Software development

Sometimes the Right Tech Solution is Building Your Own

January 17, 2023

There are a lot of great technology solutions on the market, but sometimes the problem requires a tailor-made solution. A custom application is a software product built for, and for the exclusive use of, a single business. But how do you know if custom application development is the right solution?

You Have a Specific Business Need

  • Your needs don’t align with commercially available offerings. The features, workflow, the user experience (external client and internal employee), data management, and other capabilities simply do not match well to your needs.
  • Your processes are well-honed, and you simply need the ability to automate both customer and employee activities. Using a custom application allows you to control its growth with the business. You aren’t reliant on a commercial software provider to get you the features you need to succeed – you control the roadmap.

You Want to Lower Ongoing Costs

  • Software licensing can be expensive. Depending on the number of licenses you need, you may be signing up for a long-term expense that is critical to your business but does not add any value to it.
  • When licensing commercially available software you pay for features you may not need or use. However, you must pay for them, as well as paying for the customizations for the capabilities you do need.
  • By owning your own custom application, you control how the expenses are accrued.  You invest where it is important for your business model.

You Want a Competitive Advantage

  • When you have a unique business, you can leverage custom software to deliver value effectively and efficiently. Automation, analytics, customer experience — these are all items that you control, and they can help you further build on that advantage.
  • By investing in a custom application, you also own the intellectual property. It becomes a valuable asset for the business.

Why Not?

While developing a custom application can be a great option for some companies, for others it may not be the best fit:

  • Custom application development requires a long-term commitment and staff availability to commit to the project.
  • Cost savings are realized over time, often with greater up-front costs.
  • There are a lot of options available and sometimes the problem a company is facing is best served by an existing solution on the market.

Finding or creating the right technology solutions can be challenging, time-intensive, and costly if the wrong solution or poor implementation occurs. There are numerous examples of poor implementations using either commercially available software or custom developed software. 

Therefore, it is critical you evaluate your needs based on a clear understanding of the business requirements. You should use a structured requirements analysis process to truly understand what the software solution must provide to the business. Once you have the requirements clearly identified and documented, you can work on the selection of commercially available or custom software.

The team at MarksNelson can take a wholistic view of the challenges your business faces and provide recommendations for the right solution: whether that’s custom application development or software selection. Reach out to us today to learn more.


For more than 25 years Scott Woodward has served as a technology consultant to businesses of all sizes. He successfully helps organizations identify and implement solutions to support operational efficiencies and scale for growth, as well as map and improve customer experience. He leads teams... >>> READ MORE

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