Why should you consider investing in custom software?

Building custom software can unlock a host of benefits, but companies should only pursue that strategy if a) bettersoftware can provide a competitive advantage relative to your competitors, and b) youarebuilding a large business that can spread the cost of a proprietary system over a large number of clients.

While building custom software is expensive, the return on investment can be well worth it. Remember, however, that significant energy, resources, and time must be dedicated to its development. These tasks associated with custom software may initially make a canned solution seem like the smarter idea, but there are several reasons to reconsider:

1. Off-the-shelf software cannot meet every need.

Canned solutions generally address many of the needs of most companies. If your business has specialized needs, custom software may be better qualified to meet them.

2. Canned solutions are rigid.

The vast majority of off-the-shelf software will not allow you to modify its functionality in a meaningful way. It may be difficult to add or subtract built-in features, leading to either too many or too few functions for your company.

3. Off-the-shelf software may not be compatible with other programs.

Your business might rely on Software A to complete one task and Software B to finish a second, related task. If the two programs do not communicate effectively, they may hinder your efficiency. If you build your own software, you can integrate with a wider set of APIs from different software and data partners.

Despite its initial costs, custom software is well worth the resources it requires if you are hoping to build a business of meaningful scale. Building your own software that is specifically tailored to your company’s needs, as well as focused on scalability and efficiency, can help mean the difference between offering a commoditized service and offering a highly differentiated one at a better price.

Source: Forbes