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Custom Software Vs Off The Shelf: Pros and Cons

custom software vs off the shelf
Reading Time: 3 minutes


  • The simple difference between custom-built, sometimes called bespoke software solutions, and off-the-shelf software is that the former is made specifically for your needs and your business, whereas the latter is designed around general practices targeting a lot of different businesses and what they need but not used specifically.
  • Another major difference between off-the-shelf and bespoke software is that: an off-the-shelf piece of software is generally a quick and affordable solution compared to that custom-built for you. But bespoke is cost-effective in the long run, which is one of the main reasons market-leading companies tend toward this software approach.
  • Off-the-shelf offers limited to no compatibility with other software your organization is using or planning to use. At the same time, bespoke is tailored to be integrated with other pieces of software. 


Which do you choose, a custom or off-the-shelf solution? Unfortunately, it’s a choice decision that haunts companies looking for software solutions to meet their time-consuming or problematic business requirements.
While nobody can underestimate the benefits of ready-made software: affordability and quick availability, just to name a few. However, what it does in terms of functionality is; it only meets the most common needs of your organization and leaves you with fewer options, especially when it comes to rather complex or a bit more specific industry problems. So, what seemed to be an obvious choice in the beginning could quickly make you realize that you’ve expanded outside of what that canned software can provide.
All your business then requires is a solution that not only optimizes your business flow but also offers that longer-term impact, not the one that gives you quickly but short-term fixes.


In this part of the blog, I’ll touch upon the significant benefits technically advanced custom solutions can offer to your business, which can go on to give you the competitive advantage you desire.

[1] A unique solution that works the way you want
Custom-built software is developed in a way that it belongs completely to you as it comes with all the necessary functionality your business demands and tunes with your unique processes, thus giving you a perfect solution.

[2] There is minimal interface problem
As custom software solutions are built in line with specific needs, there won’t be any complications regarding the interface. It generally requires minimal training, and everyone in your organization will find it easy to learn and use.

[3] It usually takes care of your evolution
A custom software application is built for a long-term solution and is not that rigid compared to ready-made software. With your processes growing with time, custom business software gives you more scalability over the years while maintaining the desired efficiency at the same time.

[4] It pays you off in the long run
Deciding to develop a custom software means you would not be renewing any subscription or paying any license fees in the future. Thus, you see the higher investment becoming lower in the near future.

[5] You cherish top-notch business security
Unlike commercial products, your custom-developed solution is not used by different businesses, which helps ensure the privacy of your business processes and data. Cyber-criminals also find it difficult to breach the custom software system since it comes with its unique ins and outs.

[6] The changes and adjustments are easy to implement
One of the most important advantages of choosing bespoke software is that your software developers can easily make changes to it if you ever happen to make adjustments due to changing customer demands or some new legislation appears in the future.

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