If you want to live in the modern world you have to know at least something about technology for it has deeply penetrated all spheres of life. Moreover, this awareness becomes even more crucial if you're doing some business and want to prosper. All kinds of companies - from small family ones to large international enterprises - go digital in this or that way. They have electronic databases, surveillance cameras, websites, online advertising campaigns, mobile applications, etc. Thus, no wonder that IT professionals are in great demand and through outsourcing they are available to anyone anywhere.
This growing necessity for software not only created numerous IT outsourcing companies that offer such services but also a range of off-the-shelf solutions which are relatively cheaper and faster to implement than bespoke software development. However, custom business software is still considered to be much better than its packaged version.
Searching for the right answer
Of course, doing business is usually centered around the idea of gaining profit, which makes out-off-the-box software more attractive in terms of expenses. But don't forget that your company should also work effectively and ready solutions in many cases are simply not tailored to your business's requirements and unique strengths. So obviously they can't address all your needs precisely.
Custom software development cost, by the way, can actually be lower in the long run. Undoubtedly, you have to invest a bigger sum of money at the very beginning but will eventually save on add-ons, extensions and additional features that you will nevertheless have to include into your off-the-shelf software over a period of time. This will certainly happen when your business expands and outgrows the ready solution that used to be enough for the initial size of your company.
Also, when entrepreneurs decide which software to choose, they have to weigh a lot of other important factors besides money. A very valuable resource you possess is time. Bespoke software is said to take longer to develop and implement, but it actually becomes not so devastating when you think about other advantages it grants you. Apart from meeting all your company's needs more accurately and including more personalized features, it actually provides better performance. If you think that these are just beautiful but empty words, consider the numbers.
Let's take page loading time, for example. In 2010 Google implemented their website speed algorithm and if your site is not quick enough, it simply won't make it to the first page. In addition, you should be aware that a website that loads in 0.8 seconds is faster than 94% of the web. Google also came to a conclusion that "a page slowdown of just four-tenths of a second, results in eight million fewer searches per day, which would mean fewer website visitors." Mathew Woodward got interested and conducted a little experiment. As a result, he found out that only a one-second delay in loading time resulted in a 7% decrease in the conversion rate, whilst making this process 3 seconds faster added an extra $29,076 bonus to his annual profit. Sounds important now, doesn't it?
So decide for yourself which is better for your company: find enough time to develop a good and fast working website or launch a slow one but much sooner. In other words, custom software will take longer but will eventually create a more effective end product. So, your time isn't wasted, it's invested.
The list of pros and cons of tailored software development vs. out-of-the-box solutions can be found in this article, I will only highlight one more apparent advantage. Using custom software development services gives you freedom! You are able to choose not the features which are offered to you as part of the package, but to create only those that you specifically need for your business. And in the world of fast developing technology being free to design whatever you need is definitely worth the game.
Living in the modern world
Freedom of choice is exactly what will help you to adjust your software to modern digital trends which are dictated by the latest advances in the field of technology. In order to give you a rough picture here are a few examples of the innovations that used to be pure science fiction but are on the rise today.
Robots and AI
"Smart agents and things are a long-term phenomenon that will continually evolve and expand their uses for the next 20 years," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow. This sphere still triggers a lot of questions and much fewer answers. Nobody really knows why we are developing "thinking robots." Perhaps, we just want to see how far it can take us, where the limit will be. There are now robots not only simply working at factories but also those that can learn and improve their skills in more creative spheres as composing, cooking, scriptwriting or stand-up comedy. We are looking for new ways of augmenting people and even substituting them in a way (like these social companions called Buddy and Pepper already attempt to do).
Who could imagine that we would one day be able to create a page of text on the screen and in a matter of seconds have it printed out without even going anywhere. Well, today we can print a jaw bone, a plane or a wheelchair for a disabled kitten. Every year the range of 3D-printable materials is growing (advanced nickel alloys, carbon fiber, glass, conductive ink, electronics, pharmaceuticals and biological materials) as well as the speed of this process. So who knows what we will print next: dreams, emotions or, perhaps, our own clones?
VR and AR
2016 is the year when these innovations are expected to target mainstream consumers and become more available. They can totally reshape not only how we relax but how we do and promote our business. VR and AR games, cinemas, celebrity holograms and promotional campaigns have already proved themselves effective. The possibilities for these technologies to impact our lives are endless.
Wearables and IoT
At present numerous electronic devices are connected to the Internet as well as to each other. This link enables the exchange of data that hasn't been possible at such a level before. Actually, it's not the devices themselves that interest us but rather their interaction. The wearables market exploded in 2014 and hasn't slowed down since then. It's not simply about making mobile apps available on different screens but about new ways of solving the existing problems. Moreover, it's not enough to develop a separate application any more, because today they should be able to integrate with each other and form a kind of a system of interconnected apps.
All of these novelties provide both businessmen and devs with a big field of action and significantly influence the course of modern software development. It goes without saying that custom software developers are much more likely to succeed in realizing the constantly appearing ideas and projects.
The decision is yours
Technology has definitely changed our lifestyle: our work and leisure are becoming more and more digitalized with every passing year. Surely, off-the-shelf solutions will not be able to cater for the users' growing demands. Tailored software, on the other hand, makes it possible to design something totally innovative and step off the beaten track. It gives you not only better quality and personalization but also freedom and a range of all possible tools available. Perhaps, with time we will have ready solutions for more complicated tasks like VR apps or platforms for creating holograms, for example. However, one thing remains certain - customized software development will always be a few steps ahead of its opponent.
Picking a bespoke software development company isn't easy. You should weigh all pros and cons before taking such an important decision. Moreover, it's in your best interest to make sure that the people you are about to hire are responsible and experienced professionals who are ready to discuss your project. Getting a free estimate and a source code review will definitely help you to see how you can turn your business dream into reality.