The global software development industry has come a long way in the last two decades. Looking back 20 years, a stark difference we observe today is the rise in custom software development. Businesses today have the liberty to develop a fully-custom software solution from scratch according to their choice of technology, platform, and methodology. For businesses that have niche requirements or the ones that are operating in highly competitive markets, a custom software application gives them the opportunity to build a system that meets their exact requirements and gives them a competitive edge in the market.
In the race to stay relevant, more and more businesses are choosing to invest in the development of custom business software. Bespoke business software such as specialized businesses apps, custom web portals, eCommerce mobile apps, and cloud-based SaaS software are changing the face of digital markets.
Software companies all over the world are catering to the rise in the demand for custom software development services and enabling businesses to digitize and improve their processes. For businesses looking to develop a software system from scratch, this is the ultimate guide to outsourcing their project to a software development company.
Custom Software Development Services vs. Off-the-Shelf Software
Custom software development is the process of building a software system from scratch that meets the specific requirements of a business. The process involves multiple stages such as designing the UI/UX of the software, coding the application, testing the code for errors and issues, and deploying the software to be used by the business once it is ready. Commercially available off-the-shelf software products are an alternative to custom software development, and both have their pros and cons. However, businesses today are more inclined towards choosing custom software over off-the-shelf software because of the flexibility and ROI that custom development offers.
Custom software is specifically developed to meet a business’ niche requirements, whereas, commercially available software products are a ‘one size fits all’ solution to problems. They offer limited customization and features; therefore, it is nearly impossible for businesses to find an off-the-shelf software product that meets all their requirements.
Although custom software application development services are expensive and getting a custom software application developed can cost anywhere between $10,000-$250,000. It is a big investment for businesses but it pays off in the long run. Off-the-shelf software, on the other hand, requires low-cost investments because businesses only have to pay a monthly fee for usage. Software development services are expensive; however, they guarantee complete intellectual property rights to the client. This means that the custom software product is owned by the business and they reserve the right to update and scale up the software as per their requirements. If a business’ requirements change in the future, they can change their software accordingly.
In-house Development vs. Outsourcing
With custom software development, businesses have the option to either develop a software application in-house or outsource the development of the software to an experienced software development services company. In-house development means the business builds its own development team by hiring developers and technical professionals who develop the custom software from scratch. This process is time-consuming and expensive for businesses. Outsourcing, on the other hand, is an easy and cost-effective alternate for businesses. Software development outsourcing involves assigning the development of the complete software or some parts of the process to a third-party software development services vendor.
Benefits of Hiring an Expert Software Development Services Company
There are multiple companies that offer specialized custom software development services for businesses in various industries. These companies excel at developing unique and robust software systems that meet the exact requirement of the business. Here are some of the benefits of hiring expert software development companies.
Flexibility and cost-effectiveness
Unlike in-house development, software development companies offer flexible service options such as dedicated development team services that are cost-effective for the business. The development team that is offered by the software companies can be increased or decreased in size depending on the requirement of the business. If the business requires more resources in the initial stage of development, they can hire a team of 5-6 resources including project managers, developers, QA engineers, and UI/UX designers. Later as the requirements change, they can choose a smaller team and consequently save money.
Opportunity to focus on core business processes
Forming an in-house development team is a long and expensive process. Businesses need to vet and recruit resources themselves. They also need to manage the development process closely which can take up most of their time. There’s also a high risk of things going wrong. In fact, businesses often face a huge loss due to experimenting with technologies. Therefore, outsourcing is a better alternative. It frees businesses of this responsibility and allows them to focus on core business processes without worrying about the technical work.
The process of hiring tech professionals is long; it can take several months to search, vet, and successfully onboard a resource. Hiring a complete development requires a lot of time and effort. With outsourcing to a software development company, you can easily get access to a development team without the hassle of hiring and onboarding.
Working with the best talent
Outsourcing also gives you the opportunity to leverage the expertise of tech specialists. It gives you access to resources that have vast experience in developing a variety of software applications using different technologies. Their knowledge and experience can help your software project greatly.
Drawbacks of Software Outsourcing
Just like everything in life, there are certain drawbacks of outsourcing development to a software development services provider as well.
The main drawback of outsourcing is the risk to your confidentiality and privacy. While discussing the requirements of your project with the software provider, you need to share your idea and its details. This private information can be released or misused by some vendors. However, good software companies sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the client to protect their ideas or data.
Problems with management and communication
Another problem with outsourcing is mismanagement or miscommunication between you and the software company. There can be mismanagement due to poor documentation, code management, and task management by the company. Communication problems are also likely to occur when businesses outsource to an offshore software development services provider. With outsourcing to an offshore company, especially in a non-English speaking country, the language and cultural differences can make it difficult for the client and company to effectively communicate and collaborate.
However, good software services companies always use proper tools for documentation, task management, communication, bug tracking, code management. These tools help you effectively collaborate with the software company.