Custom software development is a concept that every programmer probably takes for granted. However, for their customers, who look into the world of programming much less frequently, this is not the case. So what is behind this mysterious term? What is custom software development?
Custom software – what exactly is it?
Custom software is no more and no less than custom software created specifically for the needs of a particular customer. Such software may be characterized by a varied level of complexity, which, of course, depends mainly on the needs of the ordering party. The software of this kind may operate only locally or based on web technologies. They are created not only for computers but also for mobile devices – depending on individual needs. The most important aim of creating this type of software is to provide the client with IT solutions that can be implemented and used in the unique conditions of a given enterprise or organization. Custom software development is therefore the process of creating such software.
In which industries are custom software used?
Custom software, prepared from scratch according to the customer’s needs, is a solution commonly used today in many industries. The ubiquitous technological development and specialization mean that ready-made solutions offered on the market are not always functional enough, and it is usually impossible to adapt them. In some industries, IT modular solutions work well in such situations, but in practice their scope is limited. An example of an industry in which custom software solutions are being used more and more frequently today is commerce, especially web commerce. The IT solutions traditionally used here often prove to be inflexible. Therefore, companies with an innovative approach to business are increasingly opting for custom-designed solutions. Another example can be the medical industry, where ensuring the efficient flow of information between different points of the ever-changing system (employees, various devices), as well as its secure storage, are matters of priority.
What does the process of custom software development look like?
The custom software development process consists of four main stages. The first of these is a pre-implementation analysis, the function of which is to identify the client’s needs and prepare an initial, conceptual model of the software. The next stage is the preparation by the development team of working prototypes and models which are to illustrate possible solutions to the problems defined in the previous point. After the customer accepts a particular solution, the fourth stage follows, where it is refined, tested, and implemented. At this stage, it is also necessary to prepare the necessary documentation. The last stage of the custom software development process is post-implementation support. In principle, it can be said that the process in a sense never ends. Since the software is based on original solutions, post-implementation support by the same software house that created the software is practically indispensable.
Software house – how does it differ from an interactive agency?
It is worth explaining what is the difference between a software house and popular interactive agencies. The answer to this question is quite simple and results from the natural development of the IT services market. Interactive agencies are companies with a fairly wide range of services, which operate primarily in the field of marketing. At some point, however, there appeared a demand for IT products with a very high level of sophistication, the work on which requires the involvement of a large team and a long time. As a result, specialized companies emerged out of the agencies, which undertake mainly this kind of task. This shifted the main burden of their tasks from the marketing area to the area of programming.