Three Considerations When Evaluating Custom Vs. Off-The-Shelf Software

If you are a business owner who is revamping the computer system for the business, you have no doubt received offers from other companies regarding custom software. This is software built specifically for your business, and it does have some advantages over off-the-shelf software. However, taking the leap into the world of custom software can seem nerve-wracking when compared to the ease of going to a store and buying plain consumer software. Here are three considerations that could help you make your decision.

Gets Rid of Pointless Features

Custom software is built for your company and your company only. You're not getting the same software as your rivals with just a few tweaks. The programs offer only what your business needs, meaning you don't have to worry about extra features that you'll never use taking up server space. Customizable software can also be modified fairly easily, so if you find later on that you do need more features, the company that created the software can add them in. If you want to be efficient with regards to space and use, go for custom software.

No Confusion With Programs From Previous Employers

Whenever someone switches jobs, there's usually a short period of adjustment when it comes to software. Even if people are using the same programs in the new company as they were at the old company, the software is likely personalized to some degree for each company. this means that people can accidentally use the wrong features or enter the wrong information as they adjust.

With custom software, you don't have that issue. You do have to ensure that all new employees are trained on the software, but that doesn't take very long, given that most software has some sort of tour or tutorial function. People learn the software with a clean mental slate, so there are fewer instances of people trying to find features that they used at their old job or entering information in the wrong spots. Custom software is an excellent choice if you want your employees to have that clean slate.

Takes Longer to Deliver

One caveat regarding customized software is that it does take longer to get. Off-the-shelf software is available in minutes, if you can download the program. But that same off-the-shelf software isn't going to have all of the features you need, and it will take up more server space because of those features. If you need software right now, off-the-shelf may be best -- but that gives you more time to look into custom software and how it may be better for you.

Overall, custom software has more advantages -- delivery time is the only one where off-the-shelf wins. But even then, custom software doesn't take that long to put together in most cases. If you'd like to get an estimate of how long software for your company might take, talk to the custom software development solutions that others in your field seem to like.