Business Needs Bespoke Custom Software
For almost any task imaginable there is now a corresponding app — this is almost a cliche today. So why should you invest time and money in developing a bespoke software solution? Actually, there are compelling reasons to do that: solving a unique challenge, increasing the company’s valuation, getting a perfect system for your conditions, and more. Read on for details.
Sometimes there is an issue that doesn’t have a software solution yet, or the existing ones are not up to par. This is the main reason one turns to custom software companies — creating a unique system to address a unique challenge.
For example, when we developed an ERP for an oil pumping company, no other system had all the features necessary for this domain, e.g. customs clearance, loss control, chemical lab, etc. They all had to be built individually. But when the system was completed, it raised the company’s productivity by 30%.
Off-the-shelf software is designed to fit many different companies and solve the typical problems they can face. Even if they are later tweaked to fit a specific business, they can still be insufficient.
Custom software development companies have two ways of addressing this issue.
Firstly, they can customize an existing open-source solution to fit your needs. If the application needs just a little tweaking to be perfect for you, this is the most cost-effective scenario, as most features are already developed and will cost you nothing. For example, if you run a hospital, you can hire a software development company to modify OpenEMR for you and get a great bespoke software solution for a fraction of a new system’s price.
Secondly, they can create a new EMR from scratch and eliminate the problem.
Buying a ready-made application is cheaper in the short term. You just need to pay monthly/yearly license fees or make a one-time payment that is smaller than the costs associated with the development of something new. You can easily predict these expenses.
However, a custom software solution is cheaper in the long run. SaaS systems are generally priced “per license per month.” The more users you have, the more expensive it will be. Your custom system will not have these payments. Once it is up and running, it will pay for itself and start bringing ROI.
This ties in with the previous benefit. If your company is growing, you will need to buy more and more licenses to ensure that your employees work at peak effectiveness.
With your own custom system, you’ll just need to create more accounts.
Suppose you bought several licenses for a SaaS accounting system. Everything is going great until one day the system’s developer goes out of business and takes your entire financial database with it. Payroll, accounts payable and receivable — everything is gone.
Even worse — you miss a single payment and the email reminding you about it gets sent into the spam folder. As a result, the moment your license expires, you lose access to everything, and the information is deleted. You might have backups to remedy the situation, or you might not.
This won’t happen with a bespoke system that you have complete control over. No decision or trouble of anyone else will affect you. Even if you have a falling out with your software development vendor, you would be able to bring another one on board.
Having a custom system means having total control over it. Besides independence from vendors, this means the freedom to choose the direction of further development (or lack thereof).
A company would definitely benefit from integrating its systems. For example, once a new sales rep is listed in the HRM (human resources management system), the computer would automatically create an account for them in the CRM (customer relations management system), start logging their pay in the accounting software, and assign them an appropriate refresher course in the company’s LMS (learning management system).
However, there are many applications for each of these roles, and not all of them are currently interoperable.
When developing a custom system, you can order the vendor company to integrate your software with the systems your company uses, so you will be able to reap the benefits right away.
Companies that use the same software have the same security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. Consequences of a data breach can be catastrophic: loss of trade secrets, theft of valuable information, fines, and lawsuits.
A unique system, however, takes extra work to break into, as it needs to be studied first. This alone could be enough of a deterrent for any malicious actors and could force them to seek an easier target.
A custom software system is a valuable piece of intellectual property. This will positively affect the owning company’s valuation, should it go public.
Moreover, this opens another potential avenue of business. The proprietary system can be turned into a product and sold to other companies for profit.