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Off the Shelf vs Custom Software: Which is fit for your business?

Every company is investing in software solutions amid the accelerated shift to digital. A software that can meet all a business’ needs can go a long way. 

In the digital world, every company should be ready to adapt to the new way of doing business processes. Opting for a software designed for their requirements can make sure an effective and efficient business operation. You have two options for software solution: custom software development or off the shelf solution.

Definition: Custom Software vs Off the Shelf Off the Shelf vs Custom Software table | Laneways.Agency

Definition: Custom Software vs Off the Shelf

Definition: Custom Software vs Off the Shelf Off the Shelf vs Custom Software | Laneways.Agency

You may have to take the time in choosing the type of software for your business needs. The perfect fit is the software solution that can meet your long-term requirements.

Custom software solution is designed according to specific user requirements. Basically, you may get all the features, processes and solutions you need for the new software, may it be for a payroll system or other project systems. Enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management are two of the best solutions designed for almost every company.

Off the shelf product is a ready-made software solution that a company may use right away after acquisition. Off the shelf solutions can support the broad business needs, including tools where you can store the name, email, and other employee data.

We build custom software with modern solutions in mind for any business and sizes!

We build custom software with modern solutions in mind for any business and sizes!

Pros and Cons of Off the Shelf Solution

There are advantages and disadvantages in buying off the shelf solution for your business. Regardless, an off the shelf software has product features that you will need or use to process the daily transactions.

Here are the off the shelf software pros:

  • An off the shelf will cost you less than custom software.
  • It is generally easier to use and install.
  • It has a user community that you can refer to if you need.
  • Users consider off the shelf software as more reliable given that it’s well tested before hitting the market.
  • You may get an off the shelf solution in many stores, making it easier to locate.
Pros and Cons of Off the Shelf Solution Off the Shelf vs Custom Software | Laneways.Agency

Meanwhile, here are the potential downsides your team may encounter:

  • If you want to get one or more customized features in this software, you would shell out more costs.
  • Off the shelf software has too many features sometimes that you do not need.
  • It may not be as updated as you want it to be according to changing industry needs.
  • It is designed for the general users, which would be a compromise in some cases.

Pros and Cons of Custom Software Solution

A software development company, as mentioned, can make all your business needs appear in the project development process. Custom software solution is the best one if you have the money to shoulder the costs and even the time to develop the specific system your team needs.

Below are the custom software pros:

    • The sky’s the limit when it comes to feature options.
    • You can pick specific solutions for your business.
    • Customer software is scalable, which means you can start small and adjust accordingly.
    • You can make changes quickly in the custom software.
    • You can look over the maintenance all the time.
    Pros and Cons of Custom Software Solution Off the Shelf vs Custom Software | Laneways.Agency

    Meanwhile, here are the custom software cons you should watch out for:

    • It will cost you more during the development of custom systems.
    • Custom software takes a longer time to produce a product given that it meets all your specifications.
    • Because it is not publicly tested, there are concerns that the user will only discover upon use.
    • There is a potential risk of hiring the wrong software developer for the project.

    What advantages does commercial off the shelf software provide over custom software?

    The commercial off the shelf product has a competitive advantage over custom solution.

    Upgrading Software Products

    Regardless of which software you choose, regular updates should be made. Upgrades are necessary because they plug potential security holes in the software. At the same time, they can enhance software stability and remove outdated items.

    Off the shelf solutions have regular updates but these are not always according to your specific needs. Sometimes, the software may not even get updated for a long time, which may force you to work with an outdated solution.

    For custom solution, you can upgrade as often as you want given that you can shoulder the cost. You can make all the decisions on the software modifications, which are usually done to address the changing business needs.

    How Software Can Support Your Business

    To stay at the forefront, companies should be able to track where the industry is going. And now, the path is leading the businesses to a technology-enabled economy. 

    A good software can help your company monitor inventory, process orders, handle customer data, manage customer portals, and ensure that your accounting and finances are kept accurate. Automating such functions can help boost your business growth.

    So, which type of software is fit for the business you are running? The one that can serve the needed functions and is within your financial means.

    Read more about software development with Laneways.Agency. Contact us via email if you have questions.

    Jerome Rault

    Jerome Rault

    Cloud based technology advisor, consultant and investor. @ CEO at cloud based technology solutions provider https://www.laneways.agency/ @ CEO and Chairman of the Board at https://www.elderonboard.com.au/ @ Founder of https://www.agedcareweekly.com.au/. Current major projects include KeyQuote (https://keystoneonline.com.au) by Keystone Underwriting (https://www.keystoneunderwriting.com.au/), a cloud based full suite Insurance Underwriting and Brokerage CRM.

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