The True Cost of Off-The-Shelf Software

Functional and efficient software is an undeniable necessity for businesses of any size. In fact, there is a pretty large debate about the use of custom vs. off-the-shelf software solutions for business. Custom software tends to be expensive, so many companies opt to purchase off-the-shelf software instead of seeking a developer to build a tailored solution. While selecting off-the-shelf may seem like a financial decision that works for some, there are unforeseen implicit costs associated that must be considered when thinking about your business.

Off-the-shelf software solutions are designed to generalize the needs of businesses in order to help as many as possible. However, each business has its own strengths, weaknesses, and needs that cannot be pigeonholed into one general application. For example, a retailer has very different needs than a bank, therefore needing different features in their software. Moreover, when selecting an off-the-shelf solution, you will likely have to modify your own internal processes in order to comply with the specifications of the platform. Wouldn’t you rather have a software that fits your needs and processes instead?

Adjusting your office processes to conform to the needs of your off-the-shelf software can be both time consuming and extraordinarily inefficient. The extra labor costs to complete this process add-up, and can be staggering. In the long term, this method is more likely to fail. And when that time comes, your company will need to account for the hours that your employees waste to fix the problem instead of focusing on the more important tasks at hand. Furthermore, it will likely take more time on a daily basis to use this software because it is not optimized for your specific business. The lack of optimized software decreases productivity and increases operational costs. Once the internal losses are added, the sticker price still needs to be accounted for. These costs can be represented by a simple math equation:

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Once all of these costs are combined, it may be wise to integrate off-the-shelf software with a custom software solution. This will decrease some of the implicit costs associated with off-the-shelf software because it will include code that will specify functionality to complement the needs of your business.

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Troy Web Consulting has extensive experience in integrating and modernizing software. Properly integrating custom software with pre-existing off-the-shelf software is a great alternative to using the off-the-shelf software in its original form. This customizes the software on a deeper level in order to cater to the specific needs of your company while leaving some of the familiar features of the original software. The needs of your company are evolving with the constant change in the overall market. Troy Web Consulting offers a unique experience for our clients. We put our clients first and look out for your best interests. We will find a solution that solves the problems that you currently face as well as keep your financial restraints in mind. Our developers are not only experts in software, they are also talented consultants that will ensure the best experience and solution for you and your business. At Troy Web, we all work in the same office in order to create the best software solution for your business. Our office culture creates a dedicated team as opposed to a group of developers. We will be sure to build the kick-ass software you need!