Technology July 15, 2020 Last updated July 15th, 2020 2,597 Reads share

Custom Software Development vs. Turnkey Software Solutions

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Are you sure you’re ready for Digital Transformation? Enterprises across various fields and industries have chosen it as the best direction to move to survive in the new normal. Companies are developing enterprise software systems that allow them to speed up, automate, and simplify their daily operations and processes. It helps them increase overall business performance and lead the competition by delivering better results in much shorter time slots.

At this step, your company might face the dilemma of choosing to build customized software or buying a ready-made turnkey solution. To pick an option that fits your business best, you must clearly understand your business needs and how a software product must address them. To help you make a well-informed decision, we have created this short guide to give you a better understanding of what custom software and a turnkey solution are, their pros and cons, and how your business can benefit from them.

What Is a Turnkey Software Solution?

The turnkey software is an off-the-shelf solution that can be easily used and immediately incorporated into business processes. The turnkey software solution commonly has rich functionality that can give your business the necessary boost and includes some features you don’t need and likely, will never use in the future. On the other hand, it may miss some specific features your business needs.

It can help your company reduce the project time, make your workflows much more efficient, and increase the overall team’s productivity. The turnkey solution is a perfect choice for companies with a limited budget since it is much less expensive and easier to implement. It’s also recommended in case you don’t have a development team or enough time to build comprehensive custom software.

For instance, a ready-made turnkey software is often an optimal option for hospitals that usually don’t have time and resources to build a custom platform with everything needed to provide full patient engagement. This solution will not have specific, customized features that a hospital would like to have, but it has the functionality fully satisfying all the basic needs of medical institutions. 

Advantages of a Ready-Made Turnkey Software

Even though turnkey solutions may miss some custom features, they also have many advantages, namely:

Lower up-front cost. It is a much cheaper option and a great alternative to expensive custom software. Plus, you don’t need much effort or additional costs to set it up since it’s very user-friendly.  

Easy implementation. A turnkey solution is much faster and easier to implement. Instead of building a custom solution from scratch, you only need to choose the vendor to incorporate a ready-made software into your enterprise architecture. It takes much less time than full-cycle custom software development.

Rich functionality. Turnkey software usually has a lot of helpful features that cover basic enterprise needs.

Limitations of a Turnkey Software Solution

It may not cover all business needs. Due to its limited functionality, a turnkey software solution may not be compatible with all appliances and lack some specific features that your business may need.

It lacks scalability. It isn’t easy to scale this kind of software and make it evolve together with your business and industry. You can add some custom features, but it will require additional costs. In some cases, it’s impossible to customize a turnkey software at all.

It requires adjustments on your side. You may need to alter your business processes to make them match the limited turnkey software’s functionality.

What Is Custom Software?

Custom software is a product built according to the requirements, preferences, and expectations of only one client. If you have clear goals and pre-defined functionality you’d like to see in your future enterprise software, then it’s time to think of a proof of concept in custom software development. It involves testing a particular assumption to obtain confirmation that the idea is feasible, viable, and applicable in practice.

Custom software development is a time-consuming development process that involves a lot of stages, such as planning, designing, development, testing, deployment, and a significant number of additional iterations and continuous improvements. According to GoodFirms, each custom software development project takes from one to nine months, depending on different factors, like type, requirement, and technology used for the project. 

It also demands more human resources and the involvement of different industry experts. All these factors lead to higher development costs and more time for the implementation of everything mentioned above. 

A customized software product requires more costs, resources, and efforts, however, it’s created and adjusted to your demands. This kind of software fully satisfies all needs of a particular business and includes custom functionality with a range of sophisticated features that perfectly match business processes.

According to Forbes, custom software can give you a wide range of benefits. It’s especially worth investing in case if a company is confident about the fact that a customized option will give a brand a competitive advantage in the market and that a company is going to scale fast and can spread the cost of a proprietary system over a growing number of clients.

Benefits of Custom Software

Increased efficiency. It’s probably one of the most significant advantages of custom software. You may wonder why it brings more efficiency than a turnkey solution? The thing is in high customization of a product to business objectives, requirements, and pretty a lot of almost invisible details that make this software the best fit for a particular enterprise.

Flexibility. Every successful business is continuously developing. Consequently, its needs and problems are changing too. Custom software is very flexible in terms of system adjustment to the fast-changing company’s requirements and demands. You can extend the functionality by adding the needed feature at any moment you need it.

Security. In today’s digital world, cybersecurity has paramount importance. Investing in the creation of custom software, you can also set enhanced protection from online fraud and cyberattacks. Your custom software is unique, so it’s much more difficult to hack it than any average program.

Disadvantages of Custom Software

Higher costs and higher risks. Custom software development requires more up-front fees since it implies a complicated and time-consuming process that takes a lot of human resources and efforts. However, you should also be ready for additional risks, such as a human factor, missed bugs, inadequate testing, inconvenient design, etc. To invest money with fewer risks, you should look for an experienced and reputable software developer that can deliver a product that satisfies your business objectives and is easy to use.

Requires developer sources. It feels like the continuation of a previous point. Custom software development requires hiring a highly professional team that can address your needs and requirements by creating a great software product. It might be quite challenging to hire the right developer, however, plenty of authoritative B2B ranking resources, business directories, and business networking platforms with the software product development portfolios and customer testimonials can help you make the right choice.

The development of additional custom features is billed. Besides the fact that you pay for the initial software product creation, you may also be requested to pay additional fees to develop more customized functions and further maintenance. New features may need a particular skill set and technical expertise that implies hiring more experts and leads to higher costs.

Closing Thoughts

Whether to choose a customized software product or buy a turnkey solution is solely your decision that may depend on many factors, including the digital maturity of an enterprise, its business goals, requirements, scaling plans, competition, the number of clients, and specifics of internal processes. There are many pros and cons to each of these options, and you must be aware of them to choose what suits your company best. 

In this article, we have provided a brief guide on both of them, custom software development and turnkey software development. Hopefully, these insights will help you navigate the software development process and market more confidently and make the decision that will help your business perform better, faster, and much more successfully.

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Dana Kachan

Dana Kachan

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