated to the new solution
- Whether employee training will be provided by the software development team
While these factors concern solely the cost, there’s one more thing that will have to be examined in the context of financial parameters. The return on investment (ROI) of custom software development is usually much higher than off-the-shelf product ROI.
Different departments and offices that belong to the same company do not operate in isolation.
Very often, the solutions used by one group of professionals will have to be integrated with other types of software. One simple example is the integration of HR and accounting solutions to ensure the fair payment of wages and bonuses.
Custom software development makes integration with pre-existing solutions easier because they will be taken in consideration when the framework is being put together.
Alternatively, it may be possible for a development team to work on a solution that can be integrated across several departments. Such a solution will promote even more collaboration, effortless data exchange and efficiency.
Overcoming Security Threats
As more data moves to the cloud, new security threats have to be addressed in the corporate environment.
The cost of data breaches has gone up from 3.54 million dollars in 2006 to 7.35 million dollars per average organization in the US in 2017. Some of the top causes of security breaches include human error, loss or theft of paperwork, the use of unencrypted devices and the use of insecure web pages.
Some of these security threats can be addressed through the creation of personalized software solutions for the respective organization.
A higher level of encryption, access control, regular backups and secure data sharing can all be integrated in the respective solution. Such security features will reduce the risk of external hack attacks and of data losses.
If there are specific vulnerabilities that apply to the sector, these can be communicated to the software development team. Based on the nature and the scope of these risks, developers will suggest innovative security features that will be much more effective than standard protections against hacking or data leaks.
Easier Automation for a Better Performance
There is one more way in which custom software can increase productivity – through a higher level of process automation.
When the development process begins, the team tasked with software creation will learn a lot about the processes and the workflows required by the respective team or needed in the industry. This understanding of specialized processes can contribute to the creation of workflows and automation opportunities that will never be available in standardized off-the-shelf solutions.
You will be free to determine how many employees are going to be involved in the respective process, whether mundane and repetitive tasks are going to be handled by the software. Through this automation, knowledge workers will be free to focus on strategic development and problem-solving.
A final thing you may want to keep in mind is that the development team will be there to offer support and maintenance. As a result, your company’s IT department will have fewer tasks to handle. You can either reduce the size of the IT department or get these professionals involved in other technological processes that will benefit innovation within the organization.
This is just a portion of the advantageous ways in which custom software development will impact your organization. Custom software like AppOptics can give you the competitive advantage needed to improve your market positions in relation to the competition, help you reduce hardware acquisition costs, and even streamline work with vendors and third parties playing an important role in your processes.