Custom or "Ready-to-use" software, where to invest, and why?

Written by : Content Development Team – Kalpak Solutions | Posted On: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Custom or "Ready-to-use" software, where to invest, and why?

Today use of the software is essential, and everyone wants to use one. The question we are trying to answer is, "should I buy a ready-to-use software or go for custom software?"

You are probably already aware of the benefits a software system can bring to help business. The software enables you to reduce man-made errors and helps you minimize process times; it helps alert you about time delays, etc.

So, should you buy ready-to-use software or build custom software for your business? Let us consider each factor that will help you in making the important decision.

Modules / Features needed:

Ready-to-use software is aimed for a general audience and must carry a broad set of features/ modules. Whereas, with custom software, you can select the features you need now and don’t need to worry about extra features or too many confusing modules.

When you use off-the-shelf software (Ready-to-use software), you may get 60% features that you need, but you will also get 40% features that you don’t need. So, you will have to educate everyone on the team about not using those extra features.

When your requirements are mapped accurately, the gains from a software become multifold. If the requirements are not mapped, then it isn't easy to get the productivity you want from software.

Business process and software process:

Are you adopting the software to suit your processes, or are you adopting your business according to software? When you buy a Ready-to-use software, you must be very clear about the process and limitations (if any) that software has.

You may have a process different from your competitor, which is unique to your organization. Also, you may have some other business limitations (raw materials, locations, etc.) which impact your process. Also, you may have created a team that is used to working in a certain way.

Most of the software deployments fail because they do not account for changing the habit of uses. When you use custom software, the development team is going to speak to users first. Therefore, custom software has a better chance of being accepted by your organization. With Ready-to-use software, you have to check if your business process fits the way software is created. If there is a gap of even 10%, then you will have to find a way to fix the deficit or lose the 10% process.

Return On Investment (ROI):

Ready-to-use software may have a lower upfront cost. However, it is important to check the software's operational (running) cost and check how much it costs per user. Sometimes per users cost can actually be a lot more. Also, you will have to use features that are not needed, bringing your ROI down. With custom software, you can decide the budget, the number of features required, and create a solution that fits your organization. It may have initial costs higher than Ready-to-use software, but in the long run, you can get far better ROI.

  • When you create custom software, you only pay for what you need
  • Your processes are matched with software so it is easy to use and business can run smoothly
  • Rather than buying the entire package, you can create custom solutions that fit you as you grow. Giving you a chance to change or fix the software in your own way.
  • Custom software are scalable so you can always start with small modules and keep on adding new features. For eg. to start with just get customized inventory application developed and by adding modules you can actually convert it into full fledged ERP application.

This is why most of the businesses go for custom software.

Integration/compatibility with existing systems:

Mostly your business will have some kind of software already installed or purchased. So it is critical to check the compatibility of new software with the old one. Also, you will have to check if the new software breaks the earlier software or not!

Let us say you have accounting software, and you purchase inventory management software. What if your accounting software can not read data from inventory? Or vice-versa? That means you will have to do data entry 2 times, wasting your valuable time on small tasks. With custom software, you can test the compatibility much earlier and design the software accordingly.

Long term or short term?

Are you looking at using software for the long term? Then it is essential to check if the company supporting your software is reliable or not.

We hope that we were able to help you take one of the important decisions. Kalpak Solutions is specialized in custom software development. If you want to know about how other businesses have benefited from the software systems, to know more about custom software development click here.