Software Development

Canned Solution vs Custom Software: What should you choose for your organization?

Canned Solution vs Custom Software: What should you choose for your organization?

Whether you are running a small business or a CEO of a giant conglomerate, one of the toughest dilemmas you will face is whether to build or buy the software. Many companies go blindly into deciding when it comes to build versus buy situations. This is because most of the times either they are looking at what their competitor is using or simply aren’t asking the right questions to themselves to make a sound decision. Before getting into any details, ask yourself the following questions –

1. What is the exact requirement for your business?

2. Will the software accommodate the growth of your evolving business structure?

3. Are there any time and budget constraints for implementing the software solution?

4. How well is your staff trained to adapt and understand cutting edge technology?

5. Is there already something available in the market that matches your current and future requirements?

Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to understand whether you require to build or buy a software solution for your organization. Here is a comprehensive list of pros and cons of both the methods which can help you evaluate and decide – build or buy?

Building Software

Though, building custom software might be expensive, the ROI is well worth and unlocks a host of benefits. Off-the- shelf software cannot meet every need especially if your business has specialized needs for functionalities and business processes. So, in its place you must approach a software development company to generate a conventional piece of software to meet each business challenge you have: a fully-integrated solution that equals your procedures flawlessly.

Building Software

Pros

  • One of the biggest benefits that you can achieve with a custom software is that it can be customized to suit the requirement of your company.
  • If the company comprises of a technical team, it is easier for them to make changes in the software as the company grows in the future.
  • A custom software solution is recommended if you see a way of utilizing it to get a genuine competitive advantage in the market.
  • You can achieve better compatibility with various programs that you require to work within a custom software solution.
  • Lastly, it offers a great way to improve the productivity of the company since it cuts the reaction time and is customized to make the best use of your company’s resources.
  • Changes can be made quickly and often without any additional licensing fees

Cons

  • It requires heavy investment since it is about building a software solution from the ground-up.
  • Creating a custom software is useless if you depend on a third-party to provide a solution and don’t have a qualified technical team inside your organization.
  • The cost is too high for custom solutions and is well-suited only for organizations that have heavy investment right from the top of the management chain.
  • No user community to provide self-help (but direct relationship with vendor negates need for this)

Buying Software

Pricing is essential to any business decision, but it mustn’t be the only factor in determining the software you select for your company. Always picturing a direct association between a software’s price and its value can be defective when it comes to quality. Buying more expensive software because it has a long list of extra features isn’t essentially the correct move, as a lot of the features may not even apply to your business or be usable by your system.

Pros

  • Such solution is better for organizations that have a limited budget.
  • Ready solutions are cheaper and suits a team that has less technical proficiency.
  • No initial time is required for development since it is pre-made and ready to install.

Cons

  • Canned solutions are often too rigid and might leave gaps to fill for an organization that is going through a growth cycle.
  • There is a lot of dependability on the software provider. There are no solutions specific to your company and issues are resolved only when they release a universal patch or upgrade.
  • Additional cost is required for training the staff as well as maintaining the software.
  • Over a course of time these solutions might become limited and require additional software to function properly.

Making the Choice between Build vs. Buy

Custom Software Vs Buy Software

Getting a software build for your business from top custom software development companies offers you the chance to project a system that is custom-made to your organization’s specific needs. However, do remember that the software development process may take longer. On the other hand, buying off the shelf software can be quicker to launch with lower initial investment, but it will not be as per your business requirements and might cost more in the long run.  

So, when it comes to selecting from the two possible choices, there is no single answer; as each option comes with its own shares of advantages and disadvantages. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all decision; factors affecting a startup (like budget) might not be critical issues for enterprises.

To assure you are selecting the best route for your company, analyze your firm’s internal resources, business needs, timelines and budgets. Apart from that, also consider the above mentioned pros and cons to make a software related decision and then choose the option that best fits your business.

Tony Joseph
Tony Joseph

Tony believes in building technology around processes, rather than building processes around technology. He specializes in custom software development, especially in analyzing processes, refining it and then building technology around it. He works with clients at Fingent to understand and analyze their operational structure, discover (and not invent) key improvement areas and come up with technology solutions to deliver an efficient process.

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