What’s the difference between eating dinner at home versus eating dinner at a restaurant? While you don’t eat software, you can often think of it in the same way.
Right away, some obvious differences might include price, time, quality, and overall experience. Eating at a restaurant is usually less cost-effective than cooking at home, but it doesn’t offer the same ambiance of your local, cozy Italian eatery. On the other hand, you might find that stopping for groceries and cooking takes more time but means that you aren’t limited to a specific menu.
What is a custom software application?
A custom software application is like the home-cooked meal of the software world. Instead of ordering a specific meal from a menu, you can choose all of the individual ingredients that make up your entrée.
An off-the-shelf software product comes readily packaged with a predefined menu of features. Sometimes those features meet your needs exactly, sometimes they satisfy some needs while also giving you more you won’t use, and sometimes they require so many workarounds to get there it’s not worth it.
That’s when custom software development is especially useful. Custom software development produces an application made exactly how you need it to be. While we typically think of an app as something for your mobile device, an app can also be based on other platforms like the web or the cloud.
Custom software solutions solve your problems, do what you want them to do, and ultimately satisfy your technology needs. And, like your family’s famous coconut cream pie, you’re the only one with the recipe.
Who would use a custom software application?
Custom software apps are used by all sorts of businesses and across every industry. Like everyone has to eat to stay alive, all companies must make money to stay in business.
Since companies make money by providing their goods and services, they often use technology to make this process faster, more efficient, and more satisfying to their audience. Custom software helps to deliver more and do it better than anyone else.
Business to Business (B2B)
If your business serves other businesses, a custom software solution can help you stand out. You can use technology to better serve your clients by keeping things organized, centralized, and branded just for you.
Business to Customer (B2C)
If your business serves customers directly, custom software can create the exact customer experience you desire. Technology can improve communication and let you use data to predict trends while drawing in new customers with interactive, cutting-edge features that lets them get what they need when they need it.
Business to Employee (B2E)
If you’re looking to build a custom software solution for your business’ employees, adoptability is key. Create apps that are easy to use and help to streamline tedious processes. Free up more employee time and help them to work faster with less day-to-day frustration to increase engagement and keep connected.
Types of Custom Software Applications
While some meals you can eat on the go, others are best served at a table with silverware and a napkin – or two. A custom software solution can be created to serve your business’ many customers in whatever way you need them to.
Should your users be able to access this new functionality in the field? A mobile app is perfect for that. Perhaps they will access this app primarily during work hours. If so, a desktop app should work well.
A web application can be found exactly where you’d expect – on a website. However, while it is based on a website, it is not the same. A website is more focused on displaying content to users, while a web application works behind the scenes using remote servers to provide more complex functionality.
For instance, you’re reading this blog on a website, but if you decide to fill out our contact form, you’d be using a web app!
Custom software built for the web allows you to provide original, personalized functionality to users in a way that is easily accessible.
A mobile application is a great way to give quick access to users. Mobile apps run on a devices’ operating system and can be downloaded onto a phone or tablet. Specific examples include Zoom Cloud Meetings, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
While mobile apps provide advantages like the ability to use away from a desk, there are unique challenges when it comes to developing mobile software.
Custom mobile solutions appeal to tech savvy audiences that need access to your software on their own terms.
A desktop application is software users download to a desktop or laptop computer. These types of applications can be simple or more complex. For instance, many people are familiar with examples like Microsoft Paint and Adobe Photoshop.
Desktop applications serve to provide optional functionality – they aren’t required to run your machine, but they can help in a lot of ways.
Custom software built for desktop allows you to use it without relying on internet access.
Though you might access it via web or mobile device, a cloud application is based on the internet. The draw is in the details for this type of application. While you have the ability to present the features of your product how you want, you’re using 3rd party data storage, processing power, and other behind-the-scenes infrastructure.
The many advantages to cloud solutions have made them rather popular. Because you can borrow those 3rd party resources, businesses often save money by hosting their solutions in the cloud. It also allows for greater flexibility, scalability, storage space, and computing power.
A custom cloud solution is great if you want to lower costs and evolve your business over time.
Why is customized software developed?
Businesses often seek custom software development when they can’t find any off-the-shelf software that meets their specific needs. They need to build a product that is specialized for their unique business. How do you know if a custom solution might be right for your business?
You use a lot of off-the-shelf software, but the combination isn’t quite right.
When you consider your current technology, you could easily make the comparison between that and a charcuterie board. And while the right combination can be great, the wrong one tends to get ignored by all of the guests at your party.
No matter how inexpensive it might be, any software that your users ignore is money wasted. It’s probably time that you stopped frustrating them and build a custom product that gets it right.
You’d like your current system more (and so would users!) if it looked and worked better.
Have you ever brought home take-out and scooped it onto an actual dish before you ate? Something about it just tastes better and more luxurious that way. The same is true for your software – when it looks nice it’s going to feel special.
Get that fresh look users expect, improve performance, and increase engagement with a custom solution for your business.
You’ve looked around but found no off-the-shelf software that does what you need.
If you have any dietary restrictions, you’re probably all too familiar with perusing a tasty-looking menu that ultimately offers nothing you can eat. Software can be the same way. While there’s a lot of available software that works well for other businesses, they might not work the same for yours.
Don’t settle for substitutions! Embrace being unique and create a software solution that meets your business’ needs right from the start.
You’ve tried different software before but were never happy with it.
Do you branch out at your usual restaurants and try something new, or do you stick to the same thing every time you visit? It can be hard to take a chance on something new, but it can also be too easy to get stuck in a rut that isn’t really serving your needs anymore.
Take a minute to really think about it – is your current software really perfect for your business? If not, consider exploring your options for custom software development.
You want innovative technology that will set you apart.
While it was once an innovative draw, craft beer has become a standard at restaurants everywhere. Businesses saw a gap, delivered on it, and set the pace for an industry. Even now, companies are finding new and exciting ways to deliver that beer to their customers.
Demands are always evolving, but you can get ahead of them with a product that provides something the other guys don’t.
What are the advantages of customized software?
Custom software development has a lot of business advantages. However, most of them fit into one of three main categories.
(1) Save Time
What if you could eat healthy and delicious meals but spend less time cooking? In fact, lots of brands have profited from that exact idea! Custom software development is the meal delivery service of the tech world.
Get just what you want all boxed up with instructions on how to take it to the next level. Use software to make a complicated process easier, free up employees to do other tasks, process more data fast, or provide speedy service.
(2) Save Money
Off-the-shelf software can feel like splitting an expensive check evenly with friends when all you ordered was a soda. Custom software development lets you only pay for what you get.
While it’s true that it can look pricey at the onset, custom software can save your business on licensing fees, down time for updates, costs per user, wasted features, and more. And you’ll save even more when you’re not paying for time spent completing an outdated process or creating another workaround.
(3) Build a Brand
It has been said that we eat with our eyes first. Presentation is everything when it comes to both food and marketing. Not only can custom software meet your functional business needs, but it can provide the boost that your brand needs, too.
Create a new software application that showcases your business as aleader in innovation, customer experience, and industry best practices. It gives you the tool to meet employee or customer needs in a way that’s never been done before.
What are the disadvantages of customized software?
Though they are great investments for a lot of different businesses, custom solutions aren’t for everyone. There are some disadvantages you should be aware of when making your decision.
(1) Upfront Cost
While many businesses save in the long-term, the upfront price tag can cause decision-makers to waiver. You’ll need to have a budget ready before you embark on your custom software journey. Instead of paying monthly user fees, you’re essentially paying upfront. Think of it as buying in bulk – if you get more now, you’re not paying for it later.
(2) More Effort
Building custom software requires more dedication from the business. You’ll need to do your research. Instead of just picking something from the shelf, you’ll be creating something. That means you need to involve stakeholders with the time needed to make decisions and invent the next big thing.
(3) Increased Risk
You’ll have a lot of decisions to make that will impact your business for the long run. Are you confident that you can make the right ones? The same goes for your choice of development partner. Choosing the wrong one can mean unexpected costs and an unsuccessful launch. How will you know who you can trust?
Hungry for more? We would love to help you see if a custom software application is what you need to succeed! Reach out to Geneca today and talk to someone who knows the right questions to ask.