Custom Web Apps Vs Off-the-shelf Software Applications Choosing the right one for

Custom Web Apps Vs Off-the-shelf Software Applications? Choosing the right one for your business


Published on: 04 Aug 2015

By Vinod Subbaiah

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With the advances in technology, everyday business processes are getting more refined and specialized. Good software applications have become the basic need for any business, as it helps in boosting performance and streamlining operations.

When trying to figure out the best software solution for their enterprise, business owners often face a complex choice – go for a tailor made custom solution or use off-the-shelf software applications. Choosing the right one for your business is crucial as it improves processes, boosts productivity and ultimately helps you improve your bottom line by saving you money. The choice is a bit tricky and requires careful consideration of requirements and long-term business objectives.

Custom Web Apps

The Good The not so good
It is developed keeping in mind the precise requirement of the business, and hence provides a software solution that best fits the business processes of the organization. Needs a professional team of developers, testers, business analysts who understand your business needs well.
Brings in greater efficiency as many manual tasks can be automated. Requires greater time to build and deploy when compared to off the shelf applications.
Rapid acceptance from employees, as the application is built after considering specific needs of the organization, and taking inputs from individual users. The cost of developing a custom web application is significantly higher than the alternatives.
Future needs of the business can be planned for early on during architecture stage, and incorporated into the application at a later point when the business needs it. Any changes, enhancements or additional features added to the application after it is originally built, incur an additional cost.
Gives better control and competitive advantage as the software is developed keeping in mind long-term business objectives. Maintenance and support also incur a cost
Better Return on Investment (RoI) in the long run.

Off-the-shelf Software Applications

The Good The not so good
Inexpensive and often come with a free trial option. This allows for quick testing of suitability for a specific business situation. It caters to the generic needs of many businesses, which means that the unique requirements of any one business may not be addressed sufficiently.
Easy and fast to deploy. Installation help is usually available. It can be complex task to customize it for a given business, as there are usually lots of features that may not be applicable or necessary for every business.
Repeated testing under various live scenarios makes such software relatively robust and bug free. They may not always cater to the future needs of a growing business.
Upgrades are usually automatic and fairly cheaper as compared to custom software. Lack of control and monitoring as vendors might change the product versions and features without considering the specific needs of your business.
Is trusted by wide customer base, thanks to widespread use by different organizations. Does not give any competitive advantage as other people from same business might be using the same tools.
Global support community and forums to troubleshoot any issues. Often times, businesses may need to make tweaks to their process to make it fit into the software.

Ever wondered why successful business leaders across the globe have shown a preference for Custom Software Applications? Already using an off-the-shelf software and feel a compelling need to switch to custom web application? A careful consideration makes it evident that custom-built web solutions are usually better for businesses in the long run.

Vinod Subbaiah Vinod Subbaiah