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Every company today, whether small or big, is using software to run the business. Further, they are also using software for simple research, handling emails, or more complex activities such as employee time tracking, accounting, or project management. 

The modern digital technology market provides a great variety of software that offers solutions to the most common needs. There are, however, few companies that have a more complex profile, and off-the-shelf software does not fit their specific requirements.  

Therefore, in order to successfully run such businesses, they require custom software – in general, developed by a custom software development company.  

Custom software is a type of software that is specially designed for a business, and it never fails to fight challenges. Custom software fulfills the operational needs of individual businesses. 

Since every enterprise has complex requirements, custom software solutions are a step ahead of ready-made software available in the market. Let’s look at how customer software is better than off-the-shelf software, for which it has been most preferred by successful businesses.      

Difference Between Custom Software & Ready Made Software 

Custom software is specifically tailored as per the need of an organization, while off-the-shelf or ready-made software is available in the common mass market.  

One of the most important things is the cost. Developing custom software is quite expensive as compared to ready-made software, which is already available in the market.  

While for ready-made software, companies will have to pay a certain amount as a license fee, a custom software solution will be completely owned by the company.  

Another important factor is time. Obviously, buying ready-made software that is already available in the market doesn’t require much time, and is quite simple. However, the development process of a custom-build solution can take a couple of months, depending on the complexity of the order.    

Off-the-shelf software is generally suited for businesses and organizations that have simple needs. Such types of software typically work well for payroll and leave management, invoicing, payment processing, etc. However, as the business grows and stakeholders increase, then there comes the necessity of custom software applications for proper management.  

Developing custom software is better in terms of cost, operational efficiency, and business growth. Whereas custom software is excellent for the everyday tasks of small businesses. However, they rarely meet unique business needs.   

With off-the-shelf software, customization capabilities are limited. Such types of software can only offer what’s in-built.  Organizations that want heavy customization can hire a custom software development company for customized products. They can add or modify features that they wish to.  

Custom software takes care of organizations’ specific needs, while off-the-shelf software serves the mass market.  

Why Should Businesses Prefer Custom Software Solutions?  

Custom software can satisfy multiple needs of an organization at the same time. A custom software development company can cover a range of requirements or a solution that only fulfills a specific need.  

Custom software companies access the requirements first and assign the task to a team of software developers who later (within a specific time period) build a product.  

Opposite to that, companies using off-the-shelf software will have to use whatever features off-the-shelf products offer. They won’t be able to get everything in one solution.  

Therefore, for such a reason, most companies prefer to develop custom software solutions as per their business needs. 

Here let us look at a few more reasons why businesses opt for custom software solutions: 

Custom features  

The most important reason why organizations build custom software solutions is that it has a host of features. By explaining their requirements, companies get the exact feature they like in the software.  

For example, a custom payroll management software can calculate yearly bonuses based on the employee’s designation, the number of years the employee has spent in the company, and by their monthly salary.  

Most of the off-the-shelf software available in the market would fail to provide such a feature.   

Easy Scalability  

Custom software applications are very good in terms of scalability. This helps a company to make changes to the software and expand its operational capacities when they grow its business.  

The software development company they have hired will add on features and resources they require to scale.  

For example, custom software made for project management can integrate with online workspaces when the number of employees increases. Or, if a new department is opened in an office, then the custom ERP software can be equipped with its usability. Features can be easily added, and improvements can be made fast.  

Low Cost 

The cost of custom software is low in the long term in comparison with off-the-shelf software. The initial investments are nowhere similar – custom software development services are costlier compared to off-the-shelf software (pre-built products) 

However, the off-the-shelf solutions require monthly subscriptions and licensing fees and are more recurring in nature. Custom software products on the other hand require only a one-time investment.  

For example, a data analytics software might charge $300 monthly for enterprise use, while custom software will not have any such fees. An unlimited number of business owners today use custom software for years only at the initial cost of development.   

Building Products With Complete Integration 

This is the topmost challenge for companies that prefer off-the-shelf software. This software comes with limited integrations, and without the support of the necessary ones, companies will not be able to operate smoothly. Off-the-shelf products are more focused on themselves.  

A custom software company will build products with complete integrations. By identifying the existing software, the company will integrate all of it into the custom software product. Doing this will help companies save a lot of hassle to visit different applications for every purpose.     

Better Data Security 

In terms of security, off-the-shelf software is weak in comparison to custom software. Data leaks can happen anytime, it’s a serious problem with off-the-shelf software.  

Organizations can benefit from using custom software as it will provide them with complete control over their data and security. Custom software developers integrate enhanced security with encryption protocols that are hard to break. 

For example, most of the time, there are cases of data leaks with business social networks, which compromise confidentiality. With a custom social network, an enterprise can ensure that employees communicate swiftly without the fear of data leaks.    

Custom-Built functionality 

By custom-built functionality, we mean to say that custom software solutions are equipped with only those functionalities that a company needs. It cuts down the extras that off-the-shelf products offer, which generally confuses the users.  

For example, a time-tracking application may also have the functionality to add calendars and tasks for the team. Suppose a company only wants a simple time-tracking application to understand the hourly contribution of each developer? Then what? This is when the company needs a custom software solution.   

Quality Support & Application Maintenance 

And lastly, comes the most important thing for which custom software is well-known, and that is for providing quality support and application maintenance. Ready-made software products provide delayed support and don’t improve the application unless they want to.  

With custom software, business owners can ask their custom software development company or provider to upgrade the app version whenever they want. However, this isn’t possible with ready-made software, here the software provider will not upgrade the software just because a business wants a different version of the application.   


Over the years, custom software development has more likely become a necessity than an option for businesses that want to grow. It has become important to suit the customer requirements and manage the specific & unique operations of their business.  

So, it doesn’t matter whether you are running a small business or large business, or a huge enterprise, investing in custom software will prove to be more beneficial for your business. It gives you the confidence to compete with your competitors and take your business to the next level.

Chanakya Kyatham

Chanakya Kyatham

Chanakya Kyatham is a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at ParamInfo Computer Services Pvt Ltd. He is passionate about topics such as SaaS, productivity, Android and iOS, general technology, and business.

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