A Guide on Custom Software Development

December 17, 2023

As technology advances, software development has changed the way we do businesses. With an increase in productivity and growth, in-house workforce are no longer capable of delivering projects that keep up with the requirements of today’s consumer base. In order to stay competitive, businesses must look for ways to enhance and grow their businesses through technology.

Custom development might be one solution to consider if you are looking for a quick boost to your business and even a better way to keep up with your competition through project separation!

In this article we will help you learn more about custom software development and how it can help your business in this piece.

What is custom development?

Custom software development is a process of designing, creating and deploying software for a defined set of users or functions. It is different from off-the-shelf software because it is designed specifically for a specific organisation.

An example of a custom software would be a tailor-made CRM system built specifically for your sales team following all the internal processes you have in the company. On the other side, Salesforce is a ready-made software that can be used directly but it does come with its limitations and might not be the right solution for your team.

This is why, organizations are turning to custom software because of “off-the-shelf” software becoming more and more limited. Customized solutions will not only provide them with better features, but also afford them with access to the necessary customizations and up-gradations that can be delivered by no other mass-produced product.

Why should you choose custom development?

  • Targeted solution

In a society that is constantly evolving and becoming increasingly more technologically advanced, it is critical to be able to adapt to change. There are many benefits that come with custom software development – one of which is the ability to create personalized applications that meet the specific needs of a business or organization.

The most important reason to invest in custom software development solution is to develop a product that addresses your exact needs and the needs of the users. If you are a business owner, then you definitely know that every single aspect of your business and even people who work there are unique. No two businesses are the same. Likewise, the organisation relies on a customized product rather than off-the-shelf software.

  • Greater Scalability

As your business grows, so do your needs.  Purchasing an off-the-shelf software solution may be a suitable option when you are just starting. But as your customer needs expand, you will notice the limitations of the ready-made software platforms you are using. This is the time when your business should look into custom software development.

  • Return on investment

While custom software development might require more time in the beginning, the return on investment in the long run is greater than using a ready-made software solution. There is no need to purchase additional plugins, acquire licenses or pay for features that employees are likely never going to use. In return for an initial investment, organizations that choose custom software development have the opportunity to create tailor-made software solution from scratch.

When to choose custom software development?

The concept of ready-made software solutions on the market is to solve a specific problem for similar type of companies with the same goals.

For example, if you need to build a website fast, there are tons of available platforms allowing you to design and launch a pixel perfect website for your business. They all allow the same opportunities and features to kick-off your new web-shop or portfolio website. But when you gather feedback and customers require more functionalities, you will be limited to what the ready-made software is providing within the platform. This makes it really hard for your business to scale because you can not meet the customer needs without moving to custom development. In order to prevent that, it is recommended to research in advance the ready-made software you are planning to use and compare to your business goals.

Another case when businesses switch to custom software development is when the company wants to add complex functionalities and logic to the platform. When the digital product scales and there are more new features added to the roadmap, the software requires custom development. This is inevitable for successful businesses with strong proof of concept and investment opportunities.

The right time for most businesses to switch to custom development is when they "hit the wall" of using existing solutions on the market. The problem then most of the time is that everything needs to be rebuild again because there is no room for scaling. You are trying to hack the platform, look for alternatives and tweak the code but in the end you are just trying to fix something that can't be used anymore and does not meet your customer needs.

To prevent that, the best way to do the transition from ready-made platform to custom software solution is to plan ahead your roadmap with new features and know the limitations of the tools you are using. This allows you to predict upfront and take time to make the migration from old platform to new software without any issues.

From Wordpress to Custom Development

The most common case of companies switching from ready-made solution to custom software development is when they use WordPress.

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) and website builder. It's a popular tool for individuals without any coding experience who want to build their first website. When you just start, WordPress allows you to launch an online platform within a few days using 3rd party plugins and themes. It's great when you are not looking for complex functionalities and custom animations.

The problem occurs when your business grows and you want to add additional features to your website platform. Think of things like additional filters, search options, payment getaways, automations and integrations. While plugins from 3rd party companies may be a good starting point, your website becomes heavier and slower after each additional one. You start becoming more and more dependent on what's available on the WordPress marketplace and at one point you notice you don't have anymore control. Your monthly costs increase and your site performance decrease. Until one day you notice your website is down and all your work is gone.

At this stage, company owners are starting to look for alternatives trying to save their business from crashing and regretting for not starting with custom software development. It's either another ready-made solution on the market or custom development. While another off-the-shelf software might help you continue running the website, there is no more flexible solution than custom development.

To prevent similar cases, a hybrid scenario between no-code tools and custom development allows you to scale from the beginning without having to worry about limitations. Because where the no-code tool stops, this is where custom development starts in.

Knowing more?

At Codelevate, we design and develop digital products using no-code, low-code and custom development. Based on the customer requirements and the budget scope, we propose the most optimal solution for their business by comparing ready-made platforms and custom development. If you are a business owner and you already reached the limitations of your software, we will help you make the transition from ready-made platform to custom software development.

Curious about the possibilities?

Please feel free to contact us without obligation by emailing hello@codelevate.com.  You can also fill in the contact form on our website and we will get in touch with you.

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