What is Custom Software Development?
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, or a team of software developers, you know how crucial good software development and management is.
Software development has become a crucial business need since the advent of the digital economy. However, software development isn’t easy. It’s time-consuming and requires not only technical expertise but also deep knowledge of business and management practices. You need to hire an experienced team of software developers to deliver quality software. If you want to build, manage, and maintain a software development team in the long term, you need to know the basics of software management.
Fortunately for you, this guide is your comprehensive, up-to-date handbook for custom software development.
In this guide, you will learn:
What is custom software management?
Why is custom software management important?
How to build effective custom software?
Why Outsource Custom Software Development Projects?
What is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development is the process of designing, developing, deploying and maintaining software for certain businesses, functions, and users. Unlike off-the-shelf software, developing custom software is focused on defined requirements.
Although having a diverse spectrum, the software market often becomes unable to meet all the demands of modern management and business processes. It is not uncommon for businesses to demand unique features for their application.
Large-scale companies often develop custom software for important functions, including inventory management, human resource management, content management, customer management and so on. While the idea of developing custom software for your business may sound appealing, it isn’t best suited for everyone. The custom software development process can not only be expensive but also time-consuming.
Custom software is designed to fulfill certain requirements, like an online banking application that meets the unique needs of the bank and the customers.
Typically, custom software development is performed either by outsourced or in-house development teams. However, the processes that include requirement gathering, code construction, testing and deployment and methodologies like DevOps, Agile, or Rapid App Development are used in custom software development are the same as those used in other software development projects.
But why should one opt for custom software development for their business? Let’s find out!
The Importance of Custom Software Development
The importance of custom software development can be attributed to the ability to meet unique requirements at a cost-competitive rate with buying, handling, and changing commercial software.
Some advantages of developing custom software are as follows:
Scalability: As a business or an organization grows, so does custom software. During the requirements gathering process, developers and designers can assess future needs. Instead of purchasing additional licenses or subscriptions of packaged applications, these factors can be incorporated into the application.
Efficiency: With custom software, you won't have to mess with or adjust a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) application to implement processes efficiently and effectively.
Lower integration costs: A primary concern when purchasing commercial software is: can it integrate with existing and legacy applications? If it cannot be integrated or work with existing apps, businesses will have to invest more money to get commercial software to communicate with existing infrastructure. However, custom software can be built to integrate with existing infrastructure.
Independence: The benefits of using custom software and being free from the vendor of commercial software can go both positive and negative ways. On the positive side, businesses can easily neglect the hike in licensing and support pricing or avoid getting stuck in maintaining packaged software if the vendor terminates a product or goes out of business. On the downside, the maintenance cost of custom software will completely fall on the business that had it developed. Organizations must carefully analyze each equation before proceeding with custom software development.
How To Build Effective Custom Software?
If you want to develop custom software for your business, here is the list of considerations that will help you assure the efficiency and effectiveness of your software.
Decide whether to build or buy
As a business owner, you can easily buy off-the-shelf software that matches your business needs, so it becomes even more important to make sure that you truly need custom software. One of the best approaches to analyse if you want to build or buy software is to check if there’s software in the market that can deliver more than 80% of the functions to:
Automate business processes or transactions unique to your business
Manage industry-specific data and information
Achieve the required level of security and privacy
Provide integration support for legacy applications and data
Replace or help in merging existing solutions at a lower cost to achieve better productivity
Easily adapt to changing requirements.
If that’s not the case, you can proceed with hiring developers for building custom software.
Requirements are required
Once you have decided to move ahead with custom software development, another thing to consider is requirements. As an organization, you must define and manage your business that can help you to assure that they are meeting the needs of your customers and at the same time addressing compliance while being on the budget and schedule. This will help in delivering a high Return on Investment (ROI).
A good requirement must be:
Technically and legally correct
Express complete idea
Explicitly clear leaving no space for confusion
Consistent with other requirements
Modular so it can be changed without impacting excessively
Independent of design.
Methodologies, technologies and practices for Custom Software Development
After defining the requirements of the custom software, the next step is to decide the methodologies, technologies and practices that will be used for development.
Development methodologies to consider:
An agile methodology is an iterative approach to software development and project management that allows development teams to deliver value to their customers by working in smaller but usable augmentation.
DevOps (a blend of development and operations) is a set of practices that combines IT operations and software development together to shorten the system development cycle that includes design, development, deployment and support of software. Besides, different aspects of DevOps are derived from the agile methodology that increases the ability of the development team to provide continuous delivery of high-performing software.
RAD is a development model with a non-linear approach that prioritizes rapid prototyping and feedback over testing cycles to help developers make numerous iterations and updates of software without starting from scratch.
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe):
SAFe is a collection of organisational and workflow principles that aid in the scaling of lean and agile approaches at the enterprise level. It facilitates communication, alignment, and delivery across a broad spectrum of agile teams.
Technologies and practices to consider:
Open-source technologies are software or platforms that are distributed under a license that allows users to use, study, change and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose.
Cloud-based development is the process of creating and developing software that makes use of cloud computing and hosts the development environment on the cloud. These cloud-based environments enable design, coding, integration, testing, and other development processes to be performed to build both cloud-native and on-premises apps with the ease, cost-efficiency and speed that the cloud promises.
With artificial intelligence, applications can learn and make decisions like humans. AI can be applied to improve the development process. For instance, natural language processing systems can be used to examine suggested improvements and requirements text according to some best practices.
Blockchain is a digitally linked, secure ledger that eliminates the expense and vulnerability introduced by parties such as banks, regulatory organisations, and other intermediaries. Blockchain technology can help financial sectors release money and improve corporate processes, so it's being used by developers to create secure transactional and financial apps.
Low code is a development practice that minimizes the requirement for coding and allows non-coders to develop or help in developing applications rapidly at a lower cost.
Using analytical technologies developers build software applications that can analyse a deluge of data through visualizations, dashboards and predictive capabilities and offer insights to the users. Moreover, cloud-based services, AI and APIs make it easier to integrate analytics into custom software.
Why Outsource Custom Software Development Projects?
To build, maintain and manage the custom application for your business effectively, you can either hire different individuals in your company to handle different tasks of development, which can be time-consuming and costly. However, if you outsource these tasks to the application service provider like Decipher Zone Technologies, you only have to share your requirements and the experienced developers from our team will design, develop, test, deploy and maintain application services that will not only reduce the cost but also improve flexibility, efficiency and user experience.
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us now!