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What is Custom Software Development?

Let us begin with first understanding what custom software development is. Custom software development is the process of designing software applications that meet the specific needs of individuals or companies. Unlike Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software, customization options are usually targeted at specific issues. They are also suitable for internal use, not for resale, often at times.

While Microsoft Office is an example of COTS software, an application that records patient files and local clinic visits such as EHR or EMR systems are an example of customized software. Bespoke solutions or bespoke software is another name for custom software. The way custom or custom software is built is very similar to the way any traditional software is built.

However, although the methodology may be similar, in custom software development, there are often focused and unique efforts in application customization, modernization, or management. In order to better understand these, let us look at their definitions:

  • Application modernization – the practice of adopting existing technologies and upgrading or updating them to modern standards for your existing or new solutions,
  • Application customization – customized software development, modify the concept of COTS applications according to personal needs and
  • Application management – Optimize software to support tasks such as installation, updates, and other maintenance-related service desk functions.

How Do You Know If You Need Custom Software for Your Business?

Organizations can ask themselves the following questions to understand whether customized software makes sense for their business.

  • Do you have your own processes that need to be digitized or you want to change any internal processes?
  • Is your existing process streamlined?
  • Are the people using your software satisfied with the COTS software? Is the COTS software serving the purpose for which it is being used?
  • Do you use multiple software to complete a single process?
  • Do you need tools that can be integrated with other systems?
  • What are the potential benefits of the software?
  • Is ease of use one of the goals of the software being developed?

If most of your answers are “yes,” then you need a custom software or need to customize the software for your company.

Why Custom Software Can Be a Valuable Asset for Your Business?

Customized software development can be used according to the specific needs of the enterprises, ISVs, industrial customers or even start-ups. However, in most cases, the definition will change due to different aspects of the business. Based on features and functions, it can transform your business scope into a larger length in the following ways:

  • Helps you digitize your processes,
  • Enables you to streamline different departments under a single application,
  • Provides you with visibility and thereby a competitive advantage,
  • Well-documented and engagement tools,
  • Unique and innovative sources that can even increase profitability,
  • High-end products that can increase efficiency and productivity while improving customer experience,
  • Reliable tools to integrate data and simplify workflows.

What are the Benefits and Advantages of Custom Software Development?

1. Greater Scalability

Your needs grow as your business grows. For a large enterprise, license fee of COTS solution can often run into thousands of dollars. COTS solutions also cannot cater to the complexity of large enterprises or large processes.

Off-the-shelf solutions may be more suitable for small companies at the start-up stage of the business cycle when operations are still unstable, and the focus is on making the company viable. It is a wise choice to develop solutions that can extend and extend business processes depending on the stage of your organization.

2. Tailored Solutions

Perhaps the most important reason to invest in custom software development is to develop a product that not only meets but also exceeds your exact needs. It is not uncommon for companies to choose an off-the-shelf software option just to realize that it is not suitable for them.

Every company is unique, and it is difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution in terms of software. Choosing to use tailor-made products not only provides room for growth, but also means that you are serious and invested about the company’s success and its best interests.

3. Improved Reliability

When you buy off-the-shelf software, you rely on the company that developed it. Pricing, terms and conditions, and the future of the business are all under the vendor’s control. If the company suddenly goes bankrupt or stops updating its products, it will be difficult for you to find a new software supplier, and time is limited.

With custom software, you can use it as you want. Of course, maintenance costs must also be considered. Often at times, dependency on these third-party vendors require you to raise tickets in their system and takes about hours or even days to resolve your issue. For a business-critical process, this dependency can result in a loss of thousands of dollars if not resolved immediately.

4. Software Integration

Using custom software development, you can integrate new software with existing software to optimize business processes. COTS software may not be easily integrable with your existing software solutions and might cause errors, leading to a decrease in productivity.

Customized software reduces the possibility of integration problems and can be easily integrated into any enterprise’s software ecosystem. With customized software, you are also at liberty to choose the technology stack of your liking instead of being forced the vendor’s technology stack down your throats.

5. Infrastructure Costs

Licensing off-the-shelf software usually means that additional hardware must be purchased to run the software effectively. Developing tailor-made software, taking into account the current hardware functions, helps you save money and avoid additional costs. Custom software is developed in a way that supports your business, so you are not forced to adapt to the available software.

The development and integration of custom software should consider all aspects of your business to implement the software as seamlessly as possible. With custom software you can make the most of your existing infrastructure and save a good amount of money that you would otherwise end up spending with an off-the-shelf software.

Custom Software Development VS Off-The-Shelf Software

Below is the table comparing custom software development and off-the-shelf software.



In order to increase flexibility and growth, customized software solutions are the only way to go. Custom software development can increase efficiency and promote business growth. This is why leading companies and even small businesses are interested in investing in custom software development. Custom software solutions allow you to adopt the features to meet your exact business needs.

If you want to take advantage of the true possibilities of customized software to add value to your business, Pratiti Technologies can help you meet all your specific business needs. We provide custom software solution development services for web and mobile development, and business-centric innovations and new product development as well as product support services. If you have any questions, please contact us to learn more about your choices.

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Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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