Differentiating Generic Software Products and Custom Software Development

Generic and Customized Software

Nowadays, businesses have several options of going for off-the-shelf or generic software that’s quite popular with startups. For your business, should you opt for a solution that meets basic needs or build a solution that serves your exact needs? Moreover, should you resize your practices around a ready-made solution or get tailored software?


Generic and Customized Software, which should you choose for your business?

Keep in mind that software development services are a broad field, thus, it’s important to determine which solution suits you best. There are a lot of development methodologies to opt from along with choosing the right technology partner for your upcoming project.

Here, in this blog we are going to discuss about two types of approach to software development to help you decide which one is more suitable for your business.

Let’s dig in to find out.


Generic and Customized Software—Which Should You Choose?

What’s a Generic Software?

As its name implies, it’s a solution that’s meant for use of the public in general. It’s software that’s not designed for a particular purpose, company, or person. Generic software is known as a content-free application as well.

Every person in their work or school has used generic software, probably for a presentation, project, and so on. Excel, Firefox, Word, and others are some of the commonly used generic software. The solution isn’t limited to a specific app and could do various tasks, like a spreadsheet application for instance.

Moreover, it does tasks that don’t require modifications. Some of the features to keep in mind when building generic software include efficiency, functionality, reliability, and portability.

What is Custom Software?

Custom or tailored solution is uniquely designed for a particular set of users or companies. A single user or an organization may go for software development services to design a solution that provides specific functions and results. The software is not intended for general use and only caters to the needs of the organization.

Anything that goes into the software, such as the requirements, functionalities, and expense to build the solution is shouldered by the client. Some examples of custom software include bug tracking software, automated invoicing software, CRM solutions, and many more. Choosing between generic and customized software? Consider the following.


Generic and Customized Software—Functionalities, Characteristics, Features, and More

1. Exclusiveness

    Generic software is intended for the open market.

     Custom software is a unique solution that’s developed for a specific company or business.

2. Updates and Requirements

    Updates on generic software should be done in accordance with a specific plan, which is defined by the market requirements.

     Off-the-shelf software is made based on updates later on.

     Changes in custom software are done based upon the customer’s needs. The requirement could be fulfilled when a customer asks for it. It is furthermore built  according to the budget, time, and the needs of the client.

3. Cost of Development

    Custom software development could be expensive since the client gets a unique product. However, a competitive edge that the customer will get could overweigh the heavy overhead.

    A generic or off-the-shelf solution usually is affordable. There could, however, be some hidden costs. For instance, there could be extra expenses when implementing the software and setting it up.

4. Control

The major difference between generic and customized software is the control of the process of development.

     The software development services company controls the development of generic software. Furthermore, the company, being the owner, could do changes and remove some features that a client may find useful anytime, even if the client acquires a license to use the solution.

    The control of the software development is with the client. Furthermore, the client alone gets to decide what to do with it.

5. Functionality

    The functionality of off-the-shelf software is designed to resolve a certain issue for a lot of organizations.

     Tailored software has functionality built to solve a problem for a particular business alone.

6. Quality

    The quality of generic software is not the main parameter that software or mobile application development services follow. If the release is delayed to refine some features, this could lead to a loss in market share. Quality, therefore, is not the top priority for generic software.

     A customized solution, in contrast, has to have the best quality to affect the progress as well as the client’s revenue. The quality parameters of the tailored solution would be in proportion to what effect they should have on the company of the client.

7. Architecture

     Generic software must be very scalable. It may also have to pivot during the lifecycle, depending on the needs of the software development services company.

    The architecture of a custom software should have a balance between scalability and the present requirements of the client.


Unique Features of Generic and Customized Software

Generic and Customized Software

Since a generic solution is created for a wide range of users, it has so many features, all of which may not be of use or needed for a particular company. Furthermore, the features of an off-the-shelf solution could be simple or complex, depending on their functionality. A range of the same generic serving use instances, however, would have common features.

A tailored or custom software, on the other hand, have a highly specific and unique feature, limited only t the specific client it’s made for. Every custom software serving a common purpose for various clients would still have distinct design features and functions unique to the business alone.


Generic and Customized Software—Which is Better?

When it comes to choosing generic and customized software, there really is no better or worse option. The budget and requirements are the deciding factor. In a tailored software, there are lesser costs after the initial investment, and it pays for itself over time, smoothly integrating with the current setups of the organization.

If the business involves record-keeping, has a traditional hierarchical structure, has inter-departmental updates, personalized communication, and so on, then custom software is the right solution. It caters exactly to the specifications per workflows and departments. It furthermore integrates with other software that the company is already using.

There is, on the other hand, a set of advantages that come with a ready-made software. You get to save a lot of initial money and time if you invest in an off-the-shelf solution to meet your needs in general. With a few workarounds, in time, the generic solution could keep you in a kind of momentum, particularly if your business does not really depend on excessive data sharing, or note-keeping, or does not require constant communication with customers.


Conclusion

There is no wrong choice when it comes to generic and customized software. What to take into account is the nature of your business. As long as the solution meets your exact requirements, then you could never go wrong. Whatever solution you decide, generic and customized software, as long as it serves your purpose well, then that software product is the best for you. 

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