Building vs Buying Software For Your Business

One of the most difficult decisions a business owner must make is whether to develop their own software or purchase it. We're here to help guide you in that choice.

Building vs Buying Software For Your Business
Z. Reese Downing
Z. Reese Downing
Director of Marketing

One of the most difficult decisions a business owner must make is whether to develop their own software or purchase it. While purchasing software has some advantages, primarily in terms of cost, most firms are better off hiring a custom software development firm to ensure that all of their requirements are met. Of course, each company faces unique circumstances and obstacles, but when you examine the big picture and the long term, custom business software is a fantastic choice for gaining a competitive operational edge and maintaining control over your software licensing and intellectual property.

On a daily basis, business owners must make numerous difficult decisions. The many complex challenges business owners must evaluate and decide on may include who to hire, how to further improve a product or service offering, when to scale, and where to invest more money into the organization. Another critical decision that some business owners must make is whether to purchase a needed software or employ a software development company to design the application in need.

While purchasing software has some advantages (most notably in terms of upfront cost), many businesses are significantly better off in the long run by working with a software development company to build the required application and guarantee that all requirements are met. While such a large investment can be difficult to undertake, there are numerous benefits to investing in software development.


More Functionality and Customization

When you are searching for a software to purchase, you aren’t able to customize what that software offers. You may have a specific problem that the software provides a solution for, but you’re likely to pay for many other features that you don’t need and will only further convolute your operations. In addition to that, you may end up needing to purchase multiple different software applications in order to truly solve the problem you’re trying to address. With a custom software developed by a software developer, however, you can ensure that the application has the exact functionality you need, nothing that you don’t, and it will be all in one software customized for your personal needs.

Competitive Edge

When you invest in custom software development, you're making use of today's most efficient, integrated, and scalable technology, which will surely help your company excel in its field and outperform your competitors. A customized software solution can set your company apart from the competition.

More Control

You receive the unique advantage of having complete control over every aspect of the product and its use as the single owner of the software you developed. System enhancements and security measures are only a few of the features over which you have complete control when you have your own customized software.

Ability To Scale

When you purchase software, you get what you pay for. There are a predetermined number of functions and features, and you’re fully reliant on the company that released the software to provide updates and improvements throughout the life cycle of the application. When you build a custom software, however, you have full control over scale in perpetuity. Having the ability to rollout the main functionality your business needs and being able to develop, improve, and expand the software over time is a huge benefit.

Reliable Integration

There are countless applications and tools businesses use, and it’s impossible for a company selling software to the masses to ensure their program will integrate seamlessly with every single business and all of the other programs and tools they use. With custom software solutions, however, your software development company will work with you every step of the way to ensure your new investment is fully integrated and smoothly operational with all of the other tools your company uses.

Less Long-Term Cost

One of the biggest reasons why business owners choose to purchase software over developing a custom solution is upfront cost. While it’s certainly true that purchasing a program off the shelf has a most cost effective price tag up front, the long term implications are different. A vast majority of retail software companies require some sort of a monthly or annual subscription to keep their software up-to-date and functional, and many of those software companies have fees per user. That can add up quickly. With a custom software solution that your business owns outright, the only costs you have to consider after the software is developed is ongoing maintenance and any functions or features that you add in the future. That overall cost is likely to be less than if you were to purchase an existing software, especially the longer you use it.

Investing In A Permanent Asset

We’ve already discussed the monthly and/or annual costs behind utilizing a software and the subscription behind it. Besides the cost, the other issue is that there is no end to those payments and you never truly own that software. If you stop paying, use either lose access to the software, or eventually you stop receiving updates and eventually the software becomes outdated and no longer works for your business needs. Looking at the long-term investment and not having anything tangible at the end of your payments can be gut wrenching. A custom designed application, however, is an investment in a tangible asset that, once developed, is yours to keep and use forever. Total ownership also allows you to sell and distribute the program to other companies in your field, thus creating a new revenue stream.

As you can see, there are several fantastic benefits to investing in a custom built-for-you software versus purchasing something off the shelf.

Is your company ready to take the next step and invest in its technological future? Reach out to CODE/+/TRUST to learn how we can help make your customized software dreams a reality.

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