Most software people use in their daily lives is generic, commercially-available software. Made by big companies like Microsoft or Intuit, programs like PowerPoint and QuickBooks get the job done, and many businesses depend on this software day in and day out to operate.
But sometimes commercial software doesn’t cover all the functions a business requires. Or the software is designed for big businesses, making smaller companies resort to work-arounds or additional software programs to get their work done. Not only is this inefficient, but it can be costly! Work-arounds introduce opportunities for software conflicts or glitches, and time spent looking for fixes to a program’s shortcomings is time that could have been spent actually working. And now that many software companies are moving to a subscription software model, commercial software is becoming increasingly expensive.
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Custom Software Development Services: The Goldilocks Solution For Unique Businesses
The problems posed by generic, commercial software have driven many smaller businesses to choose custom software development services instead. Custom software development companies create tailor-made software programs that meet the specific needs of a particular company. Often, the software they design for clients meets a need that commercial software doesn’t, either because the need is too specialized or because commercial software to meet the need is too expensive.
While custom software can be complex, oftentimes its functions are simple. For instance, a company may want a small program that automates simple, repetitive functions. Other times, custom software is about upgrading to more powerful software, such as when a company moves from spreadsheets to a database system. Some bespoke software is about making existing software interface better.
Regardless of what a custom software program does, the overall goal is always the same: to create a tool as unique as the business it will serve. No two businesses have the exact same needs. No two businesses function the exact same way. That’s why so many companies rely on custom software development services that create products that are just right for them.
How Does Custom Software Development Work?
Companies that create bespoke software usually begin by sitting down with their client to discuss any current software the client uses, things they like and dislike about their current software, and the process or processes they want to improve. Typically, clients have a specific problem they want to address, such as automating certain tasks, making programs interface more effectively, or moving from older technology (like spreadsheets) to new technology (like databases).
Once the software developer understands the problem, they can create a plan for how the new software will work, incorporating the features and functions their client wants. At this stage, many developers will consider factors like how quickly their client’s company is growing and try to create software that can grow with the company. The client will then approve the plan before the developer will create a model of the software. This model allows the developer to test the software to ensure it works as planned, and any glitches or problems can be resolved before a full version of the software is produced.
Finally, the developer will create a full version of the software. They will install this software on the client’s computer network and provide training to the employees who will use the software. This way, the client can start benefiting from the program right away. The goal of custom software development services is to keep their clients operational, so this last stage of customer support is especially important.
Are The Benefits Of Custom Software Worthwhile?
The cost of custom software can vary greatly depending on factors like the client’s demands, the complexity of the software, and the software development company making it. However, there are times that bespoke software actually costs less than commercial software, so don’t rule it out purely because you’re afraid of the expense.
Regardless of the cost, many companies find that custom software is worth the price. For one thing, custom software is not stuffed full of unnecessary features like commercial software. You’re only paying for features you will use, not extra features that clutter the software interface. Further, commercial software offers generic tools to suit a huge market that may cover multiple industries. In contrast, bespoke software is designed for a clear, specific function and, therefore, does the job better. And even when custom software experiences problems, you are likely to get better and faster IT support because that support will come from the very people who designed your software.
Custom software can also make you more competitive. Since it is designed specifically for the way you use it, it often improves employee productivity and reduces training time for new employees. Further, because it offers you tools that no one else in the industry is using, the software itself offers a competitive edge over companies that rely on commercial software. And as your company grows, your software can grow with it. Your software developer can not only build for predicted growth, but also update and expand your software if your company’s needs change.
Finally, custom software offers you greater security. When hackers find vulnerabilities in a widely-used software application, everyone who uses that software becomes vulnerable. In contrast, your software’s vulnerabilities will be unique. This discourages hacking attempts because hacking one unique system offers a smaller payoff than exploiting the same software across multiple companies.
How Do I Know If Custom Software Is Right For My Business?
There are a few signs that custom software might benefit your company. If it regularly takes employees many steps to complete routine tasks, then custom software might be able to simplify those processes. Or if the tasks your employees do regularly are simple, then you might be able to automate them and use your employees’ time better on something else.
Another sign is if your employees frequently have to use two or three different systems at once to retrieve all the information they need for a task. A good custom software solution can often reduce your needs to one system that can handle everything. This reduces time spent on opening and closing or logging in and out of systems.
Other common signs include regular software conflicts or software failures, or relying on software for a function it wasn’t designed to do. Software should never be a hindrance to your employees’ ability to do their job! Not only does this hurt your productivity, but it’s demoralizing to employees when they are chronically fighting to actually do their work. This is a definite sign that your company’s commercial software is failing you.
Does TracSoft Offer Custom Software Development Services?
Yes! In fact, TracSoft has been meeting the needs of both large and small businesses in the greater Columbus, Georgia area for over twenty years. We’ve helped many companies just like yours find better ways to do business. Our experienced team of software developers can craft programs that increase your productivity, lower your costs, and stimulate growth. Learn more about our custom software development services here, and contact us today to discuss how we can help your business succeed.