Understanding the Dynamics of Custom Software Development
Many organizations find themselves looking for software solutions that simply do not exist on the market today. After endless searching, they finally decide to seek out a software development company, like BairesDev, to turn their ideas into a reality.
The process of custom software development is the designing, creation, deployment, and maintenance of software built for a specific user, function, or organization as a whole. Compared to commercial off-the-shelf software products (COTS), custom-developed software is built to meet a narrow, specific set of requirements. Commercial off-the-shelf products are obviously designed to appeal to the masses as they are commercially marketed and distributed.
Custom software development is typically performed by a third-party outsourced team for maximum efficiency or handled by in-house development teams when resources are available. The same methodologies and processes apply to this process as with other types of development projects. A timeline of gathering requirements, writing of the code, testing, and deployment are used in a methodology such as Agile, Waterfall, or DevOps.
Why Choose Custom Software Development?
When compared to the cost of purchasing, maintaining, and modifying commercial off-the-shelf software products, custom software development is a competitive choice in terms of cost for meeting a company’s needs. It also offers a number of benefits, including:
- Efficiency: Custom-built software is designed around a purpose while supporting processes as productively and efficiently as possible. This eliminates timely problems such as the need to adjust commercial off-the-shelf products or reworking them to meet the specifications of the need.
- Lower Cost of Integration: When working with commercial software products, the issue of compatibility with existing and legacy systems is always a major concern. If the software doesn’t work with these systems, organizations must invest even more money into the product and purchase additional commercial software to allow for communication between the systems while operating within their existing infrastructure. Custom software solutions are buildable by software development companies to integrate with existing systems without future issues.
- Scalability: Businesses are constantly expanding and changing over time, and their software solutions must keep up with this growth as well. In the process of custom software development, designers and developers work together with customers to assess the potential needs of the future for their company as part of the initial gathering of requirements. This information is then incorporated into the plans for the project so that additional licenses, programs, or subscriptions are not needed in the future.
- Profitability: Depending on the terms and conditions of the project at hand, it is actually possible for companies to make money with custom software development. Businesses that develop their own software and fully own the product are able to sell licenses for use of the product or sell it in whole to other organizations with similar needs.
- Autonomy: Being free of commercial software products and vendors helps organizations avoid expensive ongoing license renewals, support costs, and price increases for said licenses. Companies with custom software can also rest assured that their software is not abandoned should the vendor go out of business or the product is taken off the market, which is a common problem when using a commercial off-the-shelf solution.
Successful Custom Software Development
There are a few helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind when preparing to have a custom product developed and going through the process itself:
- Before jumping into a custom development project, ensure that the product is actually needed. There needs to be a good reason for custom development instead of buying an existing packaged solution.
- Ensure that collaboration is going to be a top priority throughout the custom development process. Key participants in the project should be aware that their input is required throughout its duration. These participants can include users, developers, end-users, and other important figures within the organization. Collaborating helps to identify potential future issues, gives input on decisions throughout the development cycle, and feedback helps developers tailor the solution to the exact needs of the customer.
- The customer must understand their own importance throughout the development process. Their requirements are the roadmap that the developers need to follow in order to arrive at the necessary endpoint. If the developers are not made aware of details due to inadequate planning or a lack of communication from the client, things may go awry.
- A realistic plan with milestones needs to be in place for each and every software development project. Milestones help the development team stay on track while keeping the customer in the loop of the status of their project. These various stages require defining in terms of both time and cost. These milestones are then available for review at the next meeting to let both the dev team and client know where everything stands, if the project is going to be complete on time, and if things are staying within the budget.
Custom software development allows companies to use technology to solve specific problems within their organization. When these solutions are correctly developed for these problems, they can support enduring growth and success for all parties involved.
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