What is Custom Software Development?
The term custom software development refers to designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining software that cater to specific needs and requirements. The control and precision that custom software solutions provide make them the best commodity for smart and innovative businesses. They are always compared with commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) that serve relatively big audience segments.
The truth is, both custom software and off-the-shelf software solutions are different and serve various audience segments. Microsoft Office, for instance, is a commercially available package used by billions of professionals on a daily basis. It caters to the business needs of people from all walks of life and various industries.
On the other hand, custom software are developed to address a specific problem faced by either companies or their customers. For instance, a bank wants to get a mobile app developed for its customers to provide them with a seamless banking experience. Such a mobile app needs to showcase personalized features and unique banking products hence there is no other solution but to build a custom software.
As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, spending on custom software development has increased enormously. Custom software solutions have turned schools and universities into online portals; hospitals, and shopping malls a tap away facility.
In this article, we’ll be covering the various aspects of custom software development, why it’s important, and how it differs from COTS. Moreover, we’ll walk you through TechNerds’ seamless custom software development process.
So, let’s jump right into it!
Why is Custom Software Development Important?
There’s no better way for businesses to streamline their workflows and increase work productivity without building custom software products. As a business grows, the need for custom software products heightens.
If you’ve already decided it’s time for custom software development, you can expect the following benefits in the long run.
Custom software solutions are built to effectively solve a specific set of problems that are either faced by a company or its customers. On the other hand, the same cannot be said about the COTS software that aims to provide a wide range of solutions on a single platform hence is much less efficient.
To break it down further, one can say that custom software solutions are designed to address a specific problem that is plaguing a business. This effective way to solve a problem has a trickle-down effect on other business segments, such as saving time and extra costs and giving you control over other core business operations.
Every growing organization wants to operate hands-on software products that provide them with the freedom to up or downscale them. This is because as an organization grows, its customers grow, and ultimately, the problems associated with its workflows.
Custom software gives a company complete control over its various operations because of its scalable nature. Whereas the biggest drawback of COTS is; you can’t scale them beyond a certain limit.
Alternatively, custom software comes with features that can be activated when needed and turned off when not needed. It saves a lot of time and also prevents a company from buying additional subscription plans and licenses.
The main concern with COTS is how easy it will be for the company’s existing applications to integrate with them? Companies first spend thousands of dollars on COTS only to find it quite difficult to integrate with existing applications and software.
Although it’s expensive and time-consuming, going for custom development will eventually save you from all of these frustrating situations. It is built keeping in mind the company’s existing infrastructure so that they can cross communicate and integrate seamlessly.
Source of Passive Income
What’s better than to develop your own software and sell it to other organizations under a license? Custom software solutions bring the opportunity to generate a passive income for your business as your organization grows.
Use it to fulfill your business needs and sell it to other organizations who look to purchase custom software, it’s that simple. This is where custom software cuts out on COTS since it functions more like an asset with time.
Added Layers of Security
One of the biggest trends in the IT sector is the higher levels of security of software products. A lot of efforts are underway to make such applications that are not easy to breach and compromised.
Custom software development lets you add maximum layers of security that ensure your software product is safe. Add DDoS protection service to the mix and you never have to worry about security again. You don’t have to rely on limited security levels provided by a commercially available off-the-shelf software solution.
Custom Software Development vs COTS – An Ultimate Comparison
Companies always find themselves in a make-or-break situation when they look to incorporate new software into their prevailing infrastructure. Build vs buy question has always influenced their decision as the two are different from each other.
Both these technologies have a lot of differences in terms of usability, functionality, and freedom. Both have specific pros and cons and to understand them better, we’ll give you a detailed run down on them.
A lot of people consider coding as the only driving force behind the software development process which is entirely wrong. The software development process includes many things and coding is just one part of it. There were times when programmers used to spend weeks writing and running different lines of code just to execute a single functionality.
Today, with the abundance of low-code and no-code platforms, applications can be built in a matter of days. You’ll find students spending a lot of time learning low code platforms that provide greater functionality while saving greater time. Having said that, it’s important to note that development is much more than just coding. A lot of apps that you use daily are built on low-coding platforms to avoid technical glitches and enhance users’ experiences.
Developing custom software is not a cakewalk and chances are there that you may face initial drawbacks. But you can always learn from your mistakes and take help from others as well.
Although, developing custom software is difficult, it’s better and more profitable than choosing commercial off-the-shelf solutions that provide very limited scalability and zero ownership.
While off-the-shelf software solutions offer flawless customer support and consistent upgrades, they have a big setback.
For starters, You can’t expect updates to allow you more control or scalability. Secondly, there are a lot of software products that don’t get regular updates, and relying on outdated tools only damages your business’ credibility.
Custom software puts you in control to make changes and brings updates anytime you want. You don’t have to wait for an update to get hands-on extra functionalities as you are responsible to decide upon any feature you want to incorporate in your custom software.
Integration With Existing Company Infrastructure
Every organization today is in the race of getting tools that are fast, robust, and easy to scale.
While COTS seem like the obvious answer, they come with a big question mark. Would they be easy to integrate into the existing company infrastructure or not? Will they cater exactly to the existing company’s problems? There are just so many things to get right with COTS that you will most probably end up spending way more just to fully integrate them.
Custom software solutions are built keeping in mind the current company’s infrastructure and available tools. Moreover, the team that builds custom software is always available to train other staff on how to use and integrate other applications with the custom software.
Keys to Effective Custom Software Development
Once you land on a decision that you’re going to get custom software developed for your company, it’s time you look for the best and effective development ways.
TechNerds has been developing custom software solutions for the past four years. We have helped businesses from different backgrounds in getting custom software solutions with top-notch maintenance and QA services.
As a result of our professional experience working with a variety of startups and enterprise companies, we can easily help you identify the key factors that go in development of market-ready custom software solutions.
Setting Business Goals
This is the very first step you take when you decide upon getting custom software. Simply put pen to paper and define your software development goals. Another way to improve your software is to look around and see what your competitors are doing.
Choose a Development Methodology
Creating custom software is a complicated process. You should expect things to not go as planned on the first try because many software projects fail because of poor execution and inconsistency.
Nowadays, almost every software development company follows a competitive methodology to develop software solutions. The best among them is the agile methodology that allows teams to always refer back to the basics if things go wrong at any given development stage. The main advantage of an agile approach is you can always find bugs and fix them as they appear and there’s a lot of room for continuous improvement.
Choosing a Technology
Choosing a technology means you are in the middle of the process. There are a lot of exciting technologies depending on the type and size of your software project. It’s a good practice to refer to an expert who can devise a suitable technology for your project. Most probably a gutsy software development company that knows what technology suits your project.
Keeping the Code Simple
One of the developers at Google first introduced the concept of code simplicity which aimed at removing unnecessary obstacles in writing a clear and clean code. Keeping the code simple works with other development aspects and lessens the development time which ultimately results in developing fast and robust software solutions.
A good budget estimation not only sets up your project for quick execution but also saves a lot of time in development. An accurate budget estimation can either accelerate the whole development process or prove to be a setback.
The importance of expert consultancy and allocating a budget for your project development cannot be overstated since they have a mix of experience and knowledge of the market and how things work. Thus, planning the budget in the initial stages of the project development is extremely important for its success.
Continuous Testing and Code Review
What makes a market-hit software is how continuously you test and review it for potential bugs. You just can’t depend on a single test and declare it as a market-perfect product unless you keep on testing it in intervals to make sure it does not give any downtime and performs just the same on multiple devices and conditions.
TechNerds’ Custom Software Development Process
TechNerds is a leading software development and digital marketing agency based in Miami, Florida. Having worked with more than 1000 clients globally, we are one of the fastest-growing software companies in the USA. Our seamless project management and execution is what makes us your top choice.
In this section, we’ll walk you through our flawless custom software development process bound to take your project scope and execution to the next level.
This is the first stage right after the discovery call in which we hold multiple meetings with you to understand your goals associated with the project and how we can turn them into a viable product. We understand your project requirements and map out a perfect execution plan.
Moreover, we introduce you to the dedicated project manager for your project along with the allocated resources to help you better understand TechNerds as a company. In these meetings, we gain a better understanding of your project.
This is one of the most crucial stages of the project development process, as it requires a thorough review of the requirements gathered. This helps both the company and the client if they’re a good match for this project or not.
Moreover, we communicate with you to let you know if there are any flaws in the project scope that need to be corrected. Before moving further, we document the process from the very beginning to keep things transparent and communicated.
Getting Designs Ready
The actual work begins right here in this stage. Our allocated resources then work on designing the internal and external technical infrastructures described in the document to ensure that the project proceeds as planned.
This stage further includes the design mockups of the project, technically called the UI/UX of the software. In this stage, deliverables include wireframes, technical architecture, database design, high fidelity screens, marvel prototypes, user stories, and database schema.
This is undoubtedly the most exciting yet complicated stage of the whole process. In this stage, the developers start developing your project as documented in the initial project meetings. Our developers put their skills to the test and make sure that your project development phase goes seamlessly. Based on what aspect of the project the resource is involved in, each resource programs differently. Since we use a mix of Agile and Scrum project management methodologies, each developer is responsible for his assigned task.
On paper, this is the penultimate stage in our software development life cycle that includes testing your product. We believe continuous testing of a software product makes it a market-hit commodity that positions your business on top of the competition.
We have experienced QA experts who follow both the human and machine testing methodologies to make sure your product performs just the way you envisioned it.
Deployment and Launch
After the project is completely tested, we take your permission to deploy all the work. As far as deployment is concerned, it’s you who decides either it would be a cloud-based deployment or on-premise deployment.
The difference between the two is, cloud-based deployment provides extra control to scale your software and manage it virtually. It’s hosted with cloud servers such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
On the other hand, on-premise deployment means hosting the software on the company’s servers protected by the company’s inner firewall protocols. Earlier in the day, it was the only integration method available for hosting software on a company’s codebase, and it’s good if you want total control of your software functionalities and integrations.
After your software project is released, the next step is to maintain and take care of your project. It is one of the advantages of custom software development that you can upgrade it, add more functionalities to it, and get it thoroughly maintained.
We at TechNerds house QA specialists who take care of your product and make sure it performs according to your expectations without giving any downtime.
Project Management Methodologies We Follow at TechNerds
Project management lies at the core of successful project creation and delivery. According to a study, most software development projects fail due to management incompetence to understand what needs to be developed and how it will be developed.
TechNerds, as a responsible software development company, takes full responsibility for your software projects and utilizes proven techniques and methods to ensure your project is a hit as soon as it hits the market. At TechNerds, our project managers, along with their day-to-day job responsibilities, follow a mix of Agile and Scrum methodologies for quick development and delivery of your products.
Here are a few reasons why we use agile and scrum project methodologies:
Agile Methodology Best Practices
|Agile methodology is itself a whole philosophy that takes an iterative approach towards getting a project completed and delivered.|
|It helps our project managers to set measurable goals and getting project features done in various iterations.|
|It allows us to stay in touch with our clients and keep their instructions in the loop.|
|Agile methodology helps our teams in project estimation, development, and post-development time due to its iterative nature.|
|Bugs and other issues can be fixed right away the moment they are caught.|
Scrum Best Practices
|Scrum is a further classification of Agile practices which helps our managers to get the projects done.|
|It’s a process that helps our managers in defining what work is there to be done, how it will be done, who will be doing it, and when it will be done.|
|The project is breakdown into short sprints of 2 to 4 weeks and the work is divided accordingly.|
|At the end of each sprint, the work is reviewed by the designated project manager and presented to the client.|
|This cycle keeps on repeating until the project is completed and delivered.|
Difference Between The Two
|Agile methodology is a whole philosophy||Scrum is a type of Agile methodology|
|In Agile, everything is delivered at the end of the project||Scrum is broken down into shorter sprints and smaller deliverables|
|Members of Agile teams belong to different cross-functional teams||In Scrum, teams have specific roles, such as the Scrum Master or Product Owner|
Custom software development comes along with benefits that businesses can think of. With the technology war extensively increasing among business leaders, developing custom software can be their invincible weapon. We also believe the myth associated with custom software solutions that they’re too expensive should be discouraged as well. So that, startups and SMBs can also jump into the spectrum.
Custom software development is not always about building software from the scratch. You can leverage development best practices to upscale an existing app or modernize your company’s current infrastructure. You can even add some custom functionalities to a COTS product at a much lower cost.
TechNerds took a step forward by offering top-notch and reliable custom software development services to big enterprises and SMBs. We are equipped with the latest tools complemented by an amazing pool of talent to bring your technology vision to life.
We are always one step ahead of the rest with the latest technologies in our weaponry, including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, SaaS, IoT, Mobile, and Web Applications. If you’re looking for a company that offers a mix of experienced and talented professionals, get your appointment scheduled today and let us help you with your next custom software development project.