What is Custom Software Development?
We live in a changing world, made to measure, tailored to each user individually. Hence the terms such as BigData, machine learning and artificial intelligence. All these solutions appeared to create a service/product tailored to you so that you could not resist the temptation to buy. It sounds quite calculated, cool with a strong business vein. But that's not quite the case.
So, what is it all about custom software development?
It is tailoring, it is creating with a full understanding of needs. Thanks to the full customization of your web or mobile application, you can hit the tastes of users. Generic ideas don't work anymore, they have no right to work - your competition is too big.
You do not live in the era of 2007, where there is one touch iPhone on the smartphone market and every mobile application created will be a hit. As long as you don't have a design that is fully customizable, your customers will still feel unsatisfied - they will have the impression that this design was not made with them in mind.
Well, custom software development is creating software that is fully tailored to your user's requirements. It sounds logical and simple, but it is not.
Why is custom software development getting more and more difficult?
Software development is primarily a needs research process. Without a huge amount of knowledge and data, you are not able to customize your solution. How would you like to add additional functionality to your mobile application without having specific feedback from potential users? It doesn't make sense.
It makes no sense to create applications, web or mobile, based on your own ideas of needs. Perhaps this need only exists in your imagination. By the way, a huge number of startups fail precisely for this reason - the lack of validation with the outside world of their idea.
It takes a lot of time, an agile approach, and precision!
Added to this are the expectations, competition, and limited budgets of companies. It all causes pressure, market volatility, and the fact that software development often takes a long time. When companies start planning to create a mobile application, its time from implementing an idea to a finished product takes so long that the demand decreases to a minimum or the world's attention shifts to other areas.
Can you imagine Instagram or Facebook not implementing "stories" functionality in their ecosystem? It would make Snapchat grow amazingly and distract you from the rest of the solutions. Therefore, custom software development is a continuous work that must be agile, fast, and extremely precise. If your current software development partner isn't fast-paced, why not consider changing your custom software development company?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of custom software development?
Complexity and comprehensiveness
By definition, any kind of custom software development is simply a very broad project, which assumes that it will contain a lot of functionalities and is to solve a lot of problems. A good example is the creation of an ERP system (a platform that allows you to manage the entire enterprise from one place).
User data security
Any private information shared with their users rarely leaks from custom-made projects. This is because these projects are large, have a lot of time, and a lot of attention to data processing. The case is different in the case of smaller projects, done quickly for little money.
System openness and integration
Thanks to the customization of all elements, possible integration with external tools are often taken into account. Applications are often fairly closed and limited to offering basic functionality. Complex systems, as a rule, do not want to limit the number of integrations.
Fast and big updates
When it comes to possible repairs, ready-made, purchased products often do not have the possibility of introducing changes. In the case of custom software development, all corrections take place immediately - the development team, thanks to continuous contact with the product owner or project manager, is tasked with creating improvements every day.
Scale of activities
The number of small factors to consider is huge. Custom software development usually reaches many people, so it must take into account the opinion and needs of many people.
Lots of time and corrections
It takes a long time to build a huge custom project. Of course, you don't need much to launch a custom design - just one or two functionalities are enough to start with. However, the entire project takes a relatively long time to complete.
Rotation of the software development team
Due to the long-term nature of a project, it is common for many developers to leave the project. When you plan to create such a project yourself with your own local resources, it will be easy for you to keep developers in your company. It is better to outsource the creation of such a project and not worry about the large rotation of developers.
Is custom software development better than ready-made solutions?
Of course, there are ready-made products that often work great and have a lot of functionalities. However, when there is a new niche to develop, ready-made products are often very underdeveloped and made quickly. Digitization had a huge impact on software development, in every form - ready-made and customized. Custom software development is great at solving the main problem which is a full reference to people's needs and the ability to quickly react to market volatility.
Ability to make quick changes to the project.
Adjusting UX design to the users' requirements.
The ability to scale the project.
Great solution quality.
It would seem obvious that custom software development will be a better solution in any case. However, the market for sales management solutions (CRM) can serve as an example - there is such a huge competition that it makes no sense to create new solutions. The finished product in this case is a much better choice.
Software development process - an example!
Building a great mobile app, web app, or dashboard with stat visualizations takes a process. Each type of software is always created with a view to solving a specific problem for a specific group of users. It is very important that the entire process is predictable, clear and, above all, repeatable every time.
The first step is to collect a lot of information, details, requirements for the project and the software development itself. As long as you provide the software development provider with the maximum amount of detail, chances are huge that your project will be successful.
When all the necessary functionalities are clear, the creation of designs, mockups, and initial MVPs of your product begins. Today, UX / UI design is a huge market that is necessary and directly related to the work of software developers. As long as the design is visually appealing, users will be willing to interact. Competition for "good looks" in today's IT market is fierce.
This is the moment when software developers actually start creating your customized solution from A to Z. Thanks to a well-chosen software development methodology, your solution becomes more and more extensive every day. Daily communication, implementation of corrections, hard work, and attention to detail make the implementation the longest moment of the entire process.
Of course, code verification also happens during implementation, but it often happens that it is in this separate phase - the work of manual and automated tests is extremely valuable. This can often eliminate dozens or hundreds of minor errors.
It would seem that maintenance is a bit to the side of the whole process, that it's just a project oversight. It is not true, it is one of the most important elements of running a business and creating custom software development. Due to the fact that we are constantly in touch with users of our software, we are able to improve it every day.
What are some successful examples of custom software?
Big corporations known to everyone for decades have been creating custom software solutions. However, thanks to access to many software houses from around the world, today everyone is able to create a custom solution. There are a huge number of examples that are flagship custom solutions:
1. A system for managing a company in an enterprise (CRM)
In the CRM system, you store your customers' data - phone number, e-mail, and so on - and keep records of contacts with them, from live meetings to correspondence. Everything in one place and available from the same platform (CRM program) for every employee involved in the sales process or customer service.
Depending on which specific CRM system you use (which one to choose this issue for a separate text and we will deal with it soon in our pages), you may also have access to a number of other CRM functions or tools, for example, sales funnel management. However, even in the basic version, the CRM system offers a number of benefits.
2. Content management systems (CMS)
A content management system that allows you to add, remove and modify content on the website. This applies to texts, images, graphics, photos, videos, tables, and even subpages and other editable elements of the website. Due to the fact that the CMS is easy to use, anyone can learn to use it. You do not need any specialized programming knowledge for this.
Today, more and more websites are built on the basis of a content management system, which can be simply called an administration panel. It is an ideal solution for people who want to expand their websites on their own.
3. A system for managing the entire enterprise from one place
The task of these systems is the full integration of all areas of the company's activity. In popular ERP systems, these are production, marketing, finance, strategic enterprise management, etc. In addition, ERP systems allow the use of mechanisms that enable the simulation of various actions and analysis of their effects, including financial ones.
4. Invoicing and accounting tools
All CFOs and accountants are well aware of how much easier it is to have a good program for managing invoices, finances, and employee payouts. Such tools must be armed with great data security, any leakage of sensitive data would be a huge failure for the enterprise.
5. University portals for students and lecturers
It is a place where all people related to the activities of the university or college can exchange scientific materials, manage finances, plan classes, and so on. A great example of custom software development with a lot of functionalities.
6. Online property management platform
Having such a customized system that allows you to keep all available real estate is a great plus. Possible sales can also take place via such a platform. Often, such solutions are developing strongly and implement artificial intelligence or 3D visualizations.
7. Online shopping applications.
E-commerce is growing, so access to software that makes shopping easier for us is very easy. The applications of such giants as eBay, Amazon, and Zalando are very nice, and shopping with these applications is very pleasant.
There are plenty of examples, but we can list these 7 known examples. Thanks to access to real examples, you are able to have a deep understanding of all the functionalities of web and mobile applications that surround you on a daily basis.
Why custom software development is important?
You probably don't like using software that is unintuitive, doesn't understand your problems, and is expensive. Photoshop a few years ago can be a good example. It is software dedicated to professionals, very expensive, and quite inaccessible to most people. So, access to photo editing was limited.
An example of custom software developmentthat surpassed the ease of use can be Canva - which has become more and more popular for several years. Its basic functionalities are free, it is a pleasure to use this web application. This example strongly shows that custom software development is a way of approaching business creation (solving specific problems through a deep understanding of the needs of this niche).
Full compliance with the rules
A great argument is, above all, full compliance with the company's rules, culture, and internal law. Custom software development project, in fact, also includes such "soft information".
Consistency of all solutions
Another important thing is the fact that the custom application created for the company will be fully integrated with the rest of the solutions. This is great news. Because each purchased, ready-made solution will never fit the needs of the company like an application that has been made to measure.
Where to find the right place for your creating your custom product?
There are plenty of possibilities today, but due to our extensive experience in creating fully customized solutions - we recommend arranging a free consultation with us. We will be very happy to get acquainted with your idea, needs and answer all your questions and dispel doubts. So finding a custom software development companyis no longer a problem, it's a formality. The long-term, technological partnership is important because creating custom software is always a long-term process. Finding a partner who will listen to your needs and adapt the code to your needs is a difficult task. Therefore, it is worth remembering to create a list of specific questions that should be asked of such a company.