Top Custom Software Development Problem and Solutions

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When creating a software solution, we are overwhelmed with options, and we are left with a list of issues to discuss. Something similar is the issue with custom software development. 

If you are looking to hire software developers, you need to explore it. At least you should know the challenges faced during its development. Learn about its advantages, disadvantages, and comparison with off-the-shelf software.

Introduction

When a business has some specific software needs to fulfill, the first thing that comes to its mind is hiring software development company that can design, code, and create custom software based on their business requirements.

Custom Software Development Problem and Solutions

 Custom software solutions address specific needs and demands of users better than any other traditional off-the-shelf software.

The idea of tailored custom software seems appealing, but it isn't for every business. The process of custom software development can be time-consuming and expensive if it isn't meticulously planned.

In this blog, we will uncover some of the challenges related to the development of custom software development, its advantages, disadvantages, and a handful of tips to hire the best software developers.

What is custom software development?

IBM defines custom software development as a comprehensive process of designing, creating, and maintaining software for a specific group of users or organizations.

The other names of custom software are tailor-made software and bespoke software. In contrast, Commercial Off-the-shelf Software (COTS) addresses a broader set of standard requirements that are commercially distributed.

Developing custom software vs. commercial off-the-shelf software

COTS refers to Commercial Off-the-shelf Software, which is designed to meet the generic needs of the business processes of any organization. 

It can be directly bought from a software company with particular limitations. For example, it cannot be modified without outside help.

As far as custom software development is concerned, it is created to meet the specific needs of an organization and can be scalable as the business grows.

More, we have explained in the paragraph above, and you can refer to this again for your reference.

Custom software can be developed through:

Building software from scratch

Developing extensive and exclusive software from scratch can be time-consuming and costly altogether. 

It is a plausible option for companies that have thoroughly planned the process and all the involved components like software development budget, hiring software developers and associated risks.

Building software from scratch is the desired option when an off-the-shelf or clone solution cannot meet a business's unique requirements. Additionally, did you know that Poland is considered one of the best places for developing products from scratch, therefore the number of people who want to hire Polish developers is steadily growing.

Composing an off-the-shelf software solution

Customizing an off-the-shelf solution is less time-consuming and less expensive as compared to building software from the ground up.

So, if an existing solution satisfies your business's requirements despite a few limitations, you can consider opting for it.

These software solutions are available with add-ons and extensions to fill in the gap between any missing functionality from the standard package. This method of software development is also called a hybrid model.

The significant differences between custom software development and off-the-shelf solutions are: businesses can benefit more from 100% customized options when:

Off-the-shelf solutions aren't available for their requirements or lack the necessary functionalities required to fulfill the specific needs of the users.

The business industry you operate in asks for robust and exclusive privacy and security regulations. For example, healthcare and finance industries can get into custom software development as they need to maintain high-security systems.

You may also check out some of the best High5 developers if you are considering hiring someone to do the job.

Benefits of custom software development

Enlisted below are some of the surprising benefits of developing custom software for your business.

Better business efficiency

Most off-the-shelf solutions contain inessential features for which a business may have no use. These unnecessary features mean that the business pays for tools or functions they will never use. 

On the other hand, custom software is designed and optimized to satisfy specific business needs, and therefore, there will be necessary features and functionalities only.

Flexibility

Off-the-shelf software solutions offer limited customization options, and that means to get additional features on the software, the business has to incur extra costs. 

Whereas getting software developed by top custom software development companies, your business can ensure a tailored solution.

Thus, you can make changes to software according to changes in your business needs and customer demands and seek proper growth anytime in the future.

Proper integration of features

Finding an off-the-shelf, well-integrated solution with all the necessary functions can be challenging and costly to benefit your business structure.

So, developing a custom solution means you can seamlessly integrate it to suit your existing business structure.

Heavily guarded security

Owning custom software gives the keys to its security in the hands of the business itself.

Startups or enterprises no longer have to worry about any external threats or security beaches anymore since only a handful of people have access to the fully customized solution

At the same time, an off-the-shelf solution can constantly be at the risk of security threats for the rest of its life.

Software development challenges and their possible solutions

A report by The Standish Group states that about 31.1% of the software development projects are called off before they are completed. 52.7% of the custom software development projects overrun the predefined budget two-fold.

Software development challenges and their possible solutions

These statistics are enough to scare off businesses thinking about hiring a software development company and starting their own business. 

As promised, let's look at custom software development mistakes businesses should avoid and their solutions.

1. Unclear software development requirements

Unclear requirements for software development are the first mistake that a business could make. Every solid structure has a base or foundation, so gathering information about your software requirements is essential.

1. Unclear software development requirements

Starting software development without a clear note and plan about what you require also means that the process will become time-consuming and costly. 

Inadequate and unrealistic cost estimates and timelines can heavily distort the purpose of your software.

Ever-changing software requirements again add to the time and cost. For instance, on day one of the software development for your healthcare business, you asked for complete daily operations features such as scheduling, charting, payroll, etc. 

To meet the specific needs of your healthcare business, custom healthcare software development can be tailored to incorporate features and functionalities that align with your daily operations, ensuring a more efficient and effective management system.

On the second day, you asked to include systems to verify insurance. Can you see what's happening here? Well, the changing needs are only increasing your time and cost.

The solution:

Decide what you need first. Make a document inclusive of everything you want to add to your software. Having things jotted down on a piece of paper is better than creating a note in your head.

Ensure that the dedicated software developers you're discussing the project with draft a Business Requirement Document (BRD) for everyone's preference.

This document must contain a precise and clear software development roadmap for the developers and the business.

2. Non-establishment of communication system

Whether you have hired a local software development agency or outsourced one, establishing a communication system is necessary.

2. Non-establishment of communication system

 Communication is the key to better collaboration between the software development firm and the business stakeholders.

Non-establishment of a proper communication system can impact the speed of software development so much that it may become irrelevant and worthless.

Common communication issues can be lingual in a few cases or lack up-to-minute reports.

On the other hand, miscommunication leads to missed project deadlines, higher development costs, and even the end product may not even meet your business needs!

The solution:

Make sure that a Project Manager is assigned to you immediately after communicating with the hired software development company.

The Software Project Manager is responsible for providing instructions to the developers, mediating your needs to the team, distributing the tasks, tracking the project's progress, etc.

In other words, the Project Manager is your go-to person for every custom software development requirement you may have.

Therefore, conduct regular meetings with the Project Manager and demand frequent updates about the project's progress.

Use advanced technologies like video calls, whiteboard, or screen sharing to create a local office environment for better communication and collaboration.

3. No assurance of privacy or non-disclosure

If your chosen software development partner hasn't signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) yet, you have already officially started making software development mistakes that you shouldn't have.

3. No assurance of privacy or non-disclosure

 As a hirer, you discuss and share your multi-billion-dollar business idea with the company, but who's guaranteeing their trustworthiness? Therefore, sharing your software development requirements with them can be risky!

In such cases, businesses are at a risk that their ideas and secrets might be shared with a third party or stolen!

The solution:

When discussing your software development needs with the company, ask them to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

A non-disclosure agreement acts as a legal bond between the software vendor and the business that every piece of information shared with them by you will be kept confidential!

The legal bond assures you that the company can be trusted with confidential information without fearing any exposure or business idea theft. In case the NDA is breached, the other party, that is, you can opt for legal recourse.

4. Delivery of a product that is flawed and full of bugs

Having perfect software in the first go is nothing less than a myth. You'll always find a few bugs and glitches in every software as they are inevitable, and the best thing that best software developers do is reduce them.

4. Delivery of a product that is flawed and full of bugs

 However, the bugs and glitches are one significant factor that defines the quality of the software delivered to you.

A fully flawed software with a gazillion bugs will significantly impact your business. The first thing that happens with an erroneous software is – a delay in launching it as the developers will take some extra time to resolve the issues and fix the bugs.

Second, if the bugs and problems are discovered after the software launch, your business's reputation will be at stake. It won't take long for faulty software to blow up your reputation in the marketplace and amongst the user base!

The solution:

Finding and fixing bugs at the earliest is better, and you can fix the early discovered bugs at a cheaper cost. Therefore, it is recommended that before any software launch, it is best to invest in proper Quality Assurance (QA) services.

Thoroughly testing the software with every development progress will help detect possible anomalies. Testing at each milestone is crucial because it will be hard to re-do or make corrections to a specific part once the software is made.

5. Hidden software development costs

Your happiness will be on cloud nine when the software development company promises to deliver 100% customizable, robust and bug-free software at USD 10 per hour.

5. Hidden software development costs

 You might think that you'll be able to save a lot of money on developing the software. You may also have planned to spend the money on marketing the software.

Be ready to be surprised when the final bill comes in your hand! Why? It will be more than the price that the software development company may have promised you.

This is because the said price didn't include the hidden costs. Hidden costs are the costs that are not included in the price of the package.

Another hidden cost that will turn burdensome on your pocket is the cost you will incur because of the designed and coded software.

The issue will directly affect your product quality, the reputation you hold in the market, and ultimately your revenue! In short, the final software development cost you will have to incur will be much higher than that USD 10 per hour.

The solution:

The top software development companies will create a Business Requirement Document (BRD) without requesting them. 

This feature contains bits and pieces of everything important related to your custom software development cost. It shall include all the features, functions, and user flow of your custom-made software.

This software should also contain information about initially discussed features and later scraped off. Once you have this document, ask your software vendor to give the cost estimate based on this document.

The Business Requirement Document (BRD) is an essential part that'll help you keep track of your time and software development cost estimates. Also, you can always go back to this document for reference during software development life cycle.

Conclusion

Be cautious about whom you hire to develop the software as someone may claim to be proficient with software development, but disasters can occur when reality hits.

So, the first thing to do is spend a considerable amount of time finding leading software development companies. Research about the custom software development firms, communicate with them, and only then finalize your decision.

Agencies with an impressive portfolio, sound communication system, plausible third-party ratings, reviews, and years of industry experience are the right and befitting solution for you.

If you can find a software development service provider that has all these perks on its side, you can easily cross out all the software development mistakes.

However, getting the right software development company is the only challenge most businesses face! Don't worry because you can always find a feasible solution with a bit of research and communication!

The last tip to follow is - to plan your business meticulously before anything so that you don't fall victim to problems related to software development.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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