What is Custom Software Development? Step-By-Step Process to Build Custom Software Solution
October 12, 2020

What is Custom Software Development? Step-By-Step Process to Build Custom Software Solution

Custom Software Development
What is Custom Software Development? Step-By-Step Process to Build Custom Software Solution
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In recent years, along with the IT world, software development drastically improved to custom software development just like potatoes became french-fries! More convenient and high in demand!

The main difference, however, that the company has discovered is the versatility in custom software development services to develop any type of application with the desired technology and methods. Due to this, the software market worldwide is now expected to amount to approximately 507.2 billion U.S. Dollars by 2021. Because every newcomer in the industry is opting for custom software development services and why would they not? It handles the need of users better than traditional and widely available off-the-shelf software.

But it should also comply with the necessary steps of collecting codes for any personalized assignment to be successful. So, what is the process to make it successful? Keep on reading to know every step in detail.

What is Custom Software Development?

The framework of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining software for a specific set of users, functions, or organizations – that’s the custom software development for you. It mainly aims at a narrowly defined set of needs when compared to off-the-shelf software.

In simple words, it refers to the development of custom software applications that are designed to suit an organization’s specific needs and requirements. Since these software products are developed just for that organization, they can address users’ needs much more accurately and provide exclusive, in-depth solutions to their problems such as,

  • Facilitates (Application) management by a growing company
  • Meets the company’s unique needs with tailored solutions and prototyping
  • Maintains coherent growth in revenue generation
  • Use the ideally equipped software to unlock a new level of company productivity and tackle challenges

Bonus: Custom software is also referred to as bespoke software sometimes. The term is derived from Old English and has the root in the clothing industry. So, you can imagine a tailor-made dress.

Importance of Custom Software Development

As all we know, sometimes it becomes very hard to determine whether or not you need custom applications tailored for you. Therefore, we have assembled a range of advantages and reasons why customized solutions will be more efficient and more adaptable to the needs, which in the long term would have a positive effect on the transformation of the business. Let’s take a look at it.

✔ Custom App Functions the Way You Like

What if, in order to completely use the software application that you are using, is forcing you to change any of your business processes? This is one of the greatest business challenges, right? It’s not a joke that something in between needs to alter. That’s why traditional software systems are outdated and personalized software is the new trend.

It allows you to work exactly the way you like. Because as the name suggests, it is completely customizable according to your and your needs only. This will, as a result, simplify the whole company chain by third-party integrations and eventually save time & effort.

✔ Business Model is Clear

Generally, you ought to find opportunities to boost market share efficiencies and reduce operating costs to gain an additional advantage over rivals and meet business targets on a daily basis. Right? The custom solution gives you the same opportunity. How? 

This solution helps the staff to save a lot of time manually doing tasks and can immediately access the required information. Data analytics can be achieved within minutes from sales and marketing case studies. This will ultimately save time and the staff will be used to do other higher-priority jobs. This also means you have a clear business model.  

✔ Low-Cost Solution

The costs of personalized apps heavily depend on the requirements. So, the more you need to add features and functionalities, the more you will pay. At the same time, you will pay less for fewer needs in comparison to ready-made solutions. But, most importantly, the long-term benefits of buying personalized solutions are better than buying packages that are ready-made.

This is also because personalized apps don’t require any major hardware to run, while ready-made software always needs hardware.

✔ Integrate As Much As You Want

For various departments, the company needs various solutions like,

  • Accounting solution
  • Project requirements management solution
  • Word processing solution
  • Billing solution
  • Payroll solution (Payment options)
  • Database solution (Data analytics)
  • Asset management solution
  • Desktop publishing solution

So many, right? But what if you can integrate all in one? With personalized software applications, you can combine all of them, which can support many business processes. In this way, you can produce greater outcomes from a single structure and operate the entire company. Can you get all these solutions in the ready-made software product? Nearly impossible. 

✔ Risk is Almost Zero

You can maintain custom software as long as you need it to be. But with ready-made solutions, it’s not in your control. Your business will be negatively affected if the ready-made product provider goes bankrupt or chooses not to hold the web app management anymore, along with the company records. For personalized apps, there’s no such risk involved. 

✔ More Scalable

Custom software has higher scalability than software that is ready-made. How?

  • Software developers run on a long-term basis, so they can effectively scale the software, depending on organization needs and duration.
  • It meets your company’s needs while allowing your business to expand without your apps being limited.

However, you usually run into the business problem of the product with off-the-shelf software – either being cheap to obtain but not suitable for big corporations or products capable of serving corporations on a wide scale yet rather costly to license. So, now you know what to choose.

Process to Build Custom Software Solution

Custom Software Development Process

  1. Evaluate and Analyze the Market

    When determining the need for custom software solutions, the first and most critical move is to ask an often-overlooked question which is,

    Is this really required for your business?

    So even if you don’t need it, remember that personalized applications can be an extremely effective tool to supercharge the internal processes and maximize the sharing of goods, resources, and data with other organizations. With that, compared to merely using an established, off-the-shelf solution that achieves the same project goals, the return-on-investment in a piece in custom software would fade.

    Once you have concluded that your need for enterprise applications is both relevant and not fulfilled by current solutions, you need to do the following, 

    • Review your internal resources ability to evaluate the type of work needed by projects
    • Sketch out a rough description of the required work and understanding
    • Plan the budget
    • Emphasize on communication and questions

    The team managers, business partners, reviewers, engineers, and PMs have to have a reasonable estimation of the time they expect to complete their individual tasks, initiatives, and IT consulting transformation services that they need to be interested in. It will assist them in estimating all expenditures. 

  2. Select Methodologies

    Another step is to conduct a discussion with your managers, in-house engineers, or the technical team to decide which SDLC methodology will be required to complete your project based on IT services.

    What are the methodologies you can choose from?

    • Agile development: Agile development is about splitting development into its components and eventually progressing towards the optimal version of a project by using fast feedback loops.
    • DevOps: DevOps is a more comprehensive form of agile architecture that integrates a single process of design, mobile app development, and software product implementation.
    • Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): SAFe provides a planning strategy that decentralizes decision-making and carefully charts responsibilities, tasks, and activities in relation to the purpose of the project to keep all stakeholders focused.
    • Rapid Application Development (RAD): Another form of agile growth that stresses running applications and customer input over meticulous planning is RAD.

    Depending on the project requirements, you can create a checklist and identify which software development life cycle method is most suitable for your business.

  3. Choose Type of Development

    The type of software development cycle is another significant move you need to focus on. For your business idea, there are several platforms and types that you can choose, from which you are expected to pick one, or you can even go with multiple platforms, based on the requirements.

    What are the types of developments?

    • Open Source: Open source is a legacy software source code that is open to the public and is publicly available.
    • Cloud-Based Development: Cloud-based development healthcare involves the development and deployment of cloud computing applications which is a form of a highly advanced web mobile app.
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial Intelligence through the internet of things remodels business intelligence, by changing the way content is ingested, everyday activities are handled, consumer complaints are answered, or strategic decisions are produced as part of machine learning.
    • Blockchain: Blockchain is a secure, digitally linked ledger that reduces transaction costs and provides enhanced security.
    • Mobile Applications: Mobile apps often provide users with an optimized user interface and offer better connectivity with existing apps and new apps.

    Again, the type of development completely depends on the requirement and market demand. So make sure to conduct analysis before you choose anything.

  4. Design and Develop

    This stage is typically the longest since it includes the actual product being designed. By closely observing the software requirements specifications, alongside the internal UI design guidelines, the developers begin to code the customized applications. If the previous stages have been pursued with strict attention to information, you can carry out coding without any more problems.

    However, if you want to look at this step into the stage-by-stage approach, you can see as below:

    However, as a business owner to increase productivity, you should promote weekly progress reports from all stakeholders and guarantee that the software development team is focused on meeting the correct goals, expectations, and everything is going in the right direction.

  5. Test

    If the program has been developed, it must be reviewed for flaws, bugs, and faults before it is prime for launch. A dedicated quality analyst team consisting of quality control engineers can carry out different forms of functional and non-functional research. It is done either manually or automatically.

    Key application functions, text entry, implementation on decentralized computers, as well as factors that are not related to any single purpose, such as authentication and scalability, are the most critical features that need to be tested at this stage.

    If any fault or a malfunction is found, it is patched and re-tested. This method continues until the solution’s output passes the original specifications.

  6. Launch and Maintain

    Your software is now ready to be released once you have tested the solution successfully. You would be mistaken, though, to conclude that the project is over. You and your real users should become familiar with the system at this time. This is because there is a probability of many problems appearing once you begin using the software.

    These problems may be resolved quickly or gathered together to be solved later in terms of priority level.

    Another significant thing you can’t miss to look after is maintenance. Because it is a huge benefit to personalized product systems as the production firm can take care of the framework not just during the production process, but also after the release. This guarantees that every product runs reliably according to the initial specifications. So keep updating it regularly.

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Moving forward, you know now how to develop personalized apps, but what are the practices that you can follow to make it successful? That’s exactly our next topic. Let’s dig in.

Best Practices to Build Custom Software Solution

  1. Evaluate Your Current Process and Future Needs

    You need to grasp and specifically identify the targets you are attempting to achieve before beginning any project. Why do you want these custom business applications? What intent, business, or another target can it serve?

    See when designing apps, always remember to keep your target in mind. You can alter or add any targets later, but from the first to the final moment of building, the primary purpose, and why you want to build this program should be clear. Therefore, make sure you know the following:

    • What’s the process?
    • Why do you want to make changes, if any?
    • What’s the optimal condition?

    Outlining all these will help to determine your future customer needs.

  2. Choose the Best Developers

    In a way, each brand is distinct and has different specifications from custom software development companies. So there are two checklist points that you must follow before selecting a software developer, which are mentioned below.

    • Never opt cheapest – You’ve got a small budget, but that’s not an excuse to scratch the bottom of the cup.
    • Make a glance at their portfolio – With whom have they collaborated in the past? Have they been successful? Know it. Get it. And decide.

    Insourcing this checklist makes the best sense when you can work closely with teams that have successfully built and applied similar technologies for customers.

  3. Draw Realistic Plans and Timetable

    Some tasks can take longer than most, of course, and this is something you need to be mindful about, but the longer the project takes unnecessarily, the more money it would take. So for your business applications project, you still need to set a timetable.

    But ensure that it is realistic; for example, in a week, you can’t build complicated processes and shipping framework. Therefore, to keep the project on schedule, prepare for milestones. There are separate levels of growth that should be achieved at a defined period and funds level. You should revisit the job to determine whether you need to make adjustments to your scheduled timetable or budget.  

  4. Conduct Suitable Testing

    This is one of the effective practices you can follow because it often adds value to the company’s strong sales revenue model and increases the brand awareness as it saves a lot of effort and costs to fix daunting bugs that are frequently overlooked if not backed by adequate testing.

    So test it before you introduce the latest program to the world. Typically, the test can be conducted on two levels:

    • Technical testing – Developers and IT professionals carry out technical research. It checks that the basic components are working.
    • Beta testing – Company beta users perform consumer training. This checks that the program performs as planned and wanted.
  5. Communicate Clearly With Team

    People and teams of the project, if, are not engaging with each other, no project will be successful. If you create software design houses or outsource a production firm, it is crucial to have regular communications with those participating in the project.

    But that doesn’t mean you need to conduct endless meetings with no purpose. Just know what is happening with the project, development process, and the company. 

  6. Document the Entire Process

    For all phases of process and implementation, documentation is essential to identify what you’ve got and what you want. So what can you document?

    • Test planning and checklist to ensure the product is thoroughly vetted
    • A declaration of scope to ensure that you don’t end up struggling to fix so many tech issues
    • An implementation strategy that determines whom and where to begin using the program
    • A training schedule and comprehensive usage notes so that as you carry out the new application, individuals are not left confused and with concerns

    In short, a project plan records the responsibility of each piece and sets dates and objectives.

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How Much Does Custom Software Cost?

For all modern companies that concentrate on maximizing output and producing more revenue, apps are critical. Given the fact that personalized applications have much greater ROI capacity, how much does it cost?

Usually, the cost ranges from $20,000 to $500,000 for the building of personalized applications. This selection, however, is quite broad; this is because there are various factors that add to the cost of production of custom applications.

What are those factors that impact the cost of development?

  • Software size
  • User base
  • Complexity
  • Deployment platform
  • Integration with existing systems
  • Integration with external systems
  • UI/UX design complexity

However, to receive an exact figure, you need to get in contact with a software development company. Those mobile app development cost figures are often expressed in terms of,

  1. Cost 
  2. Duration & Speed
  3. Efforts and Digital Experiences

Time and effort are closely connected to the overall expense of the project, just as the total building cost will decide the length and amount of necessary construction staff and specialists needed to build the home.

The cost is estimated by some software development companies in terms of the length of the software project. The software development (custom) firm phases out the production process by dividing it into smaller pieces and charging a fixed fee for each phase while estimating development process costs for certain programs.

However, if you are still confused about whether you need to opt for personalized apps or ready-made solutions, look at the below-mentioned differences that clear all the air.

Custom Software Solutions vs. Off-The-Shelf Solutions (Ready-Made Software Solutions)

FactorsCustom SoftwareOff-the-shelf Solution
Build PurposeTo serve a specific company or an individual’s particular problems.To provide a large spectrum of users using an already established interface and structure.
UsabilityUsed only by one individual or company for their specific purpose.Used by many users as it is readily available. Anyone can buy it and install it immediately for use.
CostThe custom solution is costly upfront, solely depending on the requirements.Initially, they are inexpensive to buy, but can cost you even more; often because of their inefficiencies.
ModificationsIt can be modified, at any time, as you want.It can not be modified.
Community SupportIt provides great support without facing trouble.It may or may not provide support.
Time to develop and deploy2 to 4 months required, depending upon your needs as it is built from scratch.No time required. It is ready-made means ready to install and use.
Competitive AdvantageGreat competitive advantage as it is customized.No advantage as ideas can be copied easily.
Compatibility issuesIt has high compatibility with business operations.It has less or no compatibility with business operations.
Dependency on the software providerThere’s no dependency on the software provider.It is always dependent on the software provider.

Custom Software Apps Developed By Us

  1. Custom Software Solution for Meat Processing Industry

    Custom Software Solution for Meat Processing Industry

    A robust meat processing and packaging suite have been designed and developed by Space-O Technology, including the Admin Portal, Consumer Portal, Kill Room Portal, and Shopfloor Portal. This full suite is primarily designed to control and streamline the whole business process of meat production and distribution, packing, and storage for a meat processing company headquartered in North America. 

    Problems They Faced

    Had to file the information of orders in the excel sheet manually
    Had to maintain and generate paper-based reports
    Excel sheet used to create confusion among employees and the team & group spent maximum time and effort in maintaining these sheets
    The entire meat processes were not reliable
    Couldn’t track orders, labeling, and their status at one single platform

    Solutions We Developed

    We have designed and built custom software solutions for the meat processing industry, to allow them to handle buyers, finish receivers, establish orders, run production, and produce shipping data. This complete solution includes Kill Room Portal, Shop Floor Portal, Customer Portal, and Admin Portal.

    Results?

    ✔ Execute process, resources and track orders instantly
    ✔ Generates reports on products, orders, customers, shipments
    ✔ No chances of errors
    ✔ Saves a lot of time eliminating manual work
    ✔ More focus resources on a high-value activity like quality and on-time delivery

    View Detailed Portfolio

  2. Brakes Off: MRO Software Solution for Aviation Companies

    Software Solution for Aviation Companies

    Brakes Off is a cloud-based inspection system for MRO service providers of the US-based aviation management company, replacing the traditional paper-based methods of generating reports with an advanced and digital solution.

    Problems They Faced

    Had to generate a paper-based report for inspection
    Lack of visual data like photos and videos
    Had to face a difficulty to communicate between MRO and operators

    Solutions We Developed

    We developed a suggestion after recognizing and studying issues and problems and recommended the Brakes Off app, a mobile-based aircraft inspection solution. This software application solution for mobile inspection transforms every smartphone or tablet into a cloud-based MRO service inspection device.  

    Results?

    ✔ Generates a complete report on aircraft repair & inspection
    ✔ Captures arrival and departure photos of the state of an aircraft
    ✔ A digital signature is now an acknowledgment
    ✔ Siri’s third-party API made it easy to take notes
    ✔ Offline mode
    ✔ GPS based solution and efficiency
    ✔ Maintain all the previous records

    View Detailed Portfolio

FAQ

  1. How do you customize software development?

    • Identify a problem and define a goal
    • Wireframes and growth
    • Design and develop the site
    • Test and launch
  2. What are the advantages of custom software?

    • Personalized performance solution
    • Cost-effective in industries
    • Secure experiences
    • Flexible vision
    • Compatible capabilities
  3. What is the need for custom software?

    The custom solution offers your enterprise a way to be competitive and outperforms your rivals. In order to achieve a competitive advantage, improvements in the overall productivity, or building greater user experiences for their consumers, businesses may use technology stack in a number of ways.

  4. What is an example of customized software?

    • Content management systems (CMS)
    • Customer relationship management (CRM)
    • Automated invoicing
    • Company-facing/customer-facing web portal
    • E-commerce system
    • Bug tracking system

Conclusion

The development of custom applications encourages you to use technologies to address real problems for your business needs. When you determine that custom-built systems are perfect for you and how to introduce them, you can help promote and accomplish your company’s success.

Though, for your business app ideas, initially, you should start with minimum viable product development if you are unconfident and unsure of user experience, feedback, and response. , feedback, and response. You will face less risk and will still produce the optimal outcomes. After you receive a suitable response, you can make the final product for the release in the market and can customize it as much you want with a custom software development company.

However, during the process, if you are stuck with any query and suggestion, contact us at your time and our expert development team will get back to you with the most relevant solutions.

This page was last edited on October 12th, 2020, at 6:56 AM.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books - Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.

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