Off-the-shelf software – is it the right choice for your new business venture?

By Hassan Khalid

Off-the-shelf software – is it the right choice for your new business venture?

Your company’s software forms a critical part of your developing business. Failure to provide adequate tech solutions and a strong operational foundation early on can be difficult to rectify later down the line. Putting serious time and effort into your software development and roadmap at the start of your new business can save you large amounts of money and problems in the future.

It is essential to choose the right software to make sure you meet your business and client needs. These days, ready-made solutions are easily available. Let’s explore the pros and cons of off-the-shelf software and whether it’s the right decision for your new business venture.

The advantages of off-the-shelf software

For new businesses without significant income flow, cost is something that has to be considered when deciding your software solution. Off-the-shelf is undoubtedly cheaper than custom-made solutions. It also gives you a much clearer idea of actual and future costs in the entire life cycle of the project. Budgeting is therefore much simpler than custom in-house software development – a laborious process, filled with unknown barriers and problems that can easily rack up costs.

For brand new ventures that want to hit the ground running, off-the-shelf solutions are often available to implement straight away, allowing your team or department to use the system within days. For off-the-shelf, there will be readily available guides, best practice advice, and tutorials to support you from the beginning. You’ll be sure to have an up-to-date system as regular upgrades should be the norm.  

Custom in-house development, on the other hand, requires you to step into largely unknown territory with little support for when things go wrong.

The potential problems of off-the-shelf software

As your company grows and scales, cracks may begin to appear in your off-the-shelf software solutions. Their limited features and functionality have not been precisely designed for the needs of your business. As you start to add other systems into your software mix, integration can be problematic. Productivity can start to falter as you run into serious barriers and money trickles down the drain.

These issues with off-the-shelf highlight just how important it is to analyse, plan, and reflect future growth and scalability possibilities before you implement a software infrastructure. If this is unknown at the early stages of your business venture, designing and developing custom solutions that are flexible, integrative, and easily modified to suit new features or scaled efforts can really pay off in the long run.

Considering everything off-the-shelf has to offer your new business venture, there are critical features that need to be weighed up. How flexible does your software need to be? Can it scale? Are there potential barriers that will cause productivity problems in the future?

These questions are not always simple. Seeking professional guidance can help your new business venture get its software infrastructure in place to minimise any future problems.

If you are considering a custom-built solution, contact Createk to see if we are the right fit for you. We offer a free-of-charge consultation. So why not get in touch to see how Createk can help you with your application development?

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