Is Custom Software More Expensive than Standard Solutions?
Why individual software does not have to be expensive
When introducing new business software, rom apps to websites to ERP systems, the question often arises as to whether the requirements are better met by individual software or standard software. There is a rumor that an individual solution for the digitization of business processes is much more expensive than a standard offer.
On closer inspection, the opposite is usually the case!
The initial costs of individual software are undisputedly higher due to the lack of economies of scale, but they make sense depending on the industry solution. However, according to the specialist magazine topsoft.ch, any follow-up costs are much lower and the specified functions are extremely limited.
Company structures and processes have grown step by step, have been adjusted and are established. New business software should be flexible enough to map these functional requirements.
However, standard solutions usually do not reflect these business requirements and the underlying processes 1:1, as they are required above all by Swiss SMEs with their highly specialized products and individual services. However, the advantages of the standard software are clear: the immediate availability of the software using the „Plug & Play principle“ and the lower initial costs.
Introducing individualization with quickly available standard solutions afterwards, however, generates very high follow-up costs very quickly. Newly requested functions and the associated further development costs are borne by the initiator. In this way, users and the company are usually forced to adapt their processes and organization to the tool and not vice versa.
Inadequate fitting of the standard software in turn leads to obstacles in day-to-day business, frustration, costly failures and thus to angry customers and employees.
The solution fails to achieve its basic goal of increasing efficiency, reducing costs and transferring processes to digitalization as smoothly as possible.
Quite a few companies therefore decide to discontinue the solution after 2-3 years, despite the high investment - a very costly experience in many respects.
The advantages of an individual software solution:
Together with a provider for individual software development, companies can determine in an analysis phase which individual requirements have to be met and how the existing systems and processes in the organization can be optimized and digitized. Despite the apparent additional effort at the beginning, there are various reasons that speak for an individual software solution:
- With the User Centered Approach, needs and processes are systematically analyzed and determined
- Highly specialized processes and needs can be precisely mapped and implemented in the software solution
- Individual requirements are taken into account and offer the user / customer added value and lead to a better user experience
- The scope of the performance mandate can be precisely defined
- Extensions can be added as needed
- Changes to requirements can be introduced and implemented at any time
- Thanks to the close contact with the software manufacturer, they know the company and its needs very well
- Optimal connection to the existing system landscape
- Ownership rights to the software enable new business models
The last point is particularly exciting and often overlooked. If an industry-specific individual solution has been successfully implemented and the client has secured the property rights, further business models can be derived from it. For example, the purchased individual solution can be licensed to other companies, even competitors.
Important for the implementation:
Above all, well-structured planning, control and implementation of the IT project in an agile set-up with all the associated organizational and coordinative activities is decisive for the success of the new company software and its introduction. This both on the part of the client and the software developer.
This agile way of working gives the necessary flexibility during development, to test functions on the market and to implement adjustments relatively cheaply. With close cooperation between the project team with the company's departments involved and the developer and design team on the agency side, nothing stands in the way of implementing the software project on time and on budget.
Configurators: what types there are and how your company can benefit from them
The desire for individualized products and services is increasing. It is no longer just about consumer goods, but also about capital goods. With a product configurator, also known as a configurator or variant configurator, almost any product, including services, can be conveniently configured from home. Here we present different types of product configurators.