Today's businesses need software that works the way they need it to, and all of the time. Some establishments have turned to custom-made software in order to accomplish this. However, many others wonder if the creation of custom software is actually worth it. Custom software is developed to the unique requirements of a business and built to operate precisely as a business needs it to, whereas packaged software is created in order to meet the needs of large numbers of customers. This type of software can be found in programs like operating systems and accounting software.
What's good about Packaged Software?
Packaged software is convenient where it comes to acquiring it, as one needs only to visit the location where the software is sold, and then simply make a purchase. There is also the fact that this type of software is often well-funded many thousands of users. This makes it cost-effective to purchase.
Many features accompany packaged software, making them a more desirable purchase for many businesses. As far as support and maintenance are concerned, it is easier for a business to find resources for both with packaged software.
Why Packaged Software May Not Work For Your Business
Using packaged software may force a company to change the way they conduct business, merely because it has been designed to suit the needs of a vast number of users and is, as a result, generic in nature. This can also mean that a business's competition has easy access and may be using the same software, meaning that any advantage gained over the competition is short-lived.Even though the software may be packaged, opting for lesser-known products can mean that it can cost more to locate the support and maintenance needed when things go wrong.
What's good about Bespoke Software?
It is true that bespoke software can be designed to meet the unique needs and requirements of any business. This can mean that a nagging issue is finally resolved. It can also mean that new doors are opened, allowing for new products or services to be able to be offered by a company.
Bespoke software can also be designed to change and grow with your business. As well, bespoke software can be integrated into current systems that are in place. High-quality support is a benefit of bespoke software. As businesses choosing this option can deal directly with software developers. Moreover, because it is unique to a single business, bespoke software is not available to the competition.
Why Bespoke Software May Not Work For Your Business
Unlike packaged software, the cost to fund the development of bespoke software rests solely on the shoulders of the business. This can mean a much higher investment. As well, it may be difficult to choose the right individuals to develop the software, given the fact that many unqualified individuals exist.
A significant risk can face businesses who request the development of bespoke software if they do not possess a copy of the code used to develop it. If this is the case and their developers become unavailable, the source code could easily be leased or sold to other parties.
Which Software Type Should You Choose?
Both types of software have their advantages. Deciding which one suits your business best may be made easier by considering a few factors.
If your business is a smaller company that will have no more than ten users, the total cost to own your software may be more expensive than paying a per-license fee. Likewise, if your company's product, service or system does not require differentiation from your competition, packaged software may be a good choice.
However, if your business operations are not in line with the way in which packaged software works, then bespoke software may be the solution. The same is true if your business is a niche operation.
Bespoke software can give your business a competitive advantage, as well as dramatically improve all back-office operations. However, in order to make its cost worthwhile, it's important to ensure only experienced developers who are willing to provide a copy of the source code are chosen. The purchase of packaged software should include considerations as to the ease at which support can be obtained.
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.