The Good, the Bad, the Custom Software

Pros and cons of custom software illustration

You have a great business, but you want to make it cooler, stronger, more valuable, standing out of the [insert your industry] crowd. And you’ve got this creative idea of making it happen through technology, but don’t know where to start. But the resources? And the time pressure? And the long-term benefits? Start from the beginning: any genius idea is based on a super-solid ground that won’t risk you future re-doings or investments. You must ask yourself: to be or not to be custom?

The main idea of this short piece is to get some useful insights about whether or not – and when! – to choose custom software instead of open source. The latter is an easy to implement, fast and quite a great option fit for a large audience, a wide variety of businesses. Its low costs, inexpensive support available online and feature-rich characteristic make it a popular and useful choice after all – you may find pretty interesting features in the package that you’ve never thought of. But the pain point here is that you may end up adapting your business practice to how the open source works, instead of the other way around. And that’s not quite smart. On the other hand, there’s custom software. And it’s worth your attention. See what our cool coders highlighted about it.

Why Would Custom Be Good for You?

Particularity. As its obvious name, you can get applications precisely built to meet each and every need and goal of your project. Basically, you get a solid foundation to fearlessly build on it however you want. Custom means that you get to decide the exact set of features and functionalities you need from the product, which means it’s unique and 100% tailored to your business. This customization is the main advantage that attracts so many forward-thinking clients.

Absolute control and optimization. Deciding to go with custom software means that you’re in control at every step of the process, fully aware of the development stage and provided with a full overview. The result is – or should be – a lightweight application that isn’t overloaded with unnecessary features or assets, which is critical for optimized functioning. Along with the help of the professionals you choose to work with, you decide and manage what you need the app to do, even after its launch: you’re in control of the updates and other changes on it, not the software provider’s way of working. Worth taking into consideration that custom is more flexible when it comes to hardware also (some open source products require specific hosting and licensing).

Room for improvements. Besides, you can even add more features / functionalities, one by one, during the development process. Since you may find issues with the development, you and your team can solve them and find new solutions or features to add. You can see how the product behaves, then decide to add more functionalities if needed. And these improvements – which further translate into potential business improvements – take way less time than trying to add them for open source software. So it’s pretty flexible, also.

Competitive ace. It’s CUSTOM! So it’s suited for your business only, not your competitors, and this is a real influence on your business productivity. Since other businesses don’t have access to your solution, then you’re more competitive: we’re talking about a software code specially designed for your project, so the usability and the performance of your business increase greatly thanks to that.

Security and support. When a bad techie guy wants to play, it can play way easier with open source. Once he hacks an off-the-shelf product, all the companies that use it are at risk. A custom code made from scratch is much less vulnerable to hacking since no one has accesss to the source-code, like our dev guys highlight. And nowadays, when it comes to technology you use, high security is critical – especially giving the GDPR compliance frenzy (strong security means all your data is better protected from hacking and this could have a positive business impact as well).

As for the support part, who wouldn’t love a professional or a team that treats your project as though it’s their own? So another advantage of choosing custom is that you have a 100% dedicated team that guarantees you high quality control, wide experience and an organized workflow and communication. These are critical in optimizing the resources and awesome manageability of the full cycle of work and ensure full support during the process for advanced security measures.

Why Would Custom Be Not so Good for You?

It. Costs. A. Lot. No need to hide the fact that custom means a big budget. Well, who doesn’t love a handmade good instead of a commercial, mass-produced one? The same with technology. All the advantages above, plus the fact that custom software uses cutting-edge technology, are valuable so the costs for custom software are bluntly higher than for open source. Another argument that it’s widely common is that an appealing offer of low rates could easily lead to many re-doings in the near future. Instead, a fair cost for the developers strengthens motivation to be proactive and work at full capacity. The choice is yours, of course, but keep in mind that the future benefits of choosing custom overturn these costs.

Time losses on FSD or understanding the app. It’s quick and easy to benefit from open source software. Not quite the same with the custom one. You need to spend resources – especially time – to gather all the information you need to be included in the final brief (and Functional Specifications Document) like business goals and needs, along with a full list of requirements for the development team. Moreover, it takes time to fully understand how this custom app works and behaves and the logic behind it.

So a lot of effort from your part for a high quality product. Fortunately, if you choose to work with a dedicated team of designers, developers and project managers, they can help you greatly with specialized consultancy, recommendations and proper estimates.

Risk of choosing an incompatible developer. Like in any type of business, custom isn’t easy. So you truly need a skilled professional or a trustworthy team of professionals that would cover the complete process of your project development. You shouldn’t hurry to the cheapest developer or to the first one that seems reliable. Take some time to find the right partner for your project: talk to several developers, do your thorough research and check their portfolio, put your resources in balance and then decide to have a cup of coffee with the best one. This kind of investment in finding the right team is part of that solid foundation of your valuable project. You can see an example of a rigorous workflow here (it’s ours!).

To Sum it Up…

If you:

  • Want a strong, significant, unique project for your business
  • Want to invest in the long-term benefits, not in unnecessary fixes and re-doings
  • Want to have a clearly superior advantage over your competitors
  • Are willing to pay a bit more for higher & greater quality
  • Want a transparent workflow, full support, communication and thorough management of your project

Then custom is the best option for your project. But whichever you choose, it’s a fact that you care about your goals and want what’s best for your business with the right resources. We perfectly understand that and that’s why we treat your project with the same care we treat ours – we’ve even built our own app for internal management. You may check out some examples of more complex, custom products we’ve built here.