The question of “build vs. buy” is always a tricky one in software development, as organizations weigh the convenience of off-the-shelf applications against the flexibility of custom software.
Although custom software development isn’t right for everyone, it’s the smarter choice in a great many cases. Below, we’ll go over some of the most important benefits that working with a custom development firm can bring to your business.
Signs You Need Help from a Custom Development Firm
Perhaps the two most common reasons for partnering with a custom development firm are overcapacity and insufficient expertise.
In the first case, your internal team is already at capacity and isn’t able to take on any more projects. In the second case, your internal team doesn’t have the knowledge or experience to build what you need in-house. You could also have general software development experience, but have a critical knowledge gap somewhere such as data science or mobile app development.
Finally, you could find that the standard, off-the-shelf solutions available don’t fully meet your needs. Perhaps you have a highly unique workflow that requires integrations with many different applications, or you require certain pieces from different solutions.
The Benefits of Working with a Custom Development Firm
1. Reduce the risk of failure
Trying to go it alone when developing software can seem appealing at first, especially if you’re trying to save a little time and money. Unfortunately, building software yourself may actually end up backfiring. Starting a project incorrectly can actually cause time and budget overruns when you need to backtrack and correct your mistakes, costing you more than if you had built it the right way in the first place.
By partnering with a custom software development firm, you’ll have the guarantee of working with a trusted advisor with previous development experience. This helps you avoid investing your own valuable internal resources into a project that will simply end up being a money pit.
2. Get an external team's expertise
Unless you’re already in the software development business, you likely don’t have a full in-house team of developers and QA/testing staff. Partnering with a custom software development firm helps you to fill in the gaps with your existing team and take advantage of their knowledge and expertise.
Not only can a custom development firm help advise you on technical details, they can also help with the project’s timeline and structure. A third-party development firm provides an outsourced opinion on what features you should prioritize when building software, which may significantly improve the project’s timeliness and success.
3. Tailor solutions to your business
Most off-the-shelf software solutions are expensive, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. You may end up paying a great deal of money for features that you don’t actually want or need to use. What’s more, off-the-shelf solutions are generally inflexible, forcing you to alter your own workflows and processes to work with them.
With custom software development, exactly the opposite is true. Your custom development partner should be highly attuned to your business needs, helping you focus on what you really want to accomplish.
In many cases, custom development firms can even knit together pieces of different off-the-shelf solutions to make them optimally useful for the client. For example, businesses often need their customer relationship management solutions such as Salesforce to interface with other software. Custom development firms can build solutions that make it easier for data to flow freely between off-the-shelf software like Salesforce and other off-the-shelf or custom applications.
4. Get started on your project right away
Having limited in-house resources, or a team that’s already at full capacity, will make it difficult to get started on a new project right away. The hiring, onboarding, and training process for full-time employees is long and expensive, making it difficult for your business to be agile and reactive to change.
When you work with a custom development firm, time constraints are no longer a concern. Your development partner should be able to get the project up and running quickly, giving you scalability and flexibility when you need it most.
5. Implement a more efficient process
Like any other long and complex project, software development gets easier the more you do it. If you have little or no experience, however, you won’t know how to avoid some of the pitfalls and common traps that will cause delays and cost overruns.
Experienced software development firms have processes in place to ensure projects are done efficiently and on schedule. While no company can provide a 100-percent guarantee that a project will meet its deadlines and budget, working with a third-party development firm makes it much more likely that you’ll meet your original targets.
6. Get to market faster
Finally, software development partners often know a few “tricks of the trade” that you can take advantage of. They may have solution accelerators—such as tools, products, processes and methodologies—designed to help you achieve quicker outcomes without compromising features or quality.
Partnering with the right custom development firm will make all the difference for your business in terms of time and cost savings, risk mitigation, greater efficiency, and better scalability. To learn more about your options for custom software, speak with a knowledgeable, experienced development firm such as Very who can help you understand your business needs and objectives. Get in touch with us today.