Custom Software vs. Pre-Built Software Solutions – Pros and Cons

If your business needs a software solution, you have several options that you can go into. A credible custom programming firm can help you decide by conducting a detailed needs analysis so they can provide you with the information you need to make the best business decision for your company.

It’s not always easy to decide which application is right for your business. Below are some pros and cons that may help you decide.

Custom Software – PROs:

#1. Custom made software can offer exactly what you need. Actual users can describe the workflow very well, and as a result, the software can be designed more effectively to increase user efficiency.

#2. You own the software and the code behind it, which gives you more control over future enhancements, allowing the software to change as your business changes.

#3. Custom software enables the creation of meaningful reports that are used to make smart business decisions.

#4. Once the software is developed, the programmer is familiar with your working process and better suited to provide the best technical support that understands common problems, pitfalls, and workarounds and continually improves your software. As opposed to an off-the-shelf tech support rep who typically deals with general issues.

#5. Since users have influence on the design, employees will be more likely to accept the new system. They also require less training since they were involved in the development.

#6. Your improvement budget is wisely spent on the features you actually need to improve your process.

Custom Software – Cons:

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#1. Custom software is customized to your needs; Therefore, you should expect to pay more. How much more depends on the scope of the software. Think of the money you’ll save in the long run by doing double work.

#2. Custom software is not as readily available as off-the-shelf software. The time frame depends on the scope of the project. The time to develop the software could be reduced by employing experienced developers with proven software development practices.


Standard software – PROs:

#1. Standard software is available immediately after purchase.

#2. The initial cost is almost always less than custom software, but there may be licensing fees where you have to pay a fee for each user of the software.

#3. Technical support is usually free.

Standard software – disadvantages:

#1. The software may not be expandable to create other features that you may require. Therefore, many companies use two different software applications to do their job, resulting in redundant data entry.

#2. You have to adjust your current workflow instead of having the software meet your process needs, leading to “workarounds” and not getting the report results you want.

#3. If you have a specific problem with the software, the manufacturer of the software will troubleshoot or upgrade on their schedule, not yours.

#4. Because users have no control over how the software would work, they may be more hostile to the change and require training, which can be costly depending on the number of users.

#5. Some software manufacturers charge annual license or subscription renewal fees.