Custom Software Solutions
Sometimes, a business or organization has unique needs that a commercial off the shelf software cannot meet. So, they take the route of custom software development to get a solution that satisfies their requirements and user needs. In this article, we shall define what custom software is, look at the different types of software systems, and how your company could benefit from tailor-made software solutions.
What is a Custom Software Solution?
Custom software solutions are web-based or computer applications that are specifically developed to meet the specific demands of particular users in an organization. Such solutions have unique capabilities and functionalities that are exclusive to them, and this differentiates them from ordinary premium or commercial software. Since these solutions are unique to an organization, they can help increase productivity, streamline processes, optimize costs, and, consequently, give the firm a competitive advantage.
Unlike COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software), such as Microsoft Office and others, which are developed and sold to a broader market, custom software solutions are designed for a specific set of needs. Good examples are online banking apps, which lets customers transact right from the palm of their hands, or a booking system software, that integrates with popular website builders, multiple payment gateways, mailing list managers and CRM and accounting systems.
Common types of software systems
A software system which is customized to cater to the needs of an organization could vary from another based on the technology and the practice used in the process of its development:
- Open-source software, which is essentially a code that is accessible to the public and the development community to use. Linux is one of the most widely known and versatile open-source software systems.
- The cloud-based system hosts the development environment on a cloud, thereby bringing the advantages of cloud computing to software development. Such a system provides the benefits of speed, agility, cost optimization, and on-demand convenience.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrated software systems emulate human decision making and learning. AI embedded systems and applications, with the help of cloud-based services and Big Data, form the bedrock of driver-less cars, smart homes, and chatbots.
- Blockchain technology, which has fueled the growth of cryptocurrency, is a sequence of secure ledgers that are digitally linked, forming a chain. Blockchain is increasingly being used to build new, impregnable and safe transnational and financial applications that can free capital and accelerate business processes.
- Analytics technologies help end-users analyze a range of data through its predictive and analytical capabilities. Data is presented in the form of dashboards and visualizations.
- Mobile application technology has become a necessity for many organizations thanks to the pervasive penetration of mobile phones and the subsequent shift in buyer behaviour from visiting local brick and mortar stores to using apps to shop for products and services online.
How your company could benefit from bespoke software?
A customized software, also referred to as bespoke software, provides significant benefits to the end-user and organization including:
- Scalability and flexibility: Since the software is designed to match the needs of the business, it’s easy to accommodate changes in processes, workloads, or additional integrations as and when required.
- Low costs: In the long run, costs associated with upgrading, licensing, and subscription, which is inherent in COTS, are absent in customized software.
- Complete ownership: The end-user has absolute control of the solution, its applicability, features and customisations, and the scale of development.
- Enhanced security: Risks of attack by hackers or any other form of cybercrime are minimized tremendously as well-known issues or vulnerabilities present in COTS are absent.
- Competitive advantage: A custom software is developed to best suit a company’s requirements, thereby differentiating the business itself from its competition.