Custom software product development can help businesses streamline their workflows and improve business operations. But without experience, some organizations might hear myths that perpetuate concerns about custom software—and miss out on the opportunities that it offers.
Make sure you have up-to-date information about custom software product development and offshore development—not just assumptions or perceptions. Let’s start by dispelling the 10 most common myths you’ll hear.
Myth #1: Custom Software Is Expensive
Custom software development makes sense when your business needs a specialized or unique approach. With a custom software solution, your business can optimize internal business processes and automate logistical functions. It will have only the features that are useful to you, and you’ll be in complete control of your licensing, development process, and functionality.
Even though the initial investment in custom software development may seem relatively higher, you save costs on licensing, upgrades, and user fees that generally accompany off-the-shelf software. These are recurring costs.
Remember, your budget isn’t just the software, but also the training, updates, and maintenance of that software. In general, custom solutions are less expensive, particularly when you consider the need for continuous support and upgrades.
Myth #2: It’s Hard to Change Custom Software
Custom software is flexible. It’s designed to consider all current and future requirements. Depending on the project planning process, you will need to incorporate some changes before deployment. As the developers wrote the code specifically for you, they also can easily implement any changes required.
You also can improve your success rate by following best management practices for software development, as we do at InApp. These practices help you ensure your project is delivered on time, within budget, and with minimal surprises.
Myth #3: An In-House Team Is Better
Software product development projects take specific skills. We have many clients who started down the path of in-house development only to backtrack when they run into issues. Doing your research first can save a lot of time and money.
It’s unlikely that you have an experienced software programmer on staff. Plus, your IT team already has a full plate, and these development projects take time away from other important tasks.
Additionally, you probably want your software up and running sooner rather than later. In-house development usually takes more time than you realize as your IT folks work around other tasks and priorities. Weigh those considerations carefully.
Myth #4: Outsourcing Firms Don’t Pay Attention to Quality
Much like software development, software quality assurance requires resources to handle the full scope of quality-related tasks. Quality assurance (QA) outsourcing companies have experience with a variety of testing methodologies, and they’ll use the appropriate testing methods for your project.
Some prefer to hire independent QA providers who can take a fresh look at the product, while others decide that involving on-demand resources will work better for their project. If you’d like to maintain some control of the QA process, you can use an outsourcing firm for some tasks or specific areas. You can choose to work with the outsourcing team directly, or, if you prefer, your development team can work with the QA team. You also can use outsourcing testing services as an extension for your in-house team.
Myth #5: Custom Software Is Full of Bugs
There’s a perception that off-the-shelf software is less prone to errors and bugs because of the commercial investment from a large corporation. However, if you’ve ever tracked the automated updates that occur on your computer, you know that’s not really true. Big software developers suffer from communication issues between teams and time constraints, just like any company.
Custom software product development benefits from its product specifications—you’ll know exactly what works and what doesn’t because you’re testing for very specific scenarios that apply to your company. Additionally, thorough testing can lead to a reduction in maintenance costs.
Myth #6: You Need More Testing
All software needs to be tested. There are a lot of different types of testing, such as integration testing, acceptance testing, automation testing, manual testing, performance testing, etc. Even if you purchase off-the-shelf software, you’ll need to test to make sure it will do what you need it to do.
Custom software gives you control over the testing process. Independent software testing organizations strongly adhere to rigorous testing cycles, standards, and requirements. As software testing is their specialization, failure rates are very low (essentially nonexistent). They’re also able to recruit and hire specialists in particular types of software testing.
Myth #7: Only Tech Companies Need Custom Software
Custom software can facilitate the effective management of a growing organization by providing functions to meet your specific business requirements. It also can be more useful for business productivity, helping companies maintain competitiveness and consistent revenue growth.
Using software for resource management extends far beyond the tech industry. Any industry that requires complex document management, specialized billing or financial management, in-depth strategic planning, or intensive planning has either implemented or is considering implementing custom software.
The following industries often use custom software…
- Marketing agencies
- Law firms
- Call centers
- Real estate
Myth #8: Custom Software Is Less Secure
As off-the-shelf software is used in mass markets, it draws more attention from hackers. Once a vulnerability in its code is discovered, all the users are compromised. Custom software draws less attention from hackers and remains comparatively safer.
But companies also need a different type of security. Many businesses invest in popular commercial software because they are hesitant to share intellectual property (IP) or data access with an outsourcing company.
Similar to any other collaboration your company has, set privacy rules & security policies, and sign NDA agreements to ensure your IP and data are safe. Upon choosing your outsourcing partner, we recommend conducting your due diligence and selecting one that values long-term partnerships.
Myth #9: Custom Software Is Not Scalable
Software scalability refers to how easy it is to grow or shrink a piece of software. For example, scalability measures the software’s ability to handle increasing workloads and data, as well as adjust to changes in the number of users.
Custom software is flexible. It’s designed to consider all current and future requirements. While off-the-shelf may look relatively cheaper initially, custom software often has a lower cost over its lifetime because you can scale it more quickly to meet your business needs.
Myth #10: It’s Risky
Every business decision involves risk. But, not taking risks can also be risky. For example, if you maintain old workflows without reviewing the options to improve efficiency, you can lose productivity or revenue that you could gain from changes or updates. In today’s competitive environment, that’s a risk. When you consider what you risk by not doing anything, suddenly the risk of investing in custom software is put into perspective.
Custom software is a tailored solution targeted at a narrow set of requirements, typically for a specific company or enterprise. Your custom software can reduce the risk of failures that affect operations. For example, many organizations find they reduce risk by using their custom software to find business trends and determine their impact sooner.
Misconceptions can cause many businesses to refrain from investing in custom applications. Like any investment, you should review the potential return on investment (ROI) of custom software product development. Learn how to get started here.
InApp has been in business for the last twenty years, and we have protocols and procedures in place to ensure our customers’ interests are the first priority. Contact us today to see how we can help your business.