An app is a term used to define software residing on wireless gadgets such as tablets and smartphones. Mobile apps or applications accomplish specific tasks for users. A banking app, for example, enables users to perform banking transactions without the user having to go to the bank physically. A food delivery app brings desired food items to the consumer’s doorstep.
For enterprises, a mobile app delivers on their fundamental priorities – increasing sales, improving process efficiency, and building a strong customer base.
A common challenge that businesses face with mobile apps is choosing between customized business apps and off-the-shelf apps.
An understanding of custom software vs off-the-shelf products enables you to choose a solution that works best. A well-chosen app delivers the best competitive edge for your business.
This article aims to help you take a well-informed decision when it comes to analyzing custom software vs off the shelf.
Custom Enterprise Apps vs Off the Shelf – Key differences
Differences between custom enterprise applications and off-the-shelf apps begin in their basic design itself. The range of flexibility, cost, and usage are all different.
When it comes to addressing unique business needs, custom apps take the lead. An experienced enterprise app development company can equip your business with custom apps that meet your business’s every need.
Custom vs General design
A custom enterprise application is an app designed to fulfil the specific needs of a business. With an expert enterprise app developer in Singapore, you can discover a perfect solution in a custom app.
As the features are designed to be ready-made for specific challenges, addressing the challenges and obtaining results, are rapid. Designed to address specific business needs, the features of a custom app too, are unique.
An off-the-shelf app, in contrast, is a general package that needs to be customized to your business needs. This need for customization reduces the speed with which the solution can be made ready for use.
Greater vs Limited Flexibility
Custom enterprise apps are built to suit your existing needs as well as future requirements. You can add new features or delete outdated features to make your apps align with your business as it scales. Modifying the app is easy. A custom app adapts as your business grows. It stays with you throughout your journey.
An off-the-shelf product is not as adaptable to modifications as custom software. Most off-the-shelf apps offer a standard package that needs to be modified to meet your existing needs. Upgrades and modifications are controlled by third-party service providers. As a result, changes are hard to materialize.
An off-the-shelf product may be cheaper compared to custom enterprise apps. But in the long run, an off-the-shelf installation would cost you more because of the customization needed.
Unique vs General competitive edge
As a unique product, a custom app gives you a competitive advantage that your competitors cannot own. As this app is solely built for your business requirements, the results it generates cannot be replicated by your competitors.
As a general product, an off-the-shelf app is well within the reach of your competitors. This disadvantage offers your competitors great leverage when it comes to innovations designed by your teams.
Off-the-Shelf apps: Meaning and examples
An off-the-shelf application is a pre-packaged product with all the basic essentials for a business. It comes with widely-used features as well as add-ons.
The goal of off-the-shelf apps is to accommodate general features that enhance value-addition to a business. They do not come with any innovative inclusions. As these apps are general-purpose, they may not always improve the efficiency of a process as intended.
Businesses with mostly standardized needs can benefit from off-the-shelf apps. Startups and businesses newly adopting apps for operational purposes can also benefit from these apps.
Off-the-shelf apps are simple, cheaper, and easy to deploy. Companies that need a straightforward solution without intense customization tend to prefer off-the-shelf apps.
Companies facing any of the following challenges can discover a perfect solution in off-the-shelf apps:
- Need for a solution with a proven track record of success
- Reliable product with pre-defined features
- A product that is cheaper and easy to install. One that’s ready for use with only a negligible business downtime
- A product that offers an instant solution to prevalent issues
Examples of off-the-shelf apps for enterprises
Solutions offering generalized features for specific purposes that can be used by a wide range of enterprises constitute off-the-shelf apps. Some examples in this category include:
- Solutions enabling tasks such as file sharing and emailing. Microsoft and Gmail are some examples
- Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP solutions
- Accounting software products
- Customer Relationship Management or CRM software
- Media-playing apps
- Antivirus software
Custom enterprise mobile apps – Key features
What is custom application development?
Custom Application Development is the process of building a software product that exactly satisfies a business’s needs. The demand for customized business apps is often more. This is because of their ability to cater to the specific and unique requirements of a business.
Off-the-shelf apps cater to the general and often the basic needs of a business. They do not come with features that deliver unique functionalities. Though off-the-shelf apps deliver customizability, the extent of customization is far less compared to that of custom apps.
How does custom application development work in Singapore?
Businesses requiring a product with deep customization may create an internal team with the required expertise and develop the product. Alternately, many businesses discover that hiring the expertise of a custom application development company in Singapore is the best solution.
With an experienced enterprise app developer in Singapore, businesses experience a superlative product, substantial cost savings, and on-time product delivery.
Assembling a team of developers, especially in a market with a talent shortage, can be a cost- and time-intensive process with substandard results. Partnering with an enterprise app development company, on the contrary, accelerates the chances of success.
Key features of custom enterprise apps
- A personalized product that delivers on all business expectations
- Complete ownership of the app, including the intellectual investment
- An accurate system, platform, and device compatibility offers great flexibility
- Excellent scalability to address evolving business needs
- Enhanced product longevity, given its ability to scale
Pros and cons of custom enterprise apps development
While custom apps offer great customization, performance, and flexibility, they are not without drawbacks. Some insights into the pros and cons of custom apps:
- Get a product completely tailored to your business needs. Experience ultimate flexibility in features and delivery of functionalities
- The bespoke nature of custom apps enables you to mold the product extensively to your needs
- Offers a completely personalized experience for end users
- Effortless integration and comprehensive compatibility, which enhances scalability and minimizes downtime
- Best scalability to support your business as it grows
- Delivers a great competitive advantage for businesses as it is perfectly in tune with the business vision, mission, goals, and requirements
- As an entirely bespoke solution, custom apps are expensive to design and build
- The intensive tailoring process demands from-the-scratch development, which extends time-to-deploy
- A custom app is only as powerful as its development team. Choosing a professional enterprise app development company is crucial for success.
Off-the-shelf Solutions vs Custom Apps
Choosing the best enterprise mobile app solution
Choosing between custom apps and off-the-shelf apps depends on the nature of your business and your goals. If your priorities are quicker deployment, lower costs, and limited functionality, then an off-the-shelf solution is best.
If you are seeking long-term benefits or a solution that delivers down the line, then custom apps are perfect. Though custom apps cost more upfront and take time to implement, they offer the best experience for users.
With a well-developed custom app, you can deliver outstanding functionalities and experiences to your customers. Partner with an enterprise app development Singapore company that can convert your vision into reality.