Find out about the benefits of outsourcing and see if it’s right for your business.

Software is no longer something you can only get off the shelf at an electronics store. That’s still an option, but many times a custom solution is the best choice. The thing is, your needs change as your business grows.

Commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) can lose its utility as you carve out your niche. That’s not to say COTS will end up being useless, but it may be more trouble than it’s worth. 

Think about it this way: COTS is like a one-size-fits-all t-shirt. It does the job for everybody, but it’s not a perfect fit for most people. Custom software is like a tailor-made t-shirt cut and sewn to fit your exact measurements.

First, figure out if any COTS fits your business well. If not, it’s time to create some custom software. The next decision is whether you’d rather take the time to do it yourself or if it’s worth the cost to employ a professional.

Want to know how to make the right decision? Check out this guide we put together. We’ve made it easy to determine the best software solution for your business.

What is custom software development?

Custom software development is an increasingly popular solution for businesses of all types. The process allows businesses to create the perfect tool to complete any task.

The task can be as straightforward or as complex as needed. You could develop an app that helps your team communicate and collaborate, or you could create a simple tool to automate a single tedious process.

That’s the beauty of custom software. The typical commercial software restrictions don’t hold you back, and the app does what you need. That also creates some challenges and can cost you more time and money than you’re willing to invest.

For example, some details may get lost in translation if you outsource to a country with a language barrier. Security is also a more significant risk when you hand control over to another company. You even have to brush up on local laws that might affect you or the developer.

Despite these risks, the benefits make outsourcing a desirable option. You only have to make sure you take the proper precautions if you decide to outsource your custom software development.

Why is custom software development important?

Custom software development can save you time and money. It’s often the best and sometimes the only solution your business can trust. COTS has its limits, and your business can outgrow any piece of software in any amount of time.

Even the perfect tool can become useless as your needs change. That can lead to problems. You may have to do more tasks manually or lose the ability to finish a process.

Sometimes the problem is cost. You might find you don’t need most of the features of an expensive piece of software anymore. That can leave you with a hefty bill for a single feature.

That’s not to say custom software development is cheap. The cost might seem prohibitive at first, but you get what you pay for when you outsource. In the long run, you may end up paying more for COTS. Licensing and subscription fees add up over time.

Custom software development also allows you to create 100% unique tools. Imagine you need to automate a process that only exists in your business. You can’t expect COTS to solve that problem. Custom software gives you the reins, so you have full control over the finished product.

How do you outsource custom software development?

You have near limitless options when it comes to choosing a custom software development partner. This makes for some great opportunities as well as some unique challenges.

The main point to remember is that your investment determines the quality of the product. Cheaper developers may produce poor results or take a longer time to finish your software. More expensive developers tend to make better software in a shorter period.

When you decide to start the software development process, keep a few things in mind. First, set your goals as clearly as possible. What do you need the software to do? What’s your budget? What’s a viable deadline? Know what you want and what you don’t want.

Next, do some research on developers. Search for different regions and see what makes the most sense for your business. Weigh the cost against the product and decide if you’re willing to make any compromises. You might need some software in a month. That’ll cost more money, and some developers aren’t even capable of that quick of a turnaround.

Once you choose a developer, talk with them. Cover every base and make sure there are no miscommunications. Ensure that they can meet your goals before you invest time and money.

Finally, let the developer do their job. Of course, you still want to guide them and pay attention to the progress. Make sure the process is meeting your expectations, and you’ll avoid disaster. The worst-case scenario is an unusable product that costs too much time and money.

Should you outsource custom software development?

No rule determines who should and who shouldn’t do it. You know your business better than anyone, and now you should have an idea of whether outsourcing makes sense for you.

You may have the resources to create custom software in-house. You might be able to get away with using COTS. Consider all your other options and decide on the best option.

Outsourcing custom software development can be a great choice. That doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice. Take your time and weigh the pros and cons of every avenue. 

Ready to transform your enterprise with modern technology? RTS Labs is here to help — we’ve helped some of the world’s largest companies execute successful enterprise digital transformations, and we might be able to help your organization as well. Click HERE to get in touch with us today.