There are still some questions unanswered. Should I choose a customized solution or in a box? is one of them. Custom development offers non-commercial software that meets the needs of a specific customer. Package software, on the other hand, is a standard product that appeals to almost everyone in the market. In this article we will look at the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.
Developing your own product is often the first thing you think of when you think of a company that is ready to digitize and automate. However, there is much discussion as to which of these two options offers the greatest benefits. This is Vladimir Lugovsky, CEO of Akveo:
Both can work well, but it depends on the context. If the problem you’re trying to solve isn’t part of your core business, I would opt for a canned solution. In this case, you can greatly benefit from the support and services provided with this specific solution. In other cases, I’d follow the custom. I mean, I can imagine how much effort it will take to integrate and configure batch software in the future. Unless there are solutions on the market that can cover almost 90% of the required functionality.
Advantages and disadvantages
There is no such thing as a perfect configuration at a high price. So let’s talk about the basics and compare these models.
From a financial point of view, the cost of a standard solution can be very attractive compared to a tailor-made development. For a fixed price, you get a product that is ready to be integrated into your business software and has all the necessary functions, services and modules. If you don’t have an in-house IT team taking care of the solution, this level of ease of use is a big advantage that many Box applications benefit from. Moreover, most out-of-the-box solutions can easily be adapted to existing business processes within the company.
At the same time, ready-made software may not fully meet the needs of businesses in the long term. So you’ll probably have to spend more money on upgrades and integrations in the future, not to mention the usual subscription fees. However, if you do not intend to go beyond the basic functions, a boxed solution may be a good choice.
Let’s summarize the benefits of standard applications:
- An affordable price;
- Quick execution ;
- Free updates;
- Support services are included in the monthly charges;
- Shouldn’t be company specific;
- Lack of scale;
- Difficulties in expanding functionality.
On the other hand, bespoke development is the way forward for companies that want to own the code and have the flexibility to adapt it. This is a wise choice for companies with high data volumes (e.g. fintech or online retailers) or companies with unique business needs. In the end, you get an almost perfect product that fits the nature of the business – we’re talking about a great competitive advantage.
The advantages of custom software :
- The ability to be specific to a company.
- Full customization of settings and functions.
- The scalability of the application is practical.
- Possibility to add additional functions if needed.
The deadlines include :
- Relatively high development costs.
- Longer time to market.
- Maintenance and renewal costs.
Shortening the time to market
Whether you decide to bring a packaged solution to market quickly or develop a product from scratch, in most cases the most important thing is the time it takes to bring it to market. It is very common that customers want to live as soon as possible, for example in a month or two.
Is it possible? With good development practices, of course. Here at Akveo we propose to start with the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The product’s basic functionality helps you solve the most urgent business tasks. Over time, as your business grows, new features will be added to the solution. MVPs allow you to reduce time-to-market so you can analyze the first results in a month or two.
However, the next question is whether or not you have an internal development team. Let’s look at the two options.
Internal team versus outsourcing
The development of your own customised solution requires a highly qualified internal IT team. At the same time, hiring such a team places a heavy burden on a company’s budget, and not all companies can afford it.
However, the internal team has a lot to offer in terms of involvement and insight into the ins and outs of the company.
- An internal IT specialist understands the objectives and intricacies of the company.
- Engineers understand their own product from A to Z and can adapt it to changing workflows. In theory, this means that you no longer need to use external IT companies.
- A clear connection. The internal team is more likely to have a similar cultural and social background, which will facilitate communication.
If you don’t have an internal team, or if you want to optimize your resources and focus only on commercial tasks, it makes sense to outsource software development to a third party. The benefits of developing outsourcing include the following:
- Reduction of time-to-market. An external IT team can quickly bring a new product to market: There is no need to set up a team and define workflows before development begins.
- Resources on request. With IT outsourcing, you pay exactly the resources you need for the project.
- Timely delivery. By entering into an SLA with an external IT contractor, the company further formalises the development process. In addition, tasks and conditions are arranged contractually.
Hybrid approach to bespoke development
If you have a team, but feel that outside talent can add something extra to the project, consider a hybrid model. The hybrid approach is a combination of internal and external group efforts.
It’s a matter of flexibility. The model creates an environment that enables effective planning, in-depth analysis and delegation of IT tasks. The company decides which services are outsourced and which are provided by its own developers. It is also a question of optimising costs, as the hybrid approach allows for better budgetary management.
Choosing between a standard solution and a tailor-made solution is a challenge. The answer is always individual and depends on the goals, objectives and means of the company. In fact, this is what the elections are all about: Are we solving problems in the short term and saving money, or are we waiting and investing more in a permanent solution?
At first glance, the software available on the market appears to be a good choice from a monetary point of view. In most cases, however, the costs of custom software development are not as high as the general public would expect. They are entirely dependent on customer requirements and the complexity of the software itself. Although developing custom software at an early stage requires more investment and resources, it is more cost-effective in the long term.
Every company is unique in a way, and it makes sense to use custom software to meet the company’s ever-changing needs. As an advocate of custom software development we advise you to find additional resources and start with custom software. This not only helps you to be more productive in the short term, but also leaves room for growth in the future. If your company is looking for a practical and efficient tool, you should look for a tailor-made solution.
It is also essential to find a reliable technology partner. In accordance with the NDA, an experienced team of IT professionals carries out projects on time. This gives the company a competitive product and a strategic advantage in the market.
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