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Types of software development

Custom Software Development – Everything You Need to Know

Technology has become an integral part of our lives; businesses that want to be successful leverage innovative solutions, especially custom software development, to satisfy the needs of their customers. Let's take a closer look at what customised solutions are and how it helps businesses succeed.

Businesses today are under immense pressure to keep up with the latest trends, technologies and consumer preferences. If they want to stay competitive and relevant, they need to make full use of software development services – streamlining their operations, optimising a customer experience and driving growth. According to Statista, global spending on enterprise software reached $783 billion in 2022. Custom software development is a powerful tool that businesses can use to achieve their goals.

What is custom software development?

One of types of software development services is custom software development, or bespoke programming, encompasses designing, developing and deploying solutions tailored to an organisation's specific needs. It includes workflows and data management, customer engagement, and security protocol construction.

For years, businesses have used custom software to achieve their objectives more quickly and efficiently. Drawing on this experience, generally bespoke solutions can be categorised as follows:

  • Industry-specific software – is designed to meet the needs of a particular industry or market, for example, agriculture, finance, healthcare, logistics, retail, etc. Such applications often include features tailored for that industry, such as inventory management for retailers or patient tracking for health care providers.
  • Management-specific software – aimed at helping business to manage their resources like employees, finance, customers and material resources, for example, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and operational management software.
  • Technology-specific software – is built around a single technology at its core. However, such solutions may be inefficient in the long run since newer technologies appear and older ones become outdated or replaced.
  • Platform-specific software – is developed specifically for the platform on which the software will be used, whether that's a desktop, mobile or cloud. However, there's always a possibility for cross-platform development too.

Unlike commercial off-the-shelf solutions, custom software offers high flexibility and customisation. This is due to the fact that such pre-build software applications are deployed to meet the needs of a broader audience with similar general requirements.

Top benefits of custom software development

From agriculture and fintech to retail, different sectors can leverage bespoke software solutions explicitly engineered to match their unique business requirements. Let's take a closer look at the benefits tailored solutions can offer.

Increased efficiency and productivity

Custom software applications can automate processes that would otherwise require manual effort by employees, saving valuable time and resources. For example, suppose an employee has to manually enter data into spreadsheets every day. In that case, you could use an application that automatically extracts all relevant information from multiple sources in real-time — saving hours of work each week and increasing productivity across the board.

There's no doubt that off-the-shelf solutions can offer some level of automation — but if you want to streamline your processes and save time, not to mention expenses, bespoke software is the way to go. With custom-made software, you can be confident it will integrate perfectly with your existing systems without any fuss or errors. Off-the-shelf options may require additional time and resources, whereas bespoke solutions give you peace of mind and a more efficient workflow from day one.

Improved data management and analysis

If your business grows, the amount of data you have to deal with will also increase. Eventually, keeping track of everything and getting a clear overview of your business operations can become quite challenging. Custom software can help by consolidating essential data into one location and streamlining the tracking and management process in a way that is optimised for your business needs. It helps optimise time and keep on top of things more easily.

Better customer engagement and satisfaction

Custom software can offer your business better customer engagement and satisfaction by providing the following:

  • A personalised experience, including personalised recommendations or customised messages
  • Integration with customer data
  • Improved customer support, for example, chatbots
  • Enhanced agility, allowing you to quickly make changes and improvements based on customer feedback and changing market conditions
  • Stand out from the competition by having unique features and functionality that others don't have

Even though ready-made solutions may offer some advantages, they often lack the bespoke elements and flexibility that custom software can provide. This leads us to the next benefit.

Added flexibility and scalability

Suppose you want a software solution that will perfectly fit your business processes and be easy to scale up as your organisation grows. In that case, you need to commission a custom development company. You'll also get the added benefit of talking directly to your chosen developer, so you can explain exactly what goals and requirements you have. This way, your custom solution will be built specifically with your roadmap in mind.

Enhanced security and privacy

Security concerns are one of the top issues facing business leaders nowadays. With data stored digitally, there is always a risk of hacking. The security risks posed by off-the-shelf software are well-known to hackers and easy to exploit.

By opting for custom software development, you can minimise that risk. A reliable software development company will ensure that your software is kept up to date with the latest security updates, helping to keep it as safe and secure as possible.

If you want to learn more reasons why you should consider custom software development, we have an article on this topic: Why Choose Custom Software Development?

6 key stages of the custom software development process 

From waterfall to Agile, there are many software development methodologies, each with its unique process, as well as its pros and cons. Despite some differences between them, all software development approaches share some basic steps. Here are some of them: 

Step 1: Understanding requirements 

This initial requirement-gathering stage involves arranging meetings to understand your project. It encompasses taking notes of any specific goals or objectives needed and identifying who will be using the finished product and how it needs to work. By compiling all this information, the software development company can determine whether they can fit all your project's requirements. 

Step 2: Planning 

After gathering all customer's requirements, they are turned into a detailed plan that sets out how to meet those needs best. This step involves defining the project scope, creating a project timeline, and outlining the requirements for the software application. By carefully planning at this stage, the software provider can identify any potential problems and devise a plan of action to avoid misunderstandings further down the line. 

Step 3: Design 

As soon as the developer and client agree on what the software needs to do, they move on to planning how best to implement it. This is where design comes in, thinking about system architecture and external appearance. The design step provides details like technical architecture, database design, user stories , etc. 

Step 4: Development 

This stage can be the most time-consuming but also the most important. It includes coding, debugging and other activities that ensure the software meets customer requirements and design specifications. Development processes vary depending on the software development model used, but more and more companies are using Agile methodology these days as it gives them more flexibility. 

If you want to learn more about the two most well-known software development approaches, check out this article: Waterfall Project Management vs Agile: Which is Best for You? 

Step 5: Testing 

After the development, testing is the next step that aims to find and fix defects, errors and deficiencies. During quality assurance and testing, testers perform different types of non-functional and functional tests: 

  • Non-functional testing examines aspects of an application unrelated to its functionality, including reliability, usability, security and performance. 
  • Functional testing is the process of testing a software application's functions. While executing functional tests, you need to ensure that each and every function works as expected. 

When a bug is detected, it is fixed and retested. The testing process continues until the software meets quality requirements. Both the provider and the customer team are responsible for testing the software. 

Step 6: Deployment 

The next step in the custom software development process is deployment. It is also considered the final stage as it makes the software available to end-users online or through installation onto their devices. 

Additionally, customers should choose the type of deployment - on-premise or cloud-based. As the term implies, deploying software on-premise means the software is located on your company's servers. Meanwhile, cloud-based deployment suggests using virtual computing resources like Azure, Google Cloud, etc.  

Even though deployment is usually considered the final stage, some indicate no final stage since the software maintenance process, including updates and added functionality, continues after the release.  

Each stage of the custom software development process is essential to the project's success. It is also important to partner with an experienced custom software development provider to ensure the software meets the business demands and expectations. 

How to choose the right custom software development service provider 

When choosing a custom software development service provider, it is important to consider several factors:  

  • Budget – it is important to understand your budget and choose a provider that will offer high-quality services within the budget. 
  • Time – it is important to work with a provider that can deliver the project within the specified timeframe. 
  • Technology – the quality of your software will rely on the provider’s expertise in the technology required for the project. 
  • Team size – it is crucial to consider a provider with qualified teams available to work on your software development. 

Your software provider should undergo due diligence to ensure they have the skillset and integrity necessary to become a trusted partner. It can help businesses identify providers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality services. 

In addition, it is essential that your software development agreement correctly defines two key aspects: project governance and scope of work. Remember to indicate who will be responsible for project management and what deliverables your vendor will provide. It will help ensure a successful outcome for your project. 

Don't forget to ask them questions about their experience, portfolio, process, and communication, namely:  

  • What skillset does your team have? 
  • Which projects have you undertaken, and who can vouch for your skills? 
  • How will the ownership of the project be transferred once it has been completed? 
  • Who will own the code? 
  • How will communication be conducted? 

Cost of custom software development services 

There is no one set price for custom software development, as it will vary due to many factors, including: 

  • Functionality – extensive feature list will drive development costs up because lots of functionality leads to longer implementation time, requires a bigger development team, more comprehensive testing, etc. 
  • Design complexity – can also raise the price of development. A custom design with unique interface elements, graphics and sophisticated animations results in higher costs than pre-built templates. 
  • Software integration – may be an added expense to the development process. However, it's important to remember that some integrations are easier than others. For example, integrating new software with legacy software is often one of the hardest options since many older systems are incompatible with modern software or don't support APIs. 
  • Data migration – although it may not appear so at first glance, migrating data from one site to another is not simply copying it. Different migration methods and requirements can make things very complicated. Making data compatible with another system usually requires reshaping it first, including creating custom scripts, calculating translation rules, testing and adjusting until everything is just right - all of that adds to the cost. 
  • Software development team – payroll costs make up the lion's share of any project cost. The seniority and experience of developers, as well as the location of the development team, directly affect how prices increase or decrease. 


An increasing number of companies turn to custom software development because it is a powerful tool that helps businesses to achieve their goals. It involves designing, developing, and deploying solutions tailored to an organisation's unique needs. 

Such software can bring many benefits, including increased efficiency and productivity, improved data management and analysis, better customer engagement and more. But to make sure your bespoke solution is a success story, it's important to pick the right software development partner. 

Looking for a team of experts that can develop custom software for your business using cutting-edge technologies? Contact us today! 

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