Custom vs. off-the-shelf software

With our blog post "custom software vs. off-the-shelf software" we would like to answer important questions about custom software, off-the-shelf software and customized off-the-shelf software.

Custom software vs. off-the-shelf softwareAre you planning to purchase new, better or simply more efficient software for your company? Then you are certainly faced with the question: Which kind of software is best suited for my purposes?

1.) Off-the-shelf software, custom software or rather customized off-the-shelf software?

2.) What is the difference between off-the-shelf software and custom software and what exactly does the term "customized off-the-shelf software" mean?

We would like to answer all your questions, inform you about advantages and disadvantages, application possibilities and the chances of different options, so that you become able to make the right decision in the end.

Don't like to read it all? This way to meet your software consultant!


Custom software

What does custom software mean?

Custom software is a software which is developed individually according to your requirements. This software is specially tailored to your needs and business processes. Before use, there is a close exchange between you and the software company. The proximity to the development team and the adaptation to your business processes make custom software much more flexible than off-the-shelf software. An extension, modification or adaptation to other business areas of your company is much easier than with off-the-shelf software. The flexibility and scalability make custom software future-proof. This enables you to react quickly and cost-effectively to all market changes.

This enables you to react quickly and cost-effectively to all market changes.

When using custom software, you are the sole user. Nobody can copy the system without further ado. In a certain way it automatically creates a unique selling point.
The application possibilities of custom software are manifold. The use of custom software makes sense above all if you want to cover important core processes in your company.

Advantages of custom software
+ Creates a competitive advantage
+ Saves time and money through faster and more efficient processes
+ Can be extended to cover other business areas
+ Future-proof & arbitrarily scalable
+ No license costs and low support costs
+ Easy integration
+ Fast support by a personal contact person
+ Facilitates intuitive use

Disadvantages of custom software
- High short-term expenses
- Longer development time

Examples of custom software:
>      Desktop & mobile applications 
>      Client-server applications
>      engineering software
>      Elaborate calculation programs


Customized off-the-shelf software

What does customized off-the-shelf software mean

Customized off-the-shelf software is a special form of custom software. An external software company takes care of the adaptation and optimization of your currently used off-the-shelf software to meet your individual requirements. This process makes particular sense if you want to make minor changes to the system and do not require completely new software. The development time and costs are lower than with a newly developed custom software. It is recommended to have these adaptations made on existing systems by external software companies. External software companies have a broad range of expertise and can offer faster and more cost-effective support than the development team of standard software providers.

Advantages of customized off-the-shelf software
+ Quick to use and cost-effective
+ Customizes the current system without completely redeveloping it (especially useful for smaller customizations)
+ No complex system training required
+ Rapid increase in the effectiveness of your business processes

Disadvantages of customized off-the-shelf software
- No 100%-customization possible
- License fees from the provider of the standard software remain unchanged

Examples of customized off-the-shelf software:

A lot is possible here. We will be happy to advise you in detail and find the optimum solution for your specific use case.

This way to meet your software consultant.


Off-the-shelf software

What does off-the-shelf software mean?

Off-the-shelf software is usually purchased and downloaded directly over the Internet. Accordingly, it is ready for use in the shortest possible time. However, it usually requires intensive training and familiarization time for your employees. The effort and the costs for the application are nevertheless lower than with a custom software development. You should note, however, that for the use of off-the-shelf software, you usually have to pay regular license fees, which can increase over time. Off-the-shelf software is configurable in a limited way and can be adjusted slightly to your processes. However, this configuration is in no way comparable to that of individual software.
The use of a standard software is recommendable, if it concerns processes, which are approximately the same in all enterprises. An example of this would be financial accounting systems or customer relationship management systems (CRM). The way of working with these programs is the same in most companies, which makes them suitable for many users.

Advantages of off-the-shelf software
+ Quick-to-use
+ Cheaper in the short term

Disadvantages of off-the-shelf software
- Regular license fees
- Poor flexibility 
- Business processes must be adapted to the software (long training period)
- High expenses for adaptations
- Slow support
Examples for off-the-shelf software
>      Accounting systems
>      Customer relationship management
>      Communication platforms 

Companies often shy away from the increased prices of software companies and opt for off-the-shelf software. In doing so, they often forget the most important reason for the decision to use custom software: the unique selling point! Custom software offers the chance to stand out from your competitors. Your processes become measurable.
>       Faster
>       more effective
>       less faulty

Do you have further questions?
We at LinoPro regard ourselves to be software experts for the development of custom software and customized off-the-shelf software. Together with you, we develop software that really helps you and your processes and sets you apart from the competition. Your satisfaction and requirements come first.
We will be happy to get in touch with you and advise you personally by telephone or e-mail, of course free of charge!