Custom software development covers a broad scope of services. A company might want to validate and develop an idea for a new product that will give them a competitive advantage in the market or introduce automation into their working processes. By choosing custom software development, organisations can be confident that their software solutions meet their unique needs and, therefore, deliver the best results.
So, what are the benefits of custom software development? How do custom solutions differ from out-of-the-box software? To use a very basic analogy, custom software can be thought of like a tailored suit—it's designed to your precise measurements and, thus, fits you perfectly—whereas a suit bought off the peg is unlikely to have the same bespoke quality. In this article, we take you through what you get with custom software solutions and what the benefits are compared with pre-packaged software.
Where out-of-the-box software can help businesses handle specific standard processes, custom software development covers a vast swathe of digital projects and is ultimately geared towards assisting companies to meet some of their more targeted requirements. For example, developing mobile apps built to offer a responsive design which, currently, off-the-shelf software doesn't fully support.
Where packaged software is essentially ready to go once it's installed and configured, without the need for a specialised IT department, there are several steps to delivering a successful custom software solution. But if you have the time and a little more give in your initial budget, the benefits of custom software development, generally speaking, far outweigh any upfront outlay. We'll come on to this in a moment.
Here at ELEKS, the custom application development lifecycle typically starts with idea validation and technical feasibility study. Our advice is to always start from an in-depth analysis of your business goals, market trends and technological possibilities. At this point, you can bring on board a team of software experts with R&D and product design skills to help you perform the analysis and build a product prototype based on your requirements and needs. From our experience, PoC development is a proven, cost-effective way of testing business concepts before taking them to market.
Having tested your prototype with end-users, you can refine your product functionality for the best consumer response and get valuable insights to inform your next steps. You'll be able to define possible bottlenecks and tweak your solution architecture before proceeding with the full-scale development. Armed with the knowledge and feedback, you can scale your development efforts quickly, without repeat issues.
A skilled software team can help you navigate the deployment of your software product and ensure easy uptake of technologies and processes. Check out this blog post and learn how to hire an effective software development team.
By matching your solution to your requirements, a custom software development company can easily integrate it with your business processes, making it much easier to scale up as your organisation grows.
You'll also have the added benefit of being in direct communication with your chosen software developer, meaning that you can share your forecasted goals and requirements, which will enable your custom solution to be built to accommodate your roadmap.
Though the initial costs of going down the custom software development route are higher than if you were to buy your solution off the shelf, you'll typically find that companies selling software for a low upfront fee have ongoing costs, be it monthly or annual subscription fees, built into their business model.
So, if you're looking for a long-term solution to support the development and growth of your organisation, you may well end up paying much more in monthly/yearly bills in the long run. Plus, tailor-made software solutions are almost certainly going to get you a bigger return on your investment as time goes on. So, cost-effectiveness is among the most substantial benefits of custom software development.
When you buy off-the-shelf software, you aren't purchasing the software itself but, rather, the rental agreement for it. This means the responsibility for maintaining the software sits solely with the firm that developed it. And, should they choose to stop making that specific product or cease to provide updates that keep it running at optimal performance, you'll inevitably end up with a piece of software that's outdated and no longer fit for purpose.
One of the benefits of custom software development, on the other hand, is that you have a direct link to the software development company, which means that they can provide updates and fixes for you as and when requested.
When we work with clients on custom software solutions, we set up a continuous integration/delivery process that enables them to check and deliver code changes seamlessly across multiple platforms while using reporting to proactively look out for areas that need improvement.
For most business executives, security concerns are among the most pressing issue they face today. And, naturally, where there's data stored in any digital location, there's a risk. Off-the-shelf software is familiar to hackers as it's widely used, and security patches and updates provided by the company that owns it will typically only cover the more obvious threats, leaving you vulnerable to sophisticated attacks.
“Two-thirds of UK business leaders expect cyber security threat to increase over next 12 months.” - PwC
But with custom software development, that risk is reduced. A good software development company should take responsibility for maintaining your software to a high security standard, which should help to keep your solution safer. Regular security updates ensure that your software remains as resilient against cyberattacks as possible.
The size and fragmented nature of many businesses, particularly enterprise-sized organisations, means that departments often operate in isolation from one another. And this can make the integration of new software fairly complex. Certain departmental workflows and processes will need to overlap, and this means that if one of those teams is using a new piece of software, the other team/s need to be able to use it too. This is where custom software development can really come into its own.
By developing a software solution that's specifically tailored to your unique business requirements, you can ensure that any necessary integrations are built in as part of the project scope. Custom software development also enables a more streamlined implementation and rollout process, making it simpler for all users within your company to adopt the new solution. From automotive software engineering to fintech, healthtech and advanced products for retail, different sectors can benefit from custom solutions at scale. But are there any drawbacks?
For most businesses, the main drawback to custom software development will be the upfront costs associated with it. And, yes, it's true that the initial setup fees will be higher than buying your software package off the shelf. But, as we've already highlighted, a custom software solution will most likely end up costing you less in the long run as there are no ongoing monthly or annual fees to pay. Plus, you're more likely to get a far greater ROI when you work with a custom software development company.
The only other disadvantage to choosing a custom software solution is that it takes a little longer to implement. But, in our opinion, when the end result is something that works perfectly according to your unique business requirements, any added wait time is more than worth it.
According to KPMG’s survey 2021, cost savings, access to innovation and quality improvement remain key objectives for outsourcing. Key reasons why companies outsourced their software development include:
As a custom software development company, we've worked with hundreds of clients to develop cost-effective solutions that perfectly fit their needs. Here are just a few of those success stories.
Our customer GRTGaz Deutschland is a major European natural gas transmission system operator. Working in the highly regulated European gas market, the company was looking for innovative ways to facilitate the process of regular reporting. They envisioned a convenient portal unifying the most up-to-date and historical information on all European gas flows, pipelines and storage.
Staring from the product design workshop for idea validation, ELEKS guided GRTGaz through its entire product development lifecycle, culminating in a unique digital portal that allows near real-time viewing of European gas market information. As a result, GRTGaz expanded its business model and positioned itself as an innovative market leader. Learn more about this project.
SafeSide Life AG is a Swiss insurtech company that provides a transparent and fully-digital approach to life insurance. The company's mission was to create a straightforward digital alternative to the traditionally opaque, paper-driven insurance purchase path.
ELEKS helped SafeSide, develop a robust web tool for calculating premiums and applying for digital pure life insurance. We started with a three-day product design workshop, helping SafeSide refine their solution's functionality and build the product development strategy.
In doing so, we helped the client develop a custom product that is unique to the life insurance industry. All at a predictable cost and with a shorter time-to-market. Read the full case study here.
Kukatree is a novel automated recruitment referral platform. The customer contacted us with an idea a develop a product that enables organisations to hire the best talent in the most effective and low-cost way. ELEKS helped turn this product vision into an interactive automated recruitment referral platform, allowing employers to reach the best talent as quickly and cheaply as possible. Here's how we did it.
With over three decades of experience executing and consulting businesses on their custom software development projects, we have the insight to help your company get the most of what today's technology offers. Get in touch to talk to us about your custom software project and we will help you bring your idea to life. Contact us for a free consultation.
The breadth of knowledge and understanding that ELEKS has within its walls allows us to leverage that expertise to make superior deliverables for our customers. When you work with ELEKS, you are working with the top 1% of the aptitude and engineering excellence of the whole country.
Right from the start, we really liked ELEKS’ commitment and engagement. They came to us with their best people to try to understand our context, our business idea, and developed the first prototype with us. They were very professional and very customer oriented. I think, without ELEKS it probably would not have been possible to have such a successful product in such a short period of time.
ELEKS has been involved in the development of a number of our consumer-facing websites and mobile applications that allow our customers to easily track their shipments, get the information they need as well as stay in touch with us. We’ve appreciated the level of ELEKS’ expertise, responsiveness and attention to details.