Custom software development vs. Generic software development

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In our custom software development handbook, we talked about different ways and technologies with the help of which Syndicode creates outstanding products regardless of the industry and budget. But it is obvious that some distinctive features of a custom software development vs. generic software development should be revealed. See how off-the-shelf solutions are different from custom ones!

In a nutshell,

  • Generic software development is being undertaken by the company that owns the resulting product. Usually, this product has a reliable need in the market over a period of time and fit for most of the business needs. Software development companies develop generic software at own cost and sell it as a product for customers. Then generic software is ready, set to use and available in the market.
  • Custom software development is being done as a work-for-hire project for a particular client (the group of people or another company). The list of requirements, product’s idea, need and money on development come from the client/customer. Usually, it takes a lot of time to develop a custom product.

Custom software development vs. Generic software development

As customized software provides functionalities that meet your business requirements, it proved to be more useful in comparison to generic software.

One by one, let’s compare the characteristics, requirements and features of a custom software development vs. generic one.

  1. Exclusiveness:
    Generic software is produced for the open market.
    Custom software is a one-of-a-kind solution developed for a particular customer.
  2. Needs and updates:
    In generic software, updates to be done according to a particular plan (defined by the market needs). A generic software product is made according to future updates.
    For custom software, changes are done when the customer needs them. Customer’s requirement can be fulfilled whenever the customer asks for it. Custom software is made according to the time, the budget and the needs defined by the client.
  3. Control:
    The major difference between a generic software product and a custom software product is the control over the development process.

    • If we talk about generic software – its development is controlled by the development agency. Despite the fact that the client acquires a license to use the software, its owner (development agency) can always make some changes and remove some features useful for the client.
    • The custom software development is controlled by customer/client. Only the customer decides what to do with the product.
  4. Development cost:
    Custom software development (tailor-made software) may cost a fortune, as the customer gets a unique product. But a competitive advantage the customer acquires may overweight heavy investments.
    A generic software (off-the-shelf) is usually affordable. But there are might be some hidden costs. For example, extra costs you can pay to implement this software and set it up.
  5. Number of functions:
    Off-the-shelf software typically includes as many functions as possible because of its wide usage. For this reason, these functions are made quite simple. But, at the same time, you will hardly ever use even half of these functions.
    Custom software is focused on the features the customer needs. It is less user-friendly than generic software. But for a specific type of users (it is made for) – it should be obvious how to deal with this custom software.
  6. Functionality:
    Generic software has functionality designed to solve a particular problem for many entities in that vertical.
    Custom software has functionality made to solve a problem for a specific entity.
  7. Architecture:
    Generic software should be highly scalable. Product may need to pivot during lifecycle as per the business needs of the development company.
    Custom software architecture needs to be balanced between scalability and current client’s requirements.
  8. Quality:
    Generic software product quality is not the main parameter a development company follows. If the company will delay the release in order to refine some features and set up better characteristics – these actions may lead to loss of market share. That’s why quality is not the priority for generic software.
    Custom software product, in contrast, should have the best quality to impact client’s revenue and progress. The quality parameters for custom software will be proportional to what impact they should have on the customer’s company.

By the way, to be successful you have to embrace new technologies and hacks available nowadays. Do you want to know what innovations can grow your business and save money?

In the end, remember, if you go with the right dedicated development team, you can achieve cost-effective services and a timely deployment with dependable, knowledgeable support and the ability to grow. You will get upgrades when you need them and get the customer or user satisfaction you desire.

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