What is Custom Software Development?
Custom Software Development is the process of designing and developing tailor-made software for your specific use-case. The software works for you rather you having to adapt to the working of a standard software package.
Why do you need a Custom Software?
You have an option to use a standard software package if one is available matching your needs. However, there are several benefits of a custom-developed software, specially for businesses. You can also get software developed if you plan to market it as a product.
Here are 7 such benefits:
1. Ease of Use
Custom software are designed with user interfaces that match the specific language of your processes, documents and users. This helps your teams to get used to the software very quickly and they can have high productivity in next to no time.
2. Technical Support
In the case of customised software, the support team works closely with the development team and has a good understanding of the your specific working style and processes. This helps them resolve your issues quickly.
3. Customer Data
When using custom software, you get the sole ownership of your customer data which is otherwise not true. Your internal and external data is secure and protected from third-party intruders. You can also add multiple layers of security depending on your needs.
4. Feature releases
With custom software, you can ask for features to be added as per your requirements and as per your priority. You might have to wait an indefinite time for the developers to release new updates which cover your needed features.
As your business grows, so does the number of users and the transaction volume. In case of a standard software, specially if offered as SaaS (Software as a Service), you may need to upgrade to a higher level package. There is no such challenge in case of a custom software.
Cost is a critical factor that needs to be analysed carefully. Custom software usually come with a higher upfront cost of development as compared to off the shelf software.
However, this can still be a good idea as you have the ownership of the software and do not need to pay ongoing fee except for the retainer for maintenance and upkeep of your software.
7. No bloatware
As the standard software need to serve a large variety of clients, it includes several features that may or may not be applicable to you. The forms may have fields that you don’t need. In addition to the confusion these create, the data entry or capture may become quite cumbersome, even error prone.
How is Custom Software Developed?
You need to be aware of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to participate in the development of the customised software. The software can be tailored to your exact requirement and have the flexibility for future enhancement as the requirements change.
This is the first step where you specify the requirements to the development team. Please be as detailed and specific as you can because a bad foundation can lead to lots of patchworks later.
What could you need some time in the near future? What is the current transaction volume and how much can it realistically grow in the next few years? You should not ask for features that you might need in the distant future as that will add to eh complexity and hence, the time and money costs.
Please ask the development team to prepare a Scope of Work (SOW) document and go through it carefully before you confirm this. This SOW should also include details of the technology used to built and the type of server to host the software.
While the software is being designed, you should try to participate by giving feedback and clarifications at different milestones. This helps to avoid unpleasant experience and unexpected surprise at a later stage when the software does not work the way you envisioned.
You should generally avoid changing the scope of work at this stage unless there is a compelling need. Most of the time, you will be fine compiling a wish list that can be handled in the next phase of development.
Developing the software code
The actual software code writing happens in this stage. The development and QA team of the developers should do internal testing. Then they let you do the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) at different pre-agreed milestones.
You should try to test the software with different sets of test data so that as to discover the maximum number of use cases and scenarios. Your hard work at this stage will ensure that the software has a minimum number of failures or wrong results.
Please also test the software using all the devices that you might be using in real life to ensure compatibility.
End to end Testing
Once all the components and sections are developed, you need to make sure complete end to end testing takes place. You should also verify that the data flows nicely from module to module and there is a minimum or no re-entry of data involved.
The software is uploaded on the actual server that it will be used on. The end-to-end testing of the software has to be carried out once more. This requires less effort if the UAT server was similar to the final server (also called the production server).
After this testing, all the test data are erased and you can start the actual use of the software.
Post deployment stage
Once the software is deployed and is being used in the real life, the users discover a few issues that may be tackled right away if these are errors. In case these are features resaulting from after-thought, these can be included in the next phase development.
This is an ongoing process whereby you ensure that users are using and benefitting from the software without facing any issues.
How to get started?
Do you think you can benefit from a customised software as per your exact needs? Consider discussing it with us.
We have a proven record of developing business operations management software customised to the business needs of our clients. Currently, we develop SaaS-based software that runs on an Internet server and can be accessed from anywhere 24×7.
At Ebizindia, we have been developing custom software since 1986, and our vast experience has given us insights and processes to build software that meets your exact needs and gives you truly easy user experience.
We have a quick turnaround time and are committed to helping you grow your business.
Click here to contact us. Feel free to ask questions, if any. We can also develop a small test project for you to give you a feel of our quality and commitment. All the best!