When it comes to business software, products such as ERPs and facility data management systems mostly fall under one of two main software product models – custom-made and licensed distribution. Licensed software products are those bought as they are under a business or personal license. On the other hand, a custom-built software application is specially developed for a particular business or organization. Custom-made applications present several benefits to businesses; some of the main ones are highlighted below.
Each custom-built software is designed to meet the needs of a specific business. Business owners can customize the software’s functions and features to their preference. Every business has a unique business model and set of operations; this uniqueness is reflected in the demands for digital solutions. Customizing the features of software ensures that the business gets all the necessary functions in one neat package.
As businesses grow and expand, their software needs also increase. Many off-the-shelve software applications are designed as a one-size-fits-all kind of product; there is usually little or no room to make adjustments to the functions or characteristics of the application. These limitations of flexibility and scalability can be problematic in a dynamic business environment. With custom-built business software, however, the developers can add new features to their product to make it more useful and relevant to changing times.
In most cases, a custom-built software will cost a lot more than the equivalent off-the-shelf product. Although the initial cost is high, custom software usually makes up the difference in the long run. Firstly, you don’t have to buy software licenses that often expire every year or with a new version release. Secondly, a single software product can be design to encompass every business operation from sales, reporting, data management, accounting to HR management; this negates the need for purchasing several applications that have very specific functions.
Clearly, custom software seems to be much better for businesses compared to licensed applications. However, vendors are now improving on use-as-is applications by offering more flexibility and a cheaper and more convenient software distribution model through SaaS (Software as a Service).