Many businesses tend to have a lot of moving parts that can be hard to manage with just a pen and paper. If you find yourself in this position, you might want to invest in some form of software.

When it comes to business software, you have the option of buying off the shelf software or building a custom solution.

This post aims to provide an overview on both of these options. By the time you’re finished, you’ll know which option best suits your needs and budget.

Let’s begin!

What You Need to Know About Custom-Built Software

As the name suggests, custom-built software is software designed specifically for your needs. If your business is struggling with a certain problem, you can create software that’s designed to solve that exact issue.

It’s also worth noting that custom-built software enables you to have a competitive advantage. For example, your software may allow you to complete certain tasks in a shorter amount of time.

Thus, if you can do things quicker than your competitors, this makes you more competitive. You could even use your custom business software as a selling point when trying to attract new customers.

Another benefit of custom-built software is that you can continually adapt it to the needs of your business.

As your business grows, you may need to establish new departments, each of which has their own set of challenges. With the help of custom-built software, you can adapt your current software so that it caters to the requirements of these new departments.

What You Need to Know About off the Shelf Software

Off the shelf software is essentially a standardized software product, designed for a specific ‘niche.’ For instance, you might find some off the shelf software that’s designed to help people manage a medical practice.

One the good things about off the shelf software is it’s not that expensive — especially when compared to custom-built software.

With custom software, you’ll first need to pay for software development consulting services. Once you’ve established your brief, you’re often charged an hourly rate, as developers work on creating the solution.

If your software needs are a complex, their working hours can quickly add up, and this can result in a sizeable bill. This is an issue you can avoid with off the shelf software.

Off the shelf software might also come with better levels of support. That’s because the software will have a lot of users and these users will give the software company the data they need to iron out any problems.

Off the Shelf Software vs. Custom Built Software — Which Is Better?

After reading this post, you should know more about the differences between off the shelf software and custom-built solutions.

Before you fork out money for custom-built software, make sure you do as much research as possible. It may be the case that there’s an off the shelf option that meets your needs.

That said, if you feel like a custom-built solution is the only option, be sure to speak to many software consulting companies. In doing so, you should be able to limit the costs of your custom software, while still ending up with an excellent solution.

Want some tips on how you can grow your business? Read this post to get some helpful advice.

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