What are the advantages and disadvantages of custom software?

Custom software can save your business. We know this sounds cliché, but it really can. It can save you time, so you no longer have to complete repetitive tasks.

This article will go through the pros and cons of custom software and give you an honest perspective.

Yes, we are a custom software agency, but we also are honest with our customers.

So here it goes.

1. Custom software is more expensive to get started with than off-the-shelf

With off-the-shelf software, you just have to enter your details, pay, and then you can get started. This is great for lots of businesses because the software you choose does the job it wants to.

And this type of software is typically reasonably priced. It may be only £20 per month per user. What a bargain.

The flip side:

There are some restrictions to off-the-shelf software. The product is not customised to your business processes, because it is made for lots of people to use. It could be missing some key features that you want - and include many you won’t touch.

Also - pricing. It sounds cheap to begin with, but as your business grows, you will have to add more users, so it will become more expensive.

It is also like renting a house. You are renting the software. You will never own it, and will not have anything to show for it at the end of your “tenancy”, or when you cancel.

Custom software is like buying a house. It’s expensive up front, but you own the house at the end of the day. You have equity which is yours and, ultimately, you are investing in your business.

2. You need to fully understand what you are wanting to build and the benefits to your company when you start a custom software project.

Yes, you do. It takes time to figure out the features you want for your own software.

The flip side:

Custom software gives you control to focus on what is important to your business and what will give you the most return on investment.

As a custom software agency, we can help with this. We have much experience building software from scratch and can advise on what is going to deliver the most business value within the quickest time frame.

3. Custom software takes time, with no instant gratification.

True. It does. As explained with off-the-shelf software, you can sometimes get started in minutes. That doesn’t happen with custom software.

The flip side:

Custom software is about a long term investment in your business and is something that will save you time and money in the future.

As a custom software agency, we can help with this. We have much experience building software from scratch and can advise on what is going to deliver the most business value within the quickest time frame.

So, will you opt for a quick fix or long term investment?

You need to weigh up both options - off-the-shelf or custom software - and work out what will best suit your company’s needs. Think about one, three, five years down the line and how you expect your business to grow and needs to change.

For example, will the admin tasks generated through new business require a new member of staff to process manually? If so, software could help, and custom software costs could be a substitute for a new hire and ensure you’re prepared for even more growth in the future.

If you’d like to talk through how custom software could help your particular business needs, drop us a line.

Or read more about the rationale behind custom software vs off-the-shelf software here (one of our clients even tried out both options).

The Switchplane Team

Hey! We are Switchplane and we help businesses save time and money by building them custom software. This can be anything from a job management portal to a complex ecommerce solution. Want to find out more?

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