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Custom Software Development VS Off the Shelf Software Solutions

Posted on August 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

Organizations and businesses are always looking for solutions to reduce their overhead operating cost. Usually, they turn towards IT industry to gain effective solutions in this matter. IT industry offers basically two types of softwares that can help organizations with their IT requirements. The first one is off the shelf software that is already available in the market and can be directly bought and used by the company. These softwares are usually built by a software development company and launched in the Market for sale. The other category contains custom software development solutions that are built around the specific requirements of the client or organization. Both the solutions are entirely different, both in manufacturing and development.

Some of most relevant differences between custom software development and Off the shelf solutions are:

The total cost of the software for clients: The most superficial and prominent looking difference between these two solutions is their price. Off the shelf softwares are usually cheaper than custom solutions. The reason being that off the shelf softwares are mass produced and their cost is distributed among several buyers, whereas, custom solutions are developed by a software development company for specific requirements of their client. Its cost is entirely borne by one buyer. The choice may seem pretty obvious when both the options are available for the client. But why would one go for custom software development? The answer is in the next difference.

Development methodology and usage: Off the shelf softwares are made for a general audience. They may be targeted towards one segment of business but they are never able to fulfill all the requirements of any one particular organization. An organization will require the help of a software development company to make adjustments in the software and make it good enough to be implemented. The custom software development offers big time advantage in this section. The custom solution is built around the exact requirements of the client therefore it is completely compatible and suitable with their organizations processes. Even employees who have to work on these softwares get easily accustomed to them in a few days. This is the most dominant reason that attracts organizations towards custom software development.

Software updates: Another problem with Off the Shelf softwares is that each time the software is revised, the organizations have to pay for the updates. Further, they might not even release any updates for long periods which will make the software old and obsolete. This will harm the organization more than it can help. On the other hand, custom softwares can be updated whenever the client feels like. Their extent can be decided according to the client’s requirements and their budget.

Off the shelf softwares have their own advantages such as quick implementation and start-up, suitably tested solution and money back guarantee offered in case the software is not able to serve its purpose. The risk of getting an unreliable and not properly tested solution is higher in custom software development. But this complexity can easily be solved by hiring a highly reputed and experienced software development company. Choosing the right development partner is most essential in such scenarios. Clients should make their choice only after doing extensive research and information gathering about the software development company of their choice.