As a small business owner, you are continually trying to improve processes, boost productivity and save money. One way you may consider doing so is by purchasing off the shelf software rather than investing in a custom software solution. Is an off the shelf software best for your business or is custom application development the way to go? This can be a tricky question to answer, but we are here to help. You have invested considerable resources in creating a unique brand for your customers. As your business expands, are your IT investments keeping pace? We will highlight the pros and cons of both solutions, and provide you with the information you need to know to determine which platform is the best fit for your business.
A commercial off the shelf product has a number of benefits as well as some major drawbacks.Its most appealing feature is the price. An off the shelf product offers business owners and budget tight startups the advantage of a low initial investment. Although a COTS product is budget friendly, implements quickly and is backed by customer support, it does have a few major shortcomings. Off the shelf products are designed to satisfy the basic needs of many different companies across a variety of industries which means the unique needs of your business might not be met. It also means you may be paying for and frustrated by features that your business doesn’t need. Additionally, an off the shelf product may work for your business today but it can’t be easily modified and is not designed to accommodate future needs.
As you would expect, you will pay substantially more for a custom designed solution, but you will most likely get more value from it. Assuming it is properly designed, a custom solution should completely fulfill the needs of your business and even be built to support future demands. A custom application is built to your exact requirements and as an added bonus employees often find custom solutions easier to adapt to. Another benefit of custom software is that it is scalable. You can start small, and as your business grows and changes, the software can expand accordingly.
When considering the pros and cons of commercial off the shelf software and custom software, keep in mind that if the product does not fit the needs of your business, it isn’t the right solution, no matter how affordable it is. Although the upfront cost is greater with a custom solution, it could be less expensive in the long run thanks to improved efficiency and the fact that you will be relieved of license fees and upgrade fees that come with off the shelf solutions. KOHO Software application development knows your business is unique. We are a big believer in collaboration. You will benefit from our diverse experience across industries, technologies, platforms and application lifecycle methodologies. Call today and see what KOHO Software can offer your business and how we can help you meet your customer’s needs by removing the limitations imposed by COTS software.