While presenting Arexo and more specifically our tailor-made software development service, we are often asked to explain the benefits of custom development compared to off-the-shelf solutions. This article is an attempt to highlight those benefits.
1/ Best in class support for your specific needs
While off-the-shelf solutions, aka existing packages, do allow some level of customisation (e.g. custom fields), the general idea is that you, as a user, will have to adapt to the way the tool was built and not the other way around. Be prepared to forget your specific requirements, possibly including the ones that will give you an edge over the competition.
On the other hand, tailor-made solutions are developed around your needs, your requirements, your processes and your way of working. It is no surprise that this results in the best matching solution including a carefully thought through user experience that promotes ease of use and efficiency, high levels of automation, features specific to your business, etc.
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2/ Higher and easier adoption amongst users
The advent of a new IT system is an important moment for its users, paved with changes that need to be accounted for in order to make the project a success.
Elaborating a custom software solution is the perfect moment to engage with its future users and stakeholders, identify their needs, understand their expectations, how they currently work and how they would like to work with the new system.
Having this kind of discussions early in the life of the project shows the users that their voices count and that they have a chance to shape the future software. They frequently become avid supporters of the project as we often witnessed.
This greatly helps us to not only deliver a solution, but more importantly one that is adopted and used in the long run.
3/ A better integration with your existing IT systems
Chances are that the newly-developed software will coexist with other solutions that your company uses (think accounting software, email client, etc.). This can create frictions when the time comes to start using the new system.
This element is taken into account to make sure the context and the environment of your organization are not neglected when designing a tailor-made IT solution.
We ask ourselves questions such as:
- Is there an internal IT team that will take charge of the maintenance of the software?
- Is the new solution expected to be integrated in an existing IT ecosystem?
- Should it communicate and work nicely with other tools?”
Based on the answers to such questions, we evaluate and select the most adequate technology(ies) in order to make sure your new IT solution will integrate smoothly in its existing and future environment.
4/ A better ROI
The general idea is that custom-made means more expensive than off-the-rack. We, however, would like to make the argument that this is actually not an accurate assessment.
Even though each situation is specific, we have encountered several cases in which a custom-built solution was actually cheaper than a less adequate, off-the-shelf package. This is especially true when all the indirect costs such as licenses, customisation requests, etc. are considered.
It is also worth keeping the accounting perspective in mind as a custom development project is actually considered a financial investment. As such, it is treated as CAPEX and becomes an asset of your company, which in turns increases its valuation.
5/ IP rights that protect your investment
Because your IT solution is probably a core element of your business and therefore critical to your success, you need to secure your investment, ensuring it belongs to you, and that you’ll have the possibility to operate it and evolve it for as long as you need to.
IP rights play an important role with regards to the above factors and guarantee you have all the means to reach your ends.
The IP rights of the solutions that Arexo develops for your specific needs can be transferred to you, in whole or in part, as agreed during the contractual discussions.
We hope this article has brought you some interesting perspectives on the subjet of tailor-made software development. Do you have questions? Different opinions? Feel free to contact us to discuss this topic in further details, we’ll be glad to help.