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The Hidden Costs of Custom-Built Software

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

Some growing companies look to custom-built software because they think that their needs are different than most other companies. And custom-built software can be a great way to meet a specific company’s needs. The challenge is that most companies dramatically underestimate the total cost of custom software.

Estimating the cost of building custom software is fairly straightforward (although costs can rise dramatically with any changes). The post-build costs are the ones that are frequently overlooked. Here are the two big ones:

1) Downtime

Because testing increases the cost of development, custom software is typically not tested as thoroughly as off-the-shelf software. And while the software may work fine when launched, operating system updates and adding new machines and equipment to the network can lead to more frequent downtime. What would 1-3 business days of downtime cost your business?

2) Maintenance and Support

With off-the-shelf software, we expect updates and patches that keep the software up to date and eliminate bugs that are found. After the initial “warranty” period, any bugs found in custom software requires paid development time to fix. When you want to add or replace hardware, you frequently need to update the software. That is why, over time, the maintenance and support of custom software can often add up to more than the original cost of developing it.

We recommend companies use off-the-shelf solutions, if it can be made to work for your needs. If there are no off-the-shelf solutions that can work for you, be sure to include all of the costs of the software when considering the costs and benefits.

Improving Business Results with Technology

Whether you use off-the-shelf software or develop custom software, most businesses can benefit from having someone assesses how they can use technology to improve business results. Skyriver IT helps businesses leverage technology to improve existing processes and accelerate business growth. We help you collect the right data, leverage the right applications, and put the right technology in place to move your business forward.

If this would be of interest to you, then please contact us. We look forward to helping you take your business to the next level.

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