Ah, the age-old custom VS pre-built dilemma. What can one say other than the words you already know? Yes, custom software is made to meet your needs & requirements but is more expensive, while pre-made solutions are fast, cheap but lack the flexibility one might require.
The opening sentences of this article pretty much sum up everything you’ll ever find on the web. But, perhaps, there is more to the matter at hand?
Of course, there is. Take a look at PerceptionBox for example. We are a custom software development company and yet we use pre-built software like Google Analytics or Hubspot’s Sales & Marketing tools.
The thing is - we combine those apps with home-made solutions that enhance our processes where it matters.
It was 2018 the last time we checked the calendar. We live in a day and age where every single sink has an app for it. Gone are the days where only custom software had the features or functionality fit for your business.
A lot of modern day practices and standards like Agile development or TDD actually advocate the use of third-party software products in your very own business/development processes. With solutions like Slack, Skype, Google Drive, Trello, Redmine, and Jira is there even a point of making something unique?
Sales, marketing, development, communications - you name it, there is an app that covers the process with great depth.
Does that mean that making a custom app for your business is pointless? No, it certainly does not. The only thing we’ve made a point of is the fact that you are looking for a tailor-made business solution for all the wrong reasons. Custom apps are designed with much more than mere flexibility and meeting with your requirements.
What makes a solution your own - your control over it, of course. Pre-built tools don't give you any of it and here’s why:
They are a business and, like in every other business profitability is key. What this means is that the solution owner might be forced to play around with certain features. Here is an example: a certain analytic isn't used by 95% of the app’s audience and also brings in a lot of technical issues into the system. It butchers load speed and ‘melts’ the servers, just to name a few.
The only rational solution for the owner would be to get rid of the analytic in later versions of his system. But what if you are among the 5% who actually use and need the feature? You will either have to look for a different software product or stick with a version of the system that is no longer updated. In either way it sucks to be you, right?
Your software provider is single-handedly in charge of security. If HIS servers get hacked, then YOUR clients and YOUR reputation are compromised. Your business may be among the best but you are still only as safe as the weakest link in the chain - your SaaS system.
Recent scandals with big guys like Uber or Equifax show that the bigger the fish - the more unwanted attention it attracts.
Buying software is actually more expensive than building it. In the long run, of course. Modern technology has really flipped the tables today as hiring a team to make an app with scalability in mind your own IT department may easily update and maintain costs way less than the thousands of dollars great BI apps cost. Buying a license is one thing and paying 20-50% of the original price in the long run for maintenance is totally different. And we are not even talking about support for customization, forced updates and maintenance resources.
Do you have any other questions regarding custom or third-party software left? Feel free to contact our experts and we will get back to you with an answer within 24 hrs!