What is Custom Application Development?
Custom app development is the process of creating a bespoke software product for a well defined group of people. In other words, all the steps (design, coding, deployment, maintenance) are directed towards a final software application that fulfills particular requirements.
The end users could be members of your own organization, or consumers that share a set of characteristics. Whatever the exact case may be, custom software is the polar opposite of commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS).
The Benefits of Custom App Development
So, why should you go for a custom app? Well, think of it like this. The only other alternative you have is COTS, and those are built with broad requirements in mind, for a very large crowd. To simplify it a bit, associate COTS with Microsoft Word or Excel.
Have you really ever used all the features of Word or Excel? Probably not, but many people still pay for them. They have to be pretty all-encompassing and ready for a variety of scenarios, because we all use them to fit our individual goals. However, they’re not built just for that specific goal.
That’s where the main benefit of custom software development comes in. You get a product that’s made specifically for what you require. This means a cleaner UI, which translates into ease of use, so better UX. Additionally, you’re not paying for any feature which you don’t need.
Let’s say you’re a delivery service, but only for potted plants and flowers. You wouldn’t want to have a run-of-the-mill SaaS for your customers to place orders, because it wouldn’t be intuitive. It wouldn’t be designed, structured and directed to people interested in your niche.
So, you pick a custom built option, specifically oriented towards flower – event matches maybe, or potted plant species. Sure, it’s more expensive, but “you get what you pay for”, as they say. With a bespoke solution, your idea is deployed to market exactly as you envision it.
Here are 8 advantages of custom app development:
- Custom development creates the product around your business. You don’t need to change any of your processes or how you work; the app fits your company, not the other way around.
- There’s no need to upgrade your infrastructure if you don’t want to. A custom app can suit your business’s current scale, or it can be tailored to planned growth.
- You can make use of augmented staff or managed services for your app development, bypassing the need to build your own team.
- Custom app development guarantees enhanced security, with no public documentation on the inner workings available.
- The process is the same as building a COTS, so no extra training is needed: requirements → coding → QA → deployment. No need for hard to find experts either, as the methodologies are also the same (think Agile and DevOps).
- The end product belongs only to you. You have the intellectual property rights, and no one else can use your software or branding without explicit consent.
- Custom applications are also amazing for in-house use. No need to have a complex IT ecosystem where you have to interlink a lot of software for your business functions. Just get a customized app that does exactly what you need. This will also reduce your employee onboarding time and improve work efficiency.
- If scalability and profit margin increases are a priority for you, then custom app development is a must. It’s a long term investment which will net you serious ROI, thanks to its personalized approach to your internal systems and infrastructure.
Does all of this sound great? We think so too! If you want to get right into the specifics of your new custom-made mobile application, let’s talk about it. We’ve been helping brands reach new heights since 2008, and are eager to earn your trust as well.
The Pros and Cons of Custom App Development
Custom application development is great for a number of reasons, but there are some potential drawbacks too. Depending on your company size, budget, time constraints or other factors, an app that’s tailored made for you might be the best option for you, or not.
Let’s explore some details.
If your goal is making each of your clients feel attended to, then you should look into getting a custom mobile app ASAP. Thanks to the endless analytics integration opportunities, you can track the journey and activity of each customer, and cater to their specific needs.
You can then send them personalized offers, give them options to adjust their user experience to their preferences, and more. Customer care has never been easier.
With the hyper-digitalization of today, there’s no more avoiding safeguarding your consumer’s data. Investment in such prevention is mandatory by law too, but don’t look at it as a downside. After all, it’s important for you to protect your consumer’s privacy so that they’ll perceive your business as trustworthy.
By using a custom app, you assure high end encryption that is also OS and API friendly.
Unique selling proposition
If you want to make it on the free market, you have to stand out. Looking at your competition is the obvious great first step, but you won’t succeed by just copying what they’re doing. You need to show your user base that your approach to the niche is both different, AND better.
A COTS won’t give you the tools to achieve this, but custom software will. Think of loyalty programs, special functions, extra features than what your competitors offer (and more down the line through updates). When you invest into making an app your own, it’s that much easier to innovate and improve it consistently.
A solution made just for your business puts the reins in your hands. You’re free to steer in which direction you see fit, and achieve the goals that you have in mind. The sky is in fact the limit, as questions will very rarely be “can this be done?”. Instead, it will be “how long will this take?”.
With an off-the-shelf option, what you see is what you get. As long as you own your own IP though, you can do constant application customization, modernization and management.
Do you have additional individual requirements? All right, they can be patched in. Have a few months or years gone by and now the app is not 100% suited to the evolving market demands? Your in-house team (or an outsourced one) can just update the features.
Even if considerable updates aren’t needed, you’ll still be able to continuously optimize the performance and UX of the product.
This is one of the biggest pluses. The amount of integrations you can work into your own product are only limited by what you want there to be. Does your app need Google Maps? Maybe you want to connect it directly to Facebook Messenger? Can do!
If it’s an app for internal use, you can also connect it to Google Calendar, Jira boards, email providers, etc. You just have to tell the team you’re working with what your objectives are, and they’ll be able to provide a solution.
Quality takes time, there’s no way around it. You can buy a COTS or a COTS subscription even today if you wanted to, and you’d have it working from the get-go. However, an app that’s built exactly for what you need will take months or even years. It depends on the scope of the project.
Moreover, development can be affected by strategy or design changes down the line. Towards the finalization of the product, it could also be delayed further by bugs found by the QA team or other reasons.
However, in the end, you get an optimized product for which you also get customer support yourself if needed. If you ask us, that will always beat a predefined software which you can’t modify at all.
A custom app needs better financing, it’s the nature of it. There’s no default sum either, so you’ll have to spend some time discussing it with your vendor of choice. You should also keep in mind to do your research about the company that you’re choosing. Look at their portfolio and see if they’ve had success in the past.
Spending extra time choosing who you want to work with will save you from realizing you’ve only wasted valuable financial resources.
We’re Ready to Build Your Mobile App
Mobile apps are the future, we all know this by now. Do you want to pave the way for your business’s success?
At Five Pack, we’ve been building custom mobile apps for over 10 years.
And don’t even worry about the industry; we’ve done custom app development for healthcare, transportation, social, business, gaming, ecommerce, you name it.
If you’d rather augment your own team with additional talent, we’re also eager to hear from you! We have all the custom app development experts you’d need for building your app.
Just get in touch today, and we’ll do the rest.