What is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development is the process of designing unique applications for a specific organization or specific users within an organization. Also known as bespoke software development, Custom software development services are designed to meet the precise needs that a traditional and widespread application could not achieve.
Custom software development can help companies to better perform their processes. With software made specifically to meet the unique needs of your organization, bespoke software development can help to improve productivity, increase the ability to take on new customers, and help your organization meet the challenges that will undoubtedly arise as your business grows.
For example, an application created for JPMorgan Chase would only be used by the company and department for which it was designed. The software is designed to maintain the company’s infrastructure, brand, and business processes, which means it can only work for that organization.
One major benefit of choosing custom software development for your organization is that the software can do anything that you need it to do because it was developed specifically for your organization and its needs.
Types of Custom Software Development
When trying to understand what is custom software development it can be important to know the multiple different types of bespoke software development.
When you’ve started on your journey to build custom software for your organization, knowing the exact purpose of the software application can be the key to success. As with building a house, it can be important to understand the size, purpose, characteristics, materials, location, and orientation necessary to develop a useful product for your organization.
This is where the different types of custom software come in, the different types give you flexibility in designing software for your specific business processes. Some types can help you work with a wide range of existing systems.
Web-based software is used over the internet with a browser. There is nothing to install or download and updates are primarily made in the cloud so as soon as you refresh your browser the update is available. Some commonplace examples of a web-based software product are things like Gmail or Google Docs.
Choosing a bespoke web-based software for your organization can be one of the simplest choices. Development times are typically shorter than other custom software development options and the product will typically just work.
The custom software development agency will take care of security, backups, updates, and making sure that it works with your required technology. It truly is a packaged software solution that can help to improve the way that your business runs.
Mobile App Development
Custom mobile application development is when you work with an app development agency to create a program that works on smartphones or tablets. When it comes to custom mobile app development, the app developer will access software development kits or SDKs to test their application in a controlled simulated environment.
Choosing to work with a developer to build a bespoke mobile app for your organization can help your business become more mobile which is increasingly important in this post-COVID world. With so many people working remotely, a mobile app for your organization can help keep things organized and running smoothly even when your team members are on the road.
The time and cost of a custom mobile app will be more than a web-based application. However, it is worth it to have a mobile app that works well for all the people in your organization. Additionally, it gives workers the flexibility to use your software even when they are at a customer site.
Software-as-a-Service is almost the opposite of custom software development. SaaS products offer users access to software for subscription fees (often monthly). In this fashion, SaaS developers spread the cost among many users. The benefit is providing a valuable tool for a much lower price than custom development.
While SaaS is the antithesis of custom software development, it still falls in that category if the client is the one creating the SaaS. For that client, the development is custom and is specialized to whatever task they identified as needed by the masses. It’s just that the capability to share and collect payment for the software is built around the entire system.
Middleware is software that sits between an operating system and the applications that run on it. You can learn more about how middleware works, what it is, and it’s many benefits by navigating to our blog, linked in this sentence.
Middleware is like plumbing because it helps to connect two different applications so that they can easily share their data and database information. When you choose to have custom middleware developed for your organization, you are improving the way that your organization runs.
With increased data management, your bespoke middleware solution can help you to speed up your processes and increase the number of clients you can take on or the number of customer orders you can fill.
Databases are a set of files that store information about things like users. Organizations that need to store important information typically use database managers that serve as an intermediary between the user and the database of information.
When you work with a custom software development agency, they can help you plan or strategize the creation of a database that fully meets your organization’s needs. For example, many off-the-shelf database solutions may not adequately collect all the types of data you need.
Another reason your organization might need custom database development is that your company might need to specifically visualize the data in a way that standard databases do not allow. Without custom software development, you might have to purchase another program to do this work for you or do it manually. A bespoke solution can help you save time and money.
Custom Software Development: Pros and Cons
You may be asking yourself, “why should my organization invest in custom software development when there’s such a large number of off-the-shelf software applications on the market?”
The most prevalent reason you should invest in a custom software development solution is that you are having difficulty finding a software solution that meets your business’ specific needs. However, there are many other reasons why you should choose a custom software development solution.
Pros of Custom Software Development
The main benefit of custom software is a simple fact that it gives you features and functions that a pre-existing application would not have. Designing the application to optimize the specific needs of the organization, at the same time implies increasing the level of productivity of the employees, and therefore, of the organization.
If your organization has a unique enough need to justify developing custom software, rather than settling for a standard application, then customizing a solution becomes a smart course of action.
Other benefits of choosing a custom software development solution are:
- A Smart Long-Term Investment: Your developer can easily upgrade your bespoke software solution to meet the needs of your growing business. As you add products or services, your software can grow with you.
- Increases Productivity: Improves the confidence of your team and allows them to complete tasks more efficiently and quickly.
- Assured Software Maintenance: With a custom software solution, maintaining software never becomes an issue as with legacy systems that eventually become obsolete. Your software will be maintained as long as you need it.
- More Secure: Unlike commercial off-the-shelf software, custom-built software is more secure and less vulnerable to hacking.
- Dependable Technical Support: Off-the-shelf software typically has overloaded and undertrained customer support specialists, but with a bespoke software solution, you have access to the people that built it whenever a problem arises.
Cons of Custom Software Development
Choosing a custom software solution for your organization will not be as cheap as a standard off-the-shelf application. This is because a bespoke software solution requires more resources necessary to design, develop, and launch. However, those increased costs do save you money in the long run with increased productivity and usefulness.
As with any custom development project, there are risks associated but these risks are often paid for with the large number of rewards that come from the development of your custom solution. For small start-ups, custom software might not be the best investment but for most other firms a custom solution is the better investment over the choices available on the market today.
How to Choose a Custom Software Development Agency
Choosing a company to create your own application for your company that suits your requirements is not an easy task. Most businesses, both small and large, should search for local businesses and then choose the company that promises the right price and desired level of services.
A quality custom software development agency will meet with you to discuss your business’ unique needs and to assess the amount of work that will be required to create your custom software.
When you choose a custom software development company, you should choose them based on their flexibility and availability to work with you. If you choose based on the lowest cost, you will often be met with either a disappointing product or cost overruns that a better agency would have told you about upfront.
Here are some tips to help you choose a custom software development agency to meet your needs:
1. Review Their Portfolio of Projects
The first step to choosing a custom software development agency is to review their portfolio of projects. Check out their portfolio to see what types of projects they have worked on in the past. This can help you see if they have the experience necessary to properly code your project.
For example, you can review database management projects, mobile app projects, and web-based applications that they’ve worked on in the past. Check the links to see more of Idea Maker’s past projects.
2. Read Their Reviews and Testimonials
When it comes to reading reviews and testimonials you have some choices. You can either review testimonials and ratings on their own website or you can review them on review websites.
For example, you can see Idea Maker reviews on Clutch.co. Reviewers on websites like Clutch are typically vetted to make sure that the reviews are real.
Another place you can find reviews is on the business’ Google My Business listing. All you have to do is search for a company on Google and if they have a listing it should show up with reviews.
Another place you can check for reviews for a custom software development company is in places like Thumbtack. These places typically only allow users who’ve actually worked with the company in the past, so you know these reviews are true.
3. Review Their Blog
To get a good understanding of the knowledge at a company, you should check out their blog. Reading their blogs will often show you their knowledge base and expertise. They should have posted about the various aspects of their business if they don’t you might want to look elsewhere.
4. Check Out Their Social Media Accounts
Another way to analyze the bespoke software development agency to build your custom software solution is to check out their social media pages. Typical social media pages are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This can help you see their company culture, knowledge, and expertise, and how they deal with customers easily.
5. Contact Them for More Information
The best way that you can get a feel for how your custom software development project will go is to contact the custom software development agency directly. Contacting them directly allows you to speak with the people that will develop your software and get a good feel for how they work.
If you still have questions about what is custom software development, contact Idea Maker for more information. They can help you navigate the journey to improved business processes and increased success through a bespoke software solution.