Software as a Service is a popular solution amongst companies to get access to professional tools to match most of their business needs for an affordable price.
These software solutions try to cover as many use cases as possible by making their products more flexible, feature-packed, affordable and beautifully designed. All-in-all, it’s a very attractive offer.
This offer fits companies that are looking to grow and evolve or adapt their process while scaling.
For established companies that know their work process and their business needs, going for the development of a tailored software solution is a smarter investment.
In this article, we dive into the benefits that businesses can find in adopting a custom software solution instead of going for a SaaS product.
Simplicity & Efficiency
Custom software contains the critical features required by the company to perform all the necessary tasks. This translates into a clean interface containing only features that the user needs and is already familiar with.
Less cluttered interfaces lead to a faster onboarding process, less confusion while using the application and better accessibility. This improvement also affects the quality of life of the employees using the software by eliminating unnecessary steps and pain points that may not have been removable using an existing product.
The custom application is made to replicate the actual process in place in the organization so that the logic and jargon stay consistent. At this point, there is barely any training needed to be able to use the tool. It simply makes sense because it was, in part, designed by the end-user.
Note & reference: You can learn more about UX design and the process of creating a good experience in this article by InVision.
Fewer features also mean improved performance. Ultimately, the application loads and runs faster, which saves time and improve the response time of your employees if you are dealing with real-time requests (i.e. customer support).
Stay in control
From the moment the project is delivered, you are the owner of the software you receive which is a pretty big deal. The problem of relying on a third-party service is obvious, if their business closes tomorrow, you are in trouble. If they decide to change their pricing, you have to roll with it or go to someone else, but that means a long migration and training process.
As owner, you have access to the software’s source code and documentation which means that you can assign the development of future features to other partners or an in-house team. Or even decide to sell the software as a side product, why not?
It is your software, so you are the boss. If you want to change the way it works, you can. You can add or remove features at any point and make the software adapt to what the company needs. This ability to evolve and branch into multiple directions makes the tool you are building much more versatile and relevant to your business needs.
You are also in control of the technologies used. Here is a simple example: if you are a customer support centre and you receive numerous calls every day, your current CRM might not be able to use Speech-To-Text and Natural Language Processing to automatically generate transcripts of your calls and extract the critical keywords to make them searchable and raise flags if needed.
That is a feature that you can decide to implement in priority because it makes sense for your business.
It’s another good reason to have a custom software solution when operating at a larger scale.
Using a third-party application, your clients’ data are saved in a database that is not yours, and it means that the third-party has access to these details.
When operating in Europe, GDPR applies and forces you to inform your clients of where their data is stored. You also have to give a way for your customers to be able to retrieve or delete their data. Moreover, if data are stored overseas, it could be the cause of legal complications.
The sound of “We do not share your personal data with any third-party organizations” is definitely more pleasant to the ears of your customers, don’t you think?
Interoperability & Automation
It is one of the reasons we use the term “tailored”. The product created at the end of the development process fits with the rest of the ecosystem.
If you are using other software solutions, and if possible, the application communicates and synchronizes with them to avoid wasting time copy/pasting, moving files manually, etc.
By using the software as a connector between services, it is far easier to implement a high level of automation in your business process. Every action is treated as an event and can trigger other actions without having to involve a human operator in the process.
It is another way to optimize your process, save time and make employees happier, letting them focus on their most important tasks.
Most existing professional software products come with a recurring cost, monthly or yearly, and often multiple plans with different selections of features. There is also a cost associated with certain platforms when it comes to customizing their features. It can be through the purchase of additional add-ons, plugins, extensions, or the development of extra modules by specialized developers (i.e. Salesforce).
When it comes to tailored software, the production cost is higher and paid in full at the start of development. The only recurring cost should be the maintenance fee to make sure that the product runs smoothly and is backed up properly. Future updates are charged separately and are treated as separate projects with their own scopes.
The return on investment is definitely high and scales with time. Since the goal of creating custom software is to increase productivity, improve quality of life and simplify work processes, the more the software is used and the more value it adds.
One of the objectives of the software provider is to establish a long-term relationship with the company using the software. Even though the company owns the code and could go to anyone to build their future features, it is preferable to stick with the original developers as they have already gone through the research and understanding of the business process and are familiar with the architecture of the code and technologies used.
It is also easier to maintain the software this way in case a bug is discovered, or an error occurs. The company usually pays a maintenance fee, and in return, the software provider needs to make sure to process the issue within a certain timeframe.
Also, getting to know the people you are doing business with is priceless as trust and involvement are built over time.
With the right technology partner, you are almost certainly going to create the best tool you could wish for. The only question is: is it worth the time and hard cash?
At the end of the day, the decision is yours. It truly depends on your business process and your needs. If you have a particular process or you feel like you are losing time because the software solution you are using is not adapted to what you are trying to do, then you should think about investing in a custom software solution.
Now if you are using a software as the centerpiece of your business, then it should definitely be controlled by your company entirely for the reasons mentioned above.
As a company, the key is to find an experienced technology partner with a wide array of skills and technologies. They should not only be knowledgeable in development but also in UI and UX design. You want your software to not only be functional but also easy to use, accessible and visually pleasing.
Once this partner is found, there is nothing stopping you from creating a software solution that works efficiently, offloads work from your employees, simplifies your business process and ultimately makes everyone happier!
Black Pug Studio is a creative company based in Galway, Ireland, specialized in the design, development and localization of websites, ecommerce solutions, SaaS products and tailored software.
We partner with companies to create their ideal business tools using the latest technologies available wrapped in beautifully designed interfaces.