Did you know that the custom software industry is worth $24.46 billion in the United States alone? The benefits and efficacy of custom software are reflected in this figure: it’s enormous. So, it’s no surprise that so many businesses now employ software development agencies to create bespoke applications for their company.
However, navigating the choppy sea of tech is challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, Idea Maker is here to help. Keep reading this brief guide to find out what you should consider before investing in custom software.
Why You Need Custom Software
This article’s introduction has bigged up customer software, we know. If you’re not convinced of the benefits customer software has to offer, here are just a few advantages to consider.
Related Article: The Benefits of Custom Software Development for Small Businesses
The primary benefit of custom software is its tailor-made functionality that can be developed specifically to serve your business’s needs. This means that instead of having to use several different applications to satisfy your business operations, each with niche functionality, you can have a single hub for everything.
Moreover, your business may require such niche functionality that can be pricey or nearly impossible to find. Custom software remedies this by offering the features you need at an affordable rate, depending on what package you and your development team agree on.
Compared to off-the-shelf software that’s accessible to the public, custom software is far more secure. Primarily, this is a result of the closed nature of customer software – only the people within your business and to whom you give permission can access it, meaning it’s less vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks.
Additionally, an application’s data can be stored on in-house servers, giving you full control over the software and its users’ information. As a result, you can closely monitor who has access to your data, preventing information theft and leaks.
As you have a direct line to the developers of your software, updates can be made as and when needed instead of having to wait for a third-party service provider to roll them out when they see fit. This is excellent for both your convenience and security. For example, keeping your software up-to-date with the latest framework and plugin versions is essential in retaining water-tight security.
Just like on-demand updates, custom software means that it is able to scale alongside your business. In other words, when you need more functionality or server capacity, you can update your software accordingly to keep up with your business.
What to Consider Before Investing
Now that you’re convinced as to the benefits of custom software for your small business, let’s discuss a few key components that should be considered before investing.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
When building custom software, it’s essential to start by creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that consists of only necessary features and functionality. Building an MVP allows you to get your software developed and usable as quickly as possible while keeping costs low.
Once your software is built and you’ve tested its capabilities to identify if it adequately serves its purposes or requires more features, you can then return to your developers and update your application.
There are many types of custom software you can develop, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Progressive Web Apps (PWA), desktop applications, and mobile apps. Each type is fit for a different purpose. For example, SaaS is an excellent choice if you’re planning to roll your software out to the public, while a desktop application is perfect for internal use only.
Cloud or In-House Server
As mentioned previously, custom software means you can store data on your own server, adding a layer of control and security. However, if you don’t have access to this kind of hardware or are unwilling to invest in such equipment, you can use a cloud server at a low cost. The benefits of cloud servers include low cost, no maintenance, and scalability (you buy more storage with the provider).
What to Look for in a Software Development Company
After you’ve made the appropriate considerations, it’s time to start hunting for a software development company. Here are a few things you should look for when hiring a developer to build your custom software.
Portfolio and Experience
First, you should examine the development agency’s portfolio to gauge their level of experience. This is also an excellent opportunity to understand whether the company’s expertise matches your needs. For example, hiring a mobile game developer to build a fintech desktop application probably isn’t the best choice.
Related Page: Idea Maker Portfolio
Clearly Defined Development Procedure
You should also confirm that the agency you hire has a clearly defined development procedure in place. This is a step-by-step outline of how they handle development projects and where your involvement is needed. Lacking a clearly defined development procedure is a sign of inexperience.
Related Page: Our Development Process
Client Reviews and Testimonials
Of course, you’ll want to see what experiences others have had with the development company to ensure they provide both high-quality products and customer service. If the agency doesn’t display any reviews on its website, you may want to search its name and location on Google to browse reviews or visit a customer trust website like Clutch.io.
No matter how well an app is developed, it will inevitably run into bugs at some stage in its existence. As a result, it’s crucial that your software development team offers a post-release support package to make sure that your software is well-maintained. Broken software leads to security flaws, poor user experience, and ineffective functionality.
Custom Software Development From Idea Maker
Looking for custom software development for your small business? Look no further than Idea Maker. We have a team of expert software developers dedicated to providing solutions that elevate your business. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.