To Build Or To Buy – What Type Of Software Should You Use?
The pros and cons of getting proprietary software versus off-the-shelf software.
When it comes to the deciding factor to select a software that will act as the foundation for your business or startup, you can choose to invest in either something that is already available or build a bespoke one designed to support your company’s needs specifically.
The main aspect that differentiates the two is the cost. Getting “off-the-shelf” is quicker and cheaper than contracting a software developer to build one from scratch. The rest of it boils down to usability, performance, and functionality. Each option has its own merits and demerits:
- It is unique to your company, designed to tackle specific circumstances by providing a near-to-perfect solution as it is programmed to meet every requirement outlined in the evaluation phase.
- It offers endless customization as it can be and adjusted as your business expands. This gives you an advantage over your competition as it is something they don’t have.
- The cost of having the software means you will probably have to shed a sizeable investment on it.
- It does not provide you with a quick fix as development may take anywhere from a few weeks to months. You are also entirely dependent on the software provider for any support, which could be inconvenient at times.
Off The Shelf SoftwarePros
- Quick installation and use are at the forefront here, subsequently lowering the price you pay. You can install the software and start using it almost immediately.
- Trusted packaged software will have broad adoption of the exact solution you’ll be using – and a good custom software partner will have a proven track record. Getting support is easy in case any problems arise.
- By choosing this option, you are getting what is available to your competitors. Hence, there is little room to innovate your business.
- You will have to forego customization completely as most off-the-shelf business software is rigid and difficult to modify. Another issue that could crop up is compatibility.
Originally published Apr 28, 2019 16:31:11 PM, updated Jun 15, 2019