The Pros and Cons of Developing a Custom Software Solution

Is your business ready to save time and money by streamlining its processes? Are you wondering whether you should buy ‘off the shelf’ or develop your own custom software solution?

At AxiaTP, we specialize in workflow automation software, but we know that going custom isn’t necessarily the right fit for everyone. Let’s review a few pros and cons of engaging with a custom software development company to help you make your decision.

Con: Building a Custom Software Solution Will Take Time and Energy

It takes time to identify your organization’s workflow processes. You have to be prepared to spend time gathering this information so that a custom solution will be appropriate and powerful for your business.

When buying pre-packaged software, you save time at first because you don’t have the option to make it happen your way. You get what they say is best and then spend your time and energy making your process fit their design.

Pro: Your Expertise Meets Our Expertise

Hiring a custom web application development company to automate your operations utilizes your industry expertise and our software expertise. When done correctly, this process will allow you to continue running your business, both during and after the implementation, with as few interruptions as possible.

Con: The Upfront Cost of Software Development is Higher

Like anything that is customized, a custom solution will cost more than an off the shelf product. But remember, you get what you pay for. We’ve seen plenty of people avoid a $30,000 project cost by assigning a full-time employee to spreadsheet maintenance.

Don’t neglect to do your homework on what a less than optimal solution will cost you in opportunity. If you need help understanding what the real ROI is, we are more than happy to help you with that.

Pro: You’ll Achieve the Highest Level of Efficiency

The initial cost of a custom solution solution is higher than an off-the-shelf application, but it’s also important to understand that your long-term cost of implementation is often lower. With off-the-shelf software, your business will need to reconfigure your operations to match the flow of the purchased software. When implemented correctly, custom software will be tailored to your processes. This tailoring will result in improvements, but not massive overhauls, of your operations.

Remember, it’s a custom solution. Your business is unique and your workflow processes are unique. It follows that your workflow automation will also be unique.

Con: You Don’t Start with a Feature List

When you buy a product off the shelf, it’s pretty straight forward to understand what you’re getting. There is a bullet list on the back of the box that very clearly explains what the software package will do for you, (however, it won’t tell you what it won’t do for you). When you go custom, you won’t be able to start with a vision of the future that is as clear as that.

A good development firm should be able to help you offset that ‘fuzziness’ through a mature requirements and design phase. By the time your custom software is being developed for you, you should have a clear understanding of your features, but you won’t get that until you have fully committed.

Pro: Get a Long-Term Partner

A firm hired to develop and implement your automation will continue to assist, monitor, and help you manage your automation system regularly. It won’t require you to set aside a day of your productivity to troubleshoot your automation. With AxiaTP, you’ll have a direct line to a team member who can change your code. No nasty phone trees or troubleshooting scripts that generally accompany off-the-shelf solutions.

We’re Ready to Partner

We look for relationships where we can help over the long term. We are not in this for a quick build and then even faster exit. When you call, we’ll be there. If you’re looking for a software company, keep that relationship mentality front of mind.

If you have any questions or concerns about some of the pros and cons of a custom software solution for your business, reach out! We’d love to learn more about your organization.