As a species, the human race is evolving at an astonishing rate, and at the core of this transformation is technology. From stone tools to self-driving cars and artificially intelligent environments, we have come a long way. This would not have been possible without the innovation and problem solving, and software development. According to a business report, the global software market size grew from $260.79 billion in 2022 to $334.86 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.4%. Among many reasons for this exponential growth, Customized Software development happens to be one of the biggest contributors.
What is Customized Software Development?
Any process of designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining software for specific users, businesses, or organizations is referred to as Custom Software development. A Custom software development company provides businesses with software development tailored to business needs. They also take care of consistent software upgrades and management, and quality assurance while being equipped with experts, scalable teams, meticulous project management, and tracking tools.
Contrary to commercial, off-the-shelf software (COTS), custom software development aims at facilitating specific tasks as required by the business or company. It does not work on a one-size-fits-all approach the way COTS does. Rather, it caters to data handling and problem resolution for bigger clients and companies.
Different categories of Customized Software development
Based on the requirements of any company, a custom software application can be developed in three ways given below:
- Completely Tailored/Customized Software: Such a software is designed keeping in mind only the company’s requirements. The software is exclusively built for one company and one company alone. Few such tailor-made software examples include software applications developed for Apple, McDonalds, Google, etc.
- Semi-Customized software: This kind of software is opted for by companies not wanting to change the entire software they are currently availing. Instead, they ask developers to add minor changes and features to the software, according to their requirements. Some semi-custom software applications are Data Management platforms added to CRM, Marketing automation platforms added to CMS, or even a company’s existing upgraded CRM, CMS, etc. It depends on how much the company wants to change the software it’s using.
- Copied Software: Most businesses in the market need similar kinds of software applications for easing everyday administrative, logistics, and communication tasks. Same software is used for such companies with very little or no changes to the code.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Customized Software development
Customized Software development is opted by businesses more often for a variety of advantages. Among them, the topmost advantages of customized software development are:
- Scalability: A software tailored to a company’s needs is capable and engineered to accommodate growth in coming years. This is the reason that customized software can offer scalability to any business that invests in them.
- Profound Security: Cyber attacks can be catastrophic for a business’s health. A custom software solution however has added security measures, details of which are known to the company only. They are designed solely for a single entity and thus have carefully crafted cyber safety solutions integrated within.
- High ROI: Custom Software development is considered expensive at the start but has proven to generate high ROI for companies in the long run.
- Customisation: Companies save money by not having to pay for unnecessary tools that often come with COTS or commercial software. Personalized development in the software caters solely to companies’ needs and wants.
- Increased Productivity: For a business, productivity is an important metric. Customized software solutions ensure high productivity by simplifying manual administrative, communication, and logistical processes.
There are very few cons to customized software development. Two major cons that are often associated with a customized software solution are:
- Price: For a small and medium enterprise, custom software development can be very expensive. With only the long-term ROI to count on, a high price point discourages businesses from making the best of the benefits provided by custom software development.
- Talent requirements: Sound knowledge of the software is required to regularly maintain the customized software. This adds to the overhead costs of a company.
Types of Customized Software Development
There are many examples of Customized Software solutions available in the market. Some of them are given below, in detail:
1. Content Management System (CMS) Software
In the early 80’s with the internet having just been introduced, the websites which were created had basic static data i.e they did not require to be updated very often. However, 2000s saw the internet gaining immense popularity and an exponential rise in the number of web surfers. This resulted in a need for dynamic websites which needed to be updated and managed regularly. Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc found their way into the market and became the go-to software for creating websites and content platforms.
What is a content management system? Well, a Content Management System or a CMS is a type of customized software that provides the resources and platform to build a website from scratch and maintain it. One of the major advantages of working with a CMS system is that one does not require the knowledge of coding language like HTML to create and manage the website built. A content management system is also integrated with a framework that facilitates storage, retrieval, access control, format management, etc. All the tedious tasks involved in creating a website such as creating webpages, editing, and publishing content of the entire website are eliminated with a CMS. Content can easily be added, updated, and previewed exactly the way it would look on site. CMS like WordPress even lets its users preview their mobile version of the website and make changes accordingly.
A content management system comprises of two applications-
- Content Management Application or CMA: CMA is a front-end component of CMS and a graphical user interface that allows the users to create, design and publish content from a website without having to learn HTML language.
- Content Delivery Application or a CDA: CDA is a back-end component of CMS that delivers and helps manage content once the user has created it in the CMA.
Apart from these advantages, another benefit of CMS is that it can also be incorporated with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system thus simplifying the entire content management process while taking critical input from customers.
2. Customer Relationship Management(CRM) Software
It is well established that customer service is the key to any successful business. According to a 2018 Hubspot survey, 68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences. Businesses, having realized this, are investing heavily in customer service so as to retain its clients. One such software that businesses are investing in is Customer Relationship Management software.
A Customer Relationship Management Software, more commonly referred to as a CRM software, refers to any product or software product which is developed for facilitating, organizing and synchronizing every aspect of customer interactions of a small, medium or large enterprise. With the help of CRM software, businesses can manage
- Lead generation,
- Contact management,
- Analytics of marketing sales,ecommerce, customer service and more,
- Workflow automation and sales cycle management
- Proposal management
Amongst many other functions. Some of the most preferred CRM software currently available in the market are Hubspot, ClickUp, Zendesks, Freshworks, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce etc.
3. Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) Software
Another great example of a customized software solution is an Enterprise Resource Planning Software aka ERP software. ERP Software is often used by businesses to expedite and manage day-to day activities like sourcing, project management, accounting, risk mitigation and supply chain facilitation. Many ERP software also provide businesses a platform to chart their performance and help plan, budget and forecast a company’s revenue and growth. The software helps incorporate all verticals of the business process to make it accessible from a single platform.
An ERP software has many functions that help simplify business processes. It is referred to as the ‘system of record’ for any organization for its ability to govern the above mentioned administrative and logistical processes. Some leading examples of an ERP software include
- SAP Business One.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Sage Intacct.
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
4. Order Management Software
If a business handles more than 10 -15 orders a day or processes sales across multiple channels (such as online, brick and mortar store, marketplace), investing in an order management system is a must. As the name suggests, an Order Management System software( OMS software) is a customized software solution designed to manage orders and inventory in a sales cycle. This involves receiving orders, checking data collected from multiple warehouses, sourcing the product, creating invoices and even coordinating with third party delivery to fulfill the order. Given below are some additional functions of an OMS software
- Payment Tracking
- Reporting inventory, or stock levels
- Coordinating with Suppliers
- Tracking and fulfilling returns and refunds
- Consolidating invoices
- Sourcing, packing, and shipping
- Coordinating with third party logistics
- Financial integration
- Reporting and analytics
There are many reliable OMS software in the market. Some of them are –
- QuickBook Commerce – Best suited for homegrown small businesses
- Brightpearl- Best for medium sized enterprises, Brightpearl easily integrates with big sales platforms such as Amazon, ebay etc.
- Veeqo- Ideal for medium sized businesses, Veeqo reduced missed orders and overselling.
- Adobe Commerce( formerly known as Magento)- Adopted by big enterprises, Adobe delivers BOPIS facility (Buy Online and Pick-up in store)
5. Ecommerce Software
There are as many as 24 million online retailers in the world right now. While few online stores are shutting down, many more are cropping up in its place. The ecommerce market itself is expected to grow to 7 trillion US dollars by 2023. Customized Ecommerce software solutions are leading this growth and can foresee exponential popularity in the coming years.
Covid pandemic boosted the customized ecommerce software development industry exponentially . While the brick-and-mortar stores shut down and footfall to many stores reduced to zero, companies and individuals took to online commerce quite quickly. An eCommerce Software offers as much as physical stores offer without taking up as much space as the latter . Given below are some of the ways Ecommerce software helps businesses get a competitive edge over their peers.
An Ecommerce software equips its users with the following:
- Modern marketing tools
- Single consolidated database of all customer and company data
- Automated checkout process
- Sales and purchase analytics
- Better Inventory management and much more!
Few successful ecommerce customized software solutions include Shopify, Adobe Commerce, Wix, WooCommerce, BigCommerce etc. Custom Ecommerce software solutions are taking over the world with their reliability, flexibility and ease of business. With an expected 2.5 billion digital buyers in 2023, Ecommerce software development is going to be the next pit stop for many businesses.
With numerous businesses going online, one cannot stress enough on the importance of custom software development. A business can do well, by tapping into the power of delivering personalized experiences while automating all its core functions. Transforming business processes is the need of the hour and custom software development helps to achieve just that. Businesses have recognized this need, and while some are looking to hire software developers, some are also outsourcing their development projects to leading software development companies.
Want to develop your own customized software?
OpenXcell is a leading Software Development Company with a rich history of delivering successful, state-of-the-art software development services. At OpenXcell, we take care of all your requirements and transform your expectations into a reality. With a team of 500+ expert developers and 1000+ successful software solutions, we are equipped to craft the software you want and your organizational needs. We are also well known for software outsourcing services and can cater to your requirements like no other software product development company in the market.
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