Explained – The Supremacy of Custom Software Development

Sudeep Srivastava September 29, 2022
custom software development

The rapidly changing software industry landscape enables businesses to improve their processes and infrastructure to thrive consistently.

With the sudden change in the digital paradigm, custom software development has become a necessity more than just a luxury for many businesses. To stay competitive, businesses nowadays willingly adopt changing digital market trends, and custom software development companies are an aid to it.

They help businesses enhance customer experience and gain an edge over their competitors. Moreover, they help apprehend the customer’s pain points and help businesses predict future demands.

By leveraging the power of evolving technologies, custom software development helps you build scalable and customer-focused software applications the way you desire. Companies often face a dilemma in choosing the right software development approach between customized software and readymade software(off-the-shelf).

For businesses looking for custom software development, this article helps you understand the crucial things while developing customized software.

What is a Customized Software? 

The software that comes pre-packaged with features is referred to as Commercial Off The Shelf or COTS. The vendor that develops it owns the responsibility of updating its versions, and enterprises subscribe to it by paying a licensing fee. It is designed keeping in mind the most universal needs of the mass market. Microsoft Windows is an example of COTS. It offers the apparatus for each user to carry out daily-life computational tasks without thinking twice.  

On the other hand, a software you develop or ask a third party to customize for you is called customized software. Since it is designed and developed to meet the user’s specific requirements, it is also called bespoke software. Made on order, it weighs high on features that are relevant to the organization. Custom software applications are cut to fit the ongoing and upcoming business requirements

Tasks that a standard software will take ages to complete can be accomplished in a whisker of time with custom software apps. Think of it this way; COTS is a public utility vehicle that considers the combined choices of travelers and drives at a speed fast enough to pacify those onboard. While custom software is that private car, you can modify it as per wish and break the speed limits. 

Now that you understand what custom software is.  Let’s find out about the development procedure followed by a full-cycle app development company.

Does Custom Software Development Process Differ from Standard?

Not at all. The software development life cycle is almost identical in each case. You traverse the same stages of primary information collection, coding, testing the software for inconsistencies, and finally moving to deployment. 

Custom Application Development process

There is an unprecedented urgency in enterprises to transform digitally for sustenance. Each is looking to differentiate itself and be seen as an innovator. Be it an in-house project or one that is outsourced to a company like Appinventiv, custom application development involves the following stages:

Application customization 

You would either purchase a COTS software and re-program it to requirements or build a bespoke solution. No matter what you choose, it will begin at this stage of code creation. 

Application modernization 

With time, stakeholders realize that their value chains must improve and be just as impressive as their product suite. As new technologies emerge, the deployed custom software will have to be modernized with features. 

Application management 

It is similar to after-sales support but one that you either do internally or let the third party that designed the software for you do it. This includes everything from installing the software to ensuring its 24/7 availability. 

What are the Benefits of Custom Software Development? 

Customized Software Application Development Benefits

It is not a good rationale to buy an inferior product, and subsequently, modify it for installation. It’s better to create the whole thing on your own! The following benefits of custom software application development will help you make up your mind. 

Vendor independent  

Custom design software, and you shall be free from the clutches of vendors who upgrade their products based on user reception and trends than your needs. In doing so, your business circumvents fee surges caused in the name of licensing and maintenance. Also, there is the possibility of the vendor ceasing operations, leaving your IT department to shreds and affecting business continuity.

Create white-label products 

The resources you devote to creating a bespoke internal solution could be monetized by licensing it to similar businesses or allowing them to use it as a White Label product by making a one-time payment. A White Label product is one you build and sell to a second organization, conferring the right to use it under their brand name. The only catch here is to define the terms of use. Although white label solutions are not always deemed to be effective in the long term, they can be a good option, nonetheless, for entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey.

High-end integration

Investment in COTS software becomes a catch-22 situation when you discover you have to program extensions into the system to make it worth your while. Diverting the same expenditure towards custom software applications that integrate effortlessly with other software (because you made it so) saves you much-needed energy.

Performance

Custom software development provides for more stable and efficient IT operations as the software does all (perhaps more) that is asked of it to deliver value-adding results.

Scalability 

Nobody knows better than you the future of your venture. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that you would, during customized software application development, come up with something scalable and relatable to your company’s needs.

Optimized business process

Every association has its plan of action and in-house processes. It is hard for businesses to change their approach to suit a specific application, no matter how effective and powerful it could be. Software should be planned and developed to such an extent that it can align with the business model. Custom software application development assists with improving your business processes instead of replacing them.

Compatibility

Most organizations have a design model in which the output generated by a specific process (software application or module) works as an input for another process. A smooth flow of data is essential while streamlining business. Utilizing different packaged programming for various processes can disrupt data flow. Building custom software can resolve numerous kinds of issues concerning the flow of data between progressive processes.

Data security

A significant concern for some B2B and B2C organizations, data access and security problems influence many end-users in the market today. Supporting costly security protocols can make you pass added expenses to your customers’ services. With custom development, you can choose which data security technology or protocol is appropriate for your business and coordinate that in your software.

Cost-effectiveness

With custom development, you can plan and stage the development process. You’re not needed to contribute an enormous amount of money first to receive the rewards of automation. Based on your financial plan and funds accessibility, you can begin automating single process flows in a coordinated and planned way over the long run to make software development affordable.

Adaptability

Organizational processes change with time, and as the market dynamics change, it gets important to adjust to new processes and innovations to maintain your marketing stronghold. Customized software can be effortlessly changed – New cycles and innovations can be incorporated into your current programming as and when showcasing patterns change to stay alongside your rivals.

How to Decide Whether you Need a Bespoke Solution or Not?

By tradition, companies prefer to purchase COTS software provided it helps them meet up to 80% of the following business requirements:

  • Take care of proprietary information and safeguard confidential data
  • Suffice for ad-hoc privacy issues that might arise 
  • Enable integration with software already deployed by the company 
  • Reduce the cost of operations and increase return on investment 
  • Accord a certain level of competitive advantage to the brand 

Some companies may be fine if the software delivers 60% efficiency than 80%, and the vacuum that exists they fill on their own. But that is risky, leaving things up to chance and making superficial efforts to transform digitally. 

Startups cover ground on legacy businesses faster than others because they do not hesitate to innovate. And if that means bringing in new digital solutions, so be it. 

[Further Read: How We Solve the Digital Transformation Challenges Pulling Your Business Down

Get The Requirements Ready 

Once you set your mind to custom software development, the next step is identifying collaborators to help you with project development internally. These include program sponsors, high-level stakeholders, sometimes your customers, and other miscellaneous partners. 

This step is all about conveying to the workforce your plans to transform digitally, post which a detailed draft must be prepared listing down your Key Performance Indicators (KPI). KPIs must bear in mind: 

  • To flatten out any statutory and or theoretically unachievable targets and be realistic 
  • Define the role the proposed software will play in business development 
  • The introduction of the software must not intervene with pre-existing COTS software.
  • There must be ample proof of concept in the market to base and validate your theory on 
  • The source code should not violate intellectual property rights and must be open-sourced or written from scratch
  • The allocated limit of budget and time should be respected
  • If needed, there can be partial diversions/pivots from the initially agreed course of action 

customized software development

Development Methodologies you Can Use 

Software development methodologies help you simplify and strengthen your application development process. It consists of conventional procedures such as design, development, and implementation, and each method has its own set of pros and downsides.

You can pick any of the following software development methodologies: 

Waterfall model 

Envisaged in the 1970s, the Waterfall Model is rigid in its implementation and benefits those with a crystal clear understanding of requirements. The expectation setting is followed by rigorous project documentation. It is sequential in nature, meaning one stage of the project must be finished before beginning the next. It includes the following phases: 

  • Define scope 
  • Re-assess the scope 
  • Design 
  • Implement 
  • Test 
  • Deploy 
  • Maintain 

Not that this model is out of fashion, but development teams that want to mix things up and be prepared for last-hour changes to plans, don’t like the Waterfall Model much, and it is built for those who like working under ironclad rules. 

Waterfall model

Agile development

Agile is the exact opposite of waterfall it was introduced to do away with the rigid, inflexible redundancies of the waterfall model. It prioritizes business unit collaboration over documentation. Teams that go for Agile agile development do so to wrap up coding in design sprints that are time-bound to accomplish software development faster. Customer satisfaction is the priority here, and everything else takes the backseat. Here at Appinventiv, we trust Agile more than other methodologies as a custom software development company. Based on experience, we can easily help you decide between Agile and Waterfall models. 

Agile development

Scrum 

This is a nuanced approach between older models like the Waterfall and newer ones like Agile. It facilitates regular team interaction but with a relative degree of self-discipline that team members must impose on themselves. Sprint retrospectives in scrum development last an average of two weeks, during which the primary objective of software development is fragmented into smaller, more achievable goals. Developers stick to the daily briefs that are a product of demo feedback. The development is quick, and results are steady.

Scrum

Lean 

A philosophy, methodology, or mindset, call it what you will, brings tremendous productivity from teams in custom software companies. Whereas other entries in this list were explicitly meant to bolster software development practices, the manufacturing sector adopted the Lean methodology. 

Agile is accommodative of flexibility, but it offers no actionable course to extend the same ideology towards business wings outside Information Technology. Lean proposes the no-nonsense approach, nullifying wasteful practices, encouraging knowledge sharing, experimentation, innovation, and faster turn-around times. 

Lean

Feature-driven development (FDD)

Custom software design and development can also be taken up via Feature Driven Development. FDD follows a five-step development model. In the first step, you take your plans to the whiteboard and outline an overall strategy. The next step is defining the software’s specifications and holistically planning each feature. Designing and building each component make up for the last two stages.

Feature-driven development (FDD)

Software is easy to make, except when you want it to do something new. And then, of course, there is a corollary: The only software that’s worth making is software that does something new – Scott Rosenberg (Founding Editor, Salon)

custom software development service

Costs and Risks in Custom Software Development

Determining custom software development costs is a significant step in software planning. Estimating the accurate cost of development seems challenging due to the frequently changing characteristics of custom software, as you can’t compromise the software’s success.

The custom software development cost has to be appropriately calculated, allowing businesses to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. It helps enterprises eliminate risks while ensuring supreme software quality.

Factors Responsible For Estimating Custom Software Development Cost 

Calculating custom software costs is not as easy as it seems to be. Here is a curated list of factors that impact your custom software development costs, and let’s see what those are.

Software size

The size of the software is one of the most critical factors that might impact your software cost. The size of the software contributes a lot in determining cost as it depicts how much effort the developers require to develop the software. Big projects will cost you a little higher as they pay hourly, whereas smaller ones don’t take much time to develop.

Software Complexity

Another vital factor that impacts your custom software development cost is the complexity. The nature of the software can be categorized into basic, moderate, and complex. The more complex your software will be, the more investment it requires.

Software design requirements

Another significant factor contributing to software cost estimation is software design.

The cost of designing software comprised of UX/UI design, architectural design, and basic design of a website or an app. A website interface must be user-friendly, engaging, and potentially deliver a seamless user experience. The more appealing your interface is, the more it will entice your targeted users. Hence, it leads to an increase in design cost.

Software development approach

Different software development methodologies and approaches that include agile, spiral, waterfall, hybrid, or iterative processes indicates how robust and scalable your software product or service will be. 

Each of the methodologies and approaches has its pros and cons; they all work differently and have different costs.

Outsource/In-house development team

Developing custom software requires a combined effort of talented professionals, freelancers, or an in-house development team.

The cost of developing custom software for both in-house and outsourcing teams is different. On the contrary, hiring a complete remote development team will cost you higher. However,  this assumption is not always correct. The software development cost depends on the developer’s expertise and experience. Hiring inexperienced and less skilled developers may lead to a long development process, whereas developers having a rich skillset will boost your business revenues.

Pitfalls in Custom Software Development

Every software developed has specific risks associated with it. The same happens with customized software development, and certain pitfalls are involved while developing custom software that may lead to project failures.

Let’s check a few of them:

Lack of communication

One of the biggest pitfalls in customized software development is lack of communication. Big gaps in communication often lead to project failures.  To ensure seamless communication, your custom software development partner must understand the project requirements, aim, scope, and timeline. The team members should engage themselves in all project discussions and meetings. 

Inaccurate Software Estimates

The teammates and project managers should communicate smoothly regarding project details like budget constraints, technical requirements, and deadlines. It facilitates software development teams to create an accurate and precise project estimate and a clear roadmap to custom software development

Product Failures

Software products and processes are often developed and monitored but never upgraded. This might sometimes lead to project failures as you have invested your crucial time, effort, and resources in developing that software product.

Lack of Focus

Involving yourself ultimately in the development of custom software is a challenging thing to do. If you lose focus or do not have a clear aim, your software development process cannot work smoothly or in the proper direction to achieve organizational objectives.

Risk-solving ways for a successful software development

Not only do risks come your way, but the solutions that mitigate those risks are also there to help you smooth customized software development. Specific risk mitigation strategies paved the way for the future growth and success of the software.

MVP Development is a one-stop solution

Customized software solutions can experiment with anything innovative and customized. You must make more strategic and informed decisions to develop scalable and customer-centric digital products. 

MVP development is one way you can start your custom development with. It is an iterative process that offers you an innovative digital product with minimal features and low cost. With this development, you can test your product idea and transform it into a reality.

Must adopt Agile Methodology

You can get the right customized product and managed business processes into a series of sprints by implementing agile methodology into your business processes.

Following agile practices, you can add, modify, or delete modules with each iteration/sprint. It adds flexibility and scalability to your product and business processes. With the rapidly changing software development trends, you need to incorporate new features and functionality into your product.

Consistent And Seamless Communication Process

Improper communication gaps or loopholes create misunderstandings between team members, which is a major reason behind software failures. A systematic and well-defined communication channel connecting every team member with managers and leaders is required to enhance workplace productivity. 

Make sure you keep your clients in the loop. Conduct regular meetings and discussions to avoid miscommunication. Thus, clear and flawless communication during the entire software development cycle keeps all team members and leaders on the same page.

Perform All Kinds Of Testing Thoroughly

All kinds of testing have to be performed after software development. It helps you track errors, bugs, or loopholes in the software.

Testers must perform all kinds of testing to identify and rectify issues that might affect your software. Testing at an initial stage ensures robust and bug-less software delivery to the customer from start to finish.

Inhouse vs. Outsourcing Custom Software Development

Both in-house custom software development and outsourcing custom software development have pros and cons associated with it. Choosing the best fit depends on your business goals and project requirements.

Hiring in-house development teams are more profitable for businesses as they better understand developing custom products and satisfying business needs and company culture. However, hiring and training a team of in-house developers can be costly for your business.

Whereas outsourcing software development facilitates businesses to hire a vast talent pool of outsourcing professionals., But, software outsourcing involves certain risks since companies cannot fully control the development process.

Deloitte’s global outsourcing survey revealed that 70% of organizations turned to outsource with one priority: reducing costs. 

Pros of Custom Software Outsourcing

Outsourcing custom software provides endless benefits to companies today, which is why this software development is becoming popular with every passing day.

1. You can be sure of high scalability

Outsourcing customized software development permits businesses to scale their development team up and down easily. If you need to extend your development team to accelerate the development process, you can easily do it. Eliminating the unnecessary staff will reduce your overheads cost and ensure you only hire the required developers.

2. You can now streamline business processes 

Outsourcing a custom software development team will help you streamline and accelerate your business processes. Hence, it ensures faster project delivery. It will save you a lot of money on hiring, and you will not have to pay if you don’t have any projects.

3. You can focus on core business areas

Migrating your software development process to outsourcing helps your development teams to invest their crucial time focusing on their core technical skills. Moreover, managers can now free themselves from the burden of marketing, engaging customers, and the sales process involved with outsourcing.

4. You have diverse skill-sets

Outsourcing software development offers developers with diverse skill sets who own a vast library of knowledge and expertise in modern technologies. You can choose the best pool of professionals that provides an optimized and robust solution that satisfies your business needs.

A recent Korn Ferry study claims that most countries are expected to experience a tech talent crunch by 2030, which might cost them around $162 billion in revenue. 

Cons of Custom Software Outsourcing

Despite having many advantages, you should be aware that custom software outsourcing still has several disadvantages.

1. Cultural differences between different teams

One of the major challenges is the cultural difference between the organizations. It might be possible that the company finds difficulty in understanding your business requirements. But this communication gap can be fixed as there is a time difference between the two countries that you can use for conducting meetings and calls.

2. Leads to security risks

One major challenge businesses often face when custom software outsourcing is a lack of face-to-face communication. To ensure the security of your business, you should sign an NDA contract with the second party on priority basis. This agreement guarantees the protection of your rights and project idea.

3. Risks of getting unsupported code

If outsourcing a vital product, ensure you maintain the code without the outsourcing firm’s involvement. On the contrary, your business will depend on the outsourcing app development team. It’s crucial to retain the integrity of software between the two parties. The quality of the code relies on the integrity of the outsourcing firm.

Pros of In-House Custom Software Development

Hiring an in-house custom development team is a great choice to start developing your innovative digital products. Here listed some of the benefits that you can enjoy.

1. You can have the rich industry knowledge

Being an integral part of the organization, in-house developers know very well about everything related to the company’s clients, business-oriented tasks, projects, etc. Here they have the right to suggest changes in the development process if required. Also, an in-house developer contributes a lot to the company’s culture.

2. No cultural discrepancies

The in-house development team comprises experts from the same regionhaving same background and working within the same organization.  All the team members have same working hours that makes communication process seamless and clear.

3. You own a skilled in-house expert

In-house developers are proficient with the tech skills required to build the custom software. They show immense dedication and contribution towards developing custom solutions. This will help eliminate bugs and generate transparency during product development. The development teams have sufficient skillset to develop and maintain scalable products solely.

Cons of In-House Development

Instead of having advantages, in-house custom development has certain disadvantages that you must know.

1. Involves a huge cost

An in-house development team requires a substantial cost for your business to initiate custom development. Skilled developers are in high demand, indicating significant salaries, and employees enjoy extra benefits like healthcare and vacation plans. Your overhead will increase as your team expands.

2. Time-consuming process

Hiring a skilled and experienced candidate time-taking process. Outsourcing your customized software development lets you engage a team with experienced and skilled professionals. It enables the project to commence in a fraction of the time it takes to get underway while building an in-house team.

3. Lack of expert talent

The ever-changing software industry brings an overwhelming demand for software professionals. It is often challenging to hire the specific skillset in some regions. Also, it is difficult to find a developer that should fit your planned budget or satisfy your business requirements.

How can Appinventiv Help in your Custom Software Development Journey?

Appinventiv has a track record of achievements in both categories, whether on-demand or standard solutions. We have years of experience producing remarkable custom software development services to address the most complex business concerns. 

We work with clients from a variety of sectors and emphasize understanding their business processes, goals and objectives, and constraints so that we can create the best software possible that meets customer expectations and meets their unique go-to-market milestones.

We recently collaborated with Asian Bank to design, develop, and launch a comprehensive fintech software that allows consumers with crypto assets to store, transact, and convert their assets into fiat currency. It’s essentially a core banking system with all of the necessary features and capabilities.

For another client JobGet, we build an innovative software where job seekers and employers can message each other and schedule meetings in real-time. The platform has helped to bring down the job search process from months to days for blue-collar workers. Till date, 150,000 jobseekers have been placed and the client has received $2.1 million funding for their innovative product idea. 

In case you are also looking for similar services, contact us for a journey full of innovation. Our experts will guide you through the entire process and help you develop a software that customers would love and embrace. 

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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