Custom Software vs. Off-the-shelf Software

Disadvantages of Off-the-shelf Software

Benefits of Custom Software

  • You have very little influence over the development of the software and normally cannot have changes you need made to the software.
  • Packaged software is very generic, so it is very likely you will need to change your practices to meet the requirements of the software.
  • There may be some ways in which your organization operates that is completely incompatible with the packaged software.
  • The same system is available to your competition and gaining any lasting advantage from it is unlikely.
  • The software is designed to meet your requirements and function to match the way you wish to operate.
  • As custom software is built to your specification it can do whatever you want it to. It could help solve an existing problem or introduce a brand new product or a service.
  • Custom software can be easily integrated into your existing systems in use today and into future systems.
  • It can be changed as your business changes or altered to further improve its performance.
  • Custom software is inherently intuitive, as it has been designed for you, and so easier for your staff to use and get the most from.
  • You will enjoy a much higher quality of support for the software as you will be dealing directly with the developers of the software (that's us) who not only have time for you but understand how important the software is to your business.
  • The custom software is unavailable to your competition thus providing you a unique advantage over them.


Of course, there are some disadvantages of custom software too. Since you are the sole entity funding the development of the application so the investment required is much higher. But, a custom software can deliver a major competitive advantage to your business while at the same time adding value to it which off-the-shelf software simply cannot provide. Even the efficiency of run-of-the-mill back-office operations can be dramatically improved upon. However, you have to expect to pay more for it than a packaged solution as the software will likely be important to your organization.