POSTED ON July 11, 2024

What is Custom Software: Definition, Benefits, Types, Best Practices  

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Today, the business environment is always changing. As a result, commercially available software appears inadequate to meet business requirements. 

Developing software is the most effective strategic solution to solve business problems and ensure customer satisfaction. As opposed to getting an off-the-shelf software solution, custom software gives you greater control over your business processes. At the same time, improve your company’s productivity and competitiveness in the market. 

If you are looking to develop custom software, keep reading this blog post to learn about the popular types of custom software and its amazing benefits. 

I. What is Custom Software?  

What is custom software? In a simple way, custom software is also known as tailor-made software applications, custom-built software, and specialized software because it is created and developed to solve specific problems and meet the unique needs of an individual or a company. It will require processes from design, development, and deployment to software maintenance depending on business needs. 

For example, if you have a home-based business, you could hire someone to create a custom program to help print and view invoices. By creating custom software, you can have a program that does exactly what you need, not most of what you need. Another example is that banks may use custom software to manage customer data and financial transactions. 

Custom software development can include many solutions. For example: web application development, CRM system construction, mobile application development, database development, business process automation system, content management system (CMS) construction, etc. 

II. Benefits of Custom Software Development 

Research shows that between 2021 and 2025, the custom application development services market will grow by $31.76 trillion. This proves that custom software development is becoming more popular among businesses. 

In this section, we will look at the top benefits of custom software development that it offers.

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1. Personalized Software Solutions

Today, because there are many software solutions, it is difficult for businesses to find a one-size-fits-all solution through available standard software packages. 

In addition, each company has its own strategy and operating model. Therefore, you may need personalized software solutions to showcase your differences and uniqueness to become an industry leader. 

Custom software development will allow you to customize software products to meet your business needs to fit your business plan. 

2. Cost-effectiveness In the Long-run

It’s difficult to gain cost-effectiveness in the long run because investing in a software development project might be expensive. However, you don’t necessarily need to spend your total budget at once. With custom software development, you can build your product in phases throughout the development process.  

The MVP version is a good one to start with if you want to save money on development. It will allow you to validate your business idea and test your software application. Once the project is completed, you can consider and decide whether to start developing a full-fledged application or not. 

Custom software development may be expensive initially, but in the long run, it becomes less expensive. If you plan well and invest well, it will be well worth what you spend. Therefore, if you need long-term solutions, approaching custom software development can be a valuable solution. 

3. Increased reliability and high level of security

According to Protenus statistics, in the first half of 2019, the healthcare industry recorded 32 million patient information breaches. It shows that data threats are becoming a serious problem for any business that has been collecting and storing data, especially in specific fields such as health care, insurance, etc. insurance, payroll, accounting, and fintech. 

To grow successfully, businesses and organizations must pay attention to security and reliability, especially higher protection in software programs. Therefore, custom software development is a valuable solution for your business. It can ensure that all regulations are followed, and all confidential data is kept safe. 

Even better, it can help you determine which data security technology best suits your company’s needs, as well as how to integrate it into your applications. Higher security standards lead to more trust from customers. 

4. Continuous technical support and maintenance

To create custom software, you can partner with software development companies. They will send development teams with extensive experience and domain expertise to develop and build your software application, and they also provide technical support teams for application maintenance and support if other problems arise. 

To ensure that you get maximum support, you may want to consider including a Service Level Agreement in your contract with your supplier. Providing ongoing technical support doesn’t reduce downtime during updates, it helps your business run more smoothly and efficiently. 

5. Flexibility and scalability

To maintain a competitive position, businesses require constant change to adapt to the constantly changing business environment. 

The benefits of custom software solutions allow your business the flexibility to adapt, add new features, as well as update products, finding support to help your company meet its needs. 

Furthermore, flexibility and scalability also grow and expand your business in the future while the software application persists. 

6. Easily integrated into the company’s workflow

Custom software development also brings significant benefits to the business, because it will be easily integrated into the company’s workflow. These custom software will be designed precisely to meet your specific business requirements so that they will be seamlessly integrated and aligned with your company’s software ecosystem. 

Furthermore, it will help you optimize business processes and improve the efficiency of your company’s business operations. In particular, custom software development can also help you save money and avoid common errors and other problems that arise during integration with your existing software product. 

7. Unique and creative products

Uniqueness is becoming an important feature that can help organizations enhance their product USP. Personalized software development will allow your company to meet specific requirements and maintain your brand identity. 

Custom software development teams can create software that fits business goals. It allows you to decide what kind of software development or trending technology can be implemented for your application to turn it into a competitive product with a distinct identity. Furthermore, it allows companies to innovate products to meet growing consumer needs. 

8. Improve productivity

Another benefit of custom software is the positive impact on employee productivity. 

It helps employees work more efficiently and can complete work sooner. This not only saves time but also helps them not spend too much effort. Additionally, it helps manage multiple resources and provides additional benefits to the bottom line. 

9. Competitive Advantage & Increase ROI

Customized software benefits you significantly in terms of competitive advantage and increased ROI. With these custom software development solutions, you will get what you require. That is, you won’t be forced to buy licenses or pay for services you’ll never use. Helps you save money in the long run. 

Additionally, you will get unique features for your app that your competitors may not have or are not available in the market. Therefore, it can strengthen your USP (unique selling proposition) and give you a significant competitive advantage in the industry. 

Custom software product development also helps you narrow down your priorities in terms of your target audience. It will help you attract more consumers while increasing your company’s long-term ROI. 

10. Ability to control proprietary software

Custom software will allow you to take full control of it and integrate it into your operations. Also, leverage it based on your business needs or make any changes you want. 

Therefore, if you invest and use custom software, it will be a wise investment for your business in the long run. 

III. Off-the-self vs. Custom Software

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1. Off-the-self Software

Off-the-shelf software is pre-packaged software designed for almost any computing, business, productivity, and communication task that can be used by anyone who buys it. 

The main features of the off-the-shelf software:  

– Ease of use: Off-the-shelf applications serve a large audience with common needs. For example, Microsoft Word is an extremely popular word-processing application around the world with features, functions, and customization options that can be used by individuals or organizations of any size and scope, even by people who don’t work in the technology field. 

– Easy to buy or download: Off-the-shelf software can be purchased in a store or can often be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website or available as a cloud subscription. 

– Wide availability: Off-the-shelf software has wide availability, so you can find software packages available for whatever platform your business is using such as Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux. 

– Customization: Popularly available software packages, such as Microsoft Office, have a certain level of customization to make the software work better for you. 

– Reasonable cost: The initial cost of off-the-shelf software is often lower than that of custom software development. Suitable for all start-ups or small to large-scale businesses. 

2. Custom Software  

Although there is a variety of software available, some organizations require specific capabilities that these software cannot provide. Therefore, they will turn to customized software to meet other needs and purposes. 

These are the main features the custom software offers: 

– Custom-designed features and functions: When developing custom software, it will be designed with specific features for business use. 

– Exclusive solutions for your business: These custom software will be designed to fit your company’s infrastructure, branding and deployment needs like no other company can access the application.

IV. Different Types of Customized Software

Many types of custom software can provide many benefits and help you achieve your business goals more quickly and effectively. However, you need to know what types of custom software are most suitable and beneficial for your business. 

In this section, we’ll look at some of the most popular types of software today that enterprise businesses can benefit from. 

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1. Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system (CMS) allows a business to update its website with new posts, content, and documents without the help of a web developer. This system can handle all the basic tasks, helping you save a lot of time and concentrate more on the essential parts of your website. 

In other words, CMS helps you build a website without having to write all the code from scratch. So you can save time and costs on website creation, image hosting, and other functions effectively. 

2. Customer relationship management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) software enables businesses to track customers, referrals, prospects, and suppliers for sales and marketing departments. Helps maintain and develop better relationships between businesses and customers. 

This CRM software will manage all customer information into a single repository so you can organize and manage relationships more effectively and easily. At the same time, it also automates common processes and helps monitor performance and productivity in the best way. 

3. Enterprise resource planning software

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software helps your business effectively manage day-to-day business operations such as accounting, risk management and compliance, procurement, supply chain operations, and project management. 

Furthermore, it also allows you to combine multiple existing business processes into one easy-to-use customized system and eliminate unnecessary data duplication. Avoid wasting time processing duplicate data. 

4. Operation management software

Operations management software is created to help businesses manage operations more effectively by automating production capabilities and managing business processes. 

This operations management software can ensure your business operates as efficiently as possible, ultimately delivering the best results for customers. 

5. Enterprise software

Enterprise software solutions help organizations and businesses improve management and business tasks. This software allows organizations to process online payments easily and quickly. There are also interactive product catalogs, automated payment systems, and security. 

V. When Do You Need a Customized Software 

Developing and operating a customized application software is expensive and time-consuming. So, you need to consider when it is necessary to develop a custom application to achieve efficiency. 

The following are cases where custom application development is needed: 

1. Your employees have difficulty with work processes and ineffective solutions.

Consider custom software if your employees spend too much time and effort handling too much paperwork or performing multiple resolutions daily. Ineffective handling of work can affect work productivity as well as employee morale and health. 

Below are some warning signs that your current system is not working effectively. 

– Tedious processes: Too much paperwork and steps to complete daily tasks cost you time to deal with, requiring smarter process improvements. Custom software will make these tedious processes and tasks more efficient. If this is the case, it’s time for you to need custom software. 

– Workarounds are too cumbersome: If old or existing software causes your employees to have to make multiple workarounds to complete their work, it will affect the quality of work. For example, your employees must export data from an internal software application and import it elsewhere before they process it. Or employees have to try to make plans and reports look better. 

2. You need an Excel expert to process your data faster.

Many small businesses spend too much time and resources processing financial, customer, and sales data in spreadsheets. This causes a loss of time and formula errors when using Excel may occur. While custom software can automatically communicate with your data and information. For example, point-of-sale systems and creating reports and building charts are quicker and more informative. 

This custom software solution allows your business to spend time making decisions based on data instead of converting it into a usable format. 

3. Your external employees need secure access to data.

Custom software can give your sales team or other mobile workers access to exclusive information that you wouldn’t be comfortable with using Slack or cloud-based collaboration tools other. Your software developers can create a unique, secure, and encrypted collaboration platform. 

Showing only the information remote workers need and protecting the rest of the data allows you to enable collaboration and keep your company’s data safe from data breach risks. 

4. Your company has specific and proprietary processes.

If you are the owner of a new company, or you are in an industry that is young or has an innovative product, process, or service, there may not be any software available to you. Now you will need custom software that is suitable for your company and your processes. 

5. Your company is growing.

Developing a custom application software can maintain or improve customer satisfaction and trust levels. Reduce errors in processes and increase sales as your company grows. With this custom software, you have the flexibility to address those issues and add users, locations, and functionality as needed. 

VI. Best Practices to Develop Customized Application Software  

If you are looking to develop custom software to drive efficiency for your business, check out 7 best practices for custom application software development. 

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1. Record every stage of software development

To start, you need a detailed scope analysis and detailed planning to ensure that everything meets your expectations. Once you outline your needs, documenting the entire process becomes crucial throughout all stages of development and implementation. 

2. Budgeting and tracking

An important thing to consider is determining your development budget and choosing the right pricing model for your business. You can hire a custom software development company to suit your needs and available budget. 

Here are the factors that affect cost: 

– Number of working hours required to develop software 

– Monthly/yearly costs for 3rd party tools and APIs to be used. 

– Contingency costs for unexpected situations 

3. Hire a team of experts

Choosing the right team of skilled and highly specialized professionals will turn your ideas into reality. You can trust your project to a custom software development company that will help you get the best application with the support of a dedicated and experienced team of experts. 

4. Choose the right tech stack

Choosing the right technologies for software development is difficult. This includes all the programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and other development tools used during the development process to build and run your product. Therefore, identifying the tech stack for development is important so that you choose the right team of experts. 

5. Set success parameters and realistic milestones

Achieving a finished product requires a realistic plan with important milestones. So, the next step is for you to identify the milestones that you can achieve to keep you on track and in control of your development processes. Because different stages of development need to be completed by a certain time and budget. 

6. Choose the right method / SDLC

Software development life cycle (SDLC) is the methodology that should be followed during the development of any application software. This method is a set of tasks that must be completed at every stage. 

These are the two most common types: 

– Agile method: It is a flexible, non-linear development cycle. It will iterate and each iteration will produce a working product and track the work in progress at a micro level. 

– Waterfall Model: This model helps you make sure that your requirements reflect the needs and wants of the end-user and that your hypotheses are correct. 

7. Perform detailed QA & Testing & Security

This is the last step you need to take. Custom software must be error-free or as error-free as possible before being put into use. This can be checked through regular quality assurance and testing. Therefore, testing the flexibility of the software is the most important step after the software application is developed and ready for use. 

VII. How much Time Does it Take to Build Custom Software  

The time it takes to build custom software is a concern for many people. The process for developing software is very complex and takes a lot of time. Therefore, development time depends on many different factors, mainly on the simplicity and complexity of the software. 

Typically, custom software development projects can take anywhere from 4 to 9 months. 

Here are the average timing for a custom software development

  1. Requirements and Design:  2–4 weeks
  2. Planning, Architecture & Development: 2–6 months
  3. Testing:  3–6 weeks
  4. App submission to App Store or Google Play:  7 days
  5. Maintenance and updates: Maintenance may span 20 years, whereas additional development may be 1–2 years.

VIII. Custome Software Development at Adamo Software – Best Choice for Your Software Project  

At Adamo Software, we provide comprehensive custom software development services using the most advanced technology and development methods. 

Why is Adamo the best choice for your software project?  

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We have a dedicated team, including professional developers, designers, and project managers. Therefore, we are confident in successfully developing many applications as well as customized software solutions for medium and large businesses. 

Now is the time to start building custom software that meets the needs of your business and helps you streamline your workflow. If you want to hire experienced developers to create custom software or want to consult on solutions for building software, contact us for free. 

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