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A Guide to Custom Software Development

One of the most common questions we’re asked about our custom software development process in a custom software development company is What exactly does ‘custom software development’ mean? Let’s start by saying that it’s not just about coding and building your product from scratch, and we won’t do that until we talk to you about what your goals are and how we can best help you reach them. When we say bespoke software development, we’re talking about building an application or system based on your specifications, not ours.

Custom software development explained

Custom software development is a long-term commitment. A company or business owner might be tempted to go with an off-the-shelf solution when they are in need of new software. However, off-the-shelf solutions often do not work because no single solution can handle every problem. Creating custom software allows you to specify exactly what kind of program you need and to hire developers who can build it for you. Custom software development requires a good deal of initial effort, but once it’s finished, your company will have a program that works just right for its needs.

Custom software development isn’t right for every business. For instance, if you are starting a small company that doesn’t need any complex programs or cloud-based solutions, off-the-shelf options may be more affordable. As you grow your business, however, it will likely become necessary to switch to custom solutions so that you can keep up with changing technology and customer needs.

What is custom software?

Depending on what you’re building, custom software could mean a lot of different things. In a broad sense, it can mean any software that was built from scratch specifically for your needs. For example, if you have an idea for an app but don’t know how to code it yourself, you might hire a company to build it from scratch according to your specifications. But in some cases, custom software development is closer to what most people think of when they hear application development. Typically, these kinds of projects involve large teams who start with some pre-existing frameworks and then add more functionality as they go along.

While custom software development does offer more flexibility, it can also be much more expensive. After all, you’re relying on developers to build things from scratch, so if they run into roadblocks or need extra resources to make everything work correctly you could end up paying for those costs. Because of that, only choose custom software if you really think it will be worth it for your specific project. Otherwise, consider using pre-made solutions.

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What are some examples of custom software?

As your company grows, you’ll face a few software development choices. Do you stick with an off-the-shelf solution or do you move to custom? At some point, businesses need to take advantage of customized solutions that are optimized for their specific requirements. When does that time come? It depends on several factors, but it typically happens once businesses find themselves repeatedly tweaking solutions that are just too generic. Once it becomes more of a hassle to keep reinventing common elements than to build them from scratch, custom software development will often pay for itself in both effort and time saved. In other words, when your business reaches a certain size or complexity level it’s time to start thinking about custom software development options.

There are many types of custom software solutions, and we’ll discuss a few examples here to help you get started. One example is a website that does more than just look pretty – it has customized functionality that enables users to quickly and easily complete real-world tasks without leaving your site. Another option is application software that’s not necessarily complex but can still be customized to fit your business. A third example might be an app for mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

How do you choose between off-the-shelf and custom options?

Custom software lets you pick every feature you need, while off-the-shelf solutions are limited by their size and scope. Custom software can be more expensive to build, but it gives you greater flexibility to meet your needs—and you won’t need to upgrade when new versions come out. Some say off-the-shelf tools don’t give them what they want or solve their problems; others prefer that solution because it feels like getting something for nothing. Whether custom or off-the-shelf is better depends on your company’s unique needs. If your team members are asking for certain features, go with custom—if everyone can get by without customization, save time and money with an off-the-shelf solution.

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