Back to Blog

The build vs. buy dilemma: Why you should invest in Custom Software over Off-the-Shelf

7. February 2020

Image credit:

The difference between Custom-Built and Off-the-Shelf Software

  • The simple difference between custom-built, sometimes called bespoke software solution and off-the-shelf software is that the former is made specifically for your needs and your business, whereas the latter is designed around general practices targeting a lot of different business and what they need but not used specifically.
  • Another major difference between off-the-shelf and bespoke software is that: an off-the-shelf piece of software is generally a quick and affordable solution compared to that of custom-built for you. But bespoke is cost-effective in the long run, and this is one of the main reasons that market leading companies tend toward this software approach.
  • Off-the-shelf offers limited to no compatibility with other software your organization is using or planning to use, while bespoke is tailored to be integrated with other piece(s) of software. 

To Buy or Build?

Which do you choose, custom or off the shelf solution? It’s a choice decision that continues to haunt companies looking for software solutions to meet their time-consuming or problematic business requirements.

While no body can underestimate the benefits of ready-made software: affordability and quick availability, just to name a few. What it does in terms of functionality is; it only meets the most common needs of your organization, and leaves you with fewer options especially when it comes to rather complex or a bit more specific industry problems.

So, what seemed to be an obvious choice in the beginning could quickly make you realize that you’ve actually expanded outside of what that canned software can actually provide.

All your business then requires is a solution that not only optimizes your business flow but also offers that longer-term impact, not the one that gives you quick but short-term fixes.

Benefits of Custom Software for your Business 

In this part of the blog, I’ll touch upon the significant benefits technically advanced, custom solution can offer to your business, which can go on to give you the competitive advantage you desire.

[1] A unique solution that works the way you want – Custom built software is developed in a way that it belongs completely to you as it comes with all the necessary functionality your business demands and tunes with your unique processes, thus giving you a perfect solution.

[2] There is minimal interface problem – As custom software solutions are built in line with specific needs, there won’t be any complications regarding the interface. It generally requires minimal training and everyone in your organization will find it easy to learn and use.

[3] It usually takes care of your evolutionA custom software application is built for a long-term solution and is not that much rigid compared to ready-made software. With your processes growing with time, the custom business software gives you more scalability over the years while maintaining desired efficiency at the same time.

[4] It pays you off in the long run – Deciding to develop a custom software means you would not be renewing any subscription or paying any license fees in the future. Thus, you see the higher investment becoming lower in the near future.

[5] You cherish top-notch business security – Unlike commercial products, your custom-developed solution is not used by different businesses, and this helps to ensure the privacy of your business processes and data. Cyber-criminals also find it difficult to breach the custom software system since it comes with its unique ins and outs.

[6] The changes and adjustments are easy to implement – One of the most important advantages of choosing bespoke software is that your software developers can easily make changes into it if you ever happen to make adjustments due to changed customer demands or some new legislation that appears in future.