What is custom software development?
Custom software development is referred to any bespoke software or web application. The term originated from old English and the tailoring trade. Similar to the term tailor-made suit.
Custom software development essentially builds and maintains software for a specific set of users, functions, or organizations. Unlike commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), custom software development aims at narrowly defined requirements. While COTS targets a broad set of requirements, allowing it to be packaged and commercially marketed, and distributed.
Custom software is designed and developed for a specific set of needs. These could be for a company into equipment leasing program for a builder or manufacturer or an online banking app designed for specific requirements of the banking staff or clients.
Custom software development is usually performed by in-house tech teams or outsourced to a third-party vendor. The same processes and methodologies apply to custom software development as other types of software development. A custom software development project would move through the familiar steps of requirements gathering, code construction, testing, and deployment. And apply the same methodologies, like Agile, DevOps, or Rapid Application Development.
Efforts associated with custom software development include application customization, application modernization, and application management. Application customization refers to modifying COTS applications to support individual requirements. Application modernization plays a critical role in maintaining the viability of a business’s custom software to meet evolving user and market demands. Application management makes software effective by supporting tasks like installation, updating, performance and availability optimization, and service desk functions.
Our custom software development in Chicago and help you achieve this and much more.
Need for a custom software solution for any business
As the business grows, the business processes become more complicated. Manual and non-technical methods increase the errors. These technical and human errors can be easily eliminated through custom software development. Custom software brings about automation in repetitive and complicated places, making it error-free and more efficient. The business becomes more scalable and profitable by automating specific business processes.
Having bespoke software means no extra spending on features and functionality you don’t need in any off-the-shelf software. This increases efficiency by focusing on specific features and functionality akin to business needs rather than being confused. In addition, with reduced errors, time, and resources, the ROI of a business grows in direct proportions.
Efficiency and Accuracy
Custom software helps to increase productivity by making the processes swift because it is custom-made according to the needs of your business. You won’t have to spend time or changes your processes to adapt to this standardized software.
Custom software gives you access to the data that would otherwise not get captured. This data could be analyzed for future predictions and prepare the business. And further help in increasing sales performance, employee productivity, profitability, and fostering better relationships within the team.
Top 3 ways of bringing innovation into a custom software solution
An organization’s stakeholders often have big ideas of what their custom software should be and what problem it should solve. Our Chicago custom software development team listens carefully to this vision. The brief is coherent with company values and business requirements.
The most critical stakeholder in any custom software design is always the end-user. The managers, innovation directors, and technicians may benefit from the solution. Still, the users are the ones who use the software. If they are not happy, no one is happy.
We subscribe to a customer-centric design approach in our custom software development projects. We design with the customer experience (CX) as our guiding principle. So, who is the customer of any custom software? If the software solution or web app is consumer-facing, the customers are just that—your customers. But your customers could also be support staff if the project is a back-end software solution.
Maybe the point of the software is to make operations easier for support staff at the very bottom of the chain of command. In some ways, they need to be in the driver’s seat for the development project. For this reason, our Chicago software development team goes through the discovery project where our team of experts sit with all the stakeholders to understand the requirement and then present a wireframe.
Our Chicago software development team helps stakeholders and higher management in the organization adopt a customer-centric approach. With the understanding that this is the best chance of success for any custom software development project. We help them:
- Think from the perspective of the customer or the end-user
- Solicit customer feedback at each iteration of the solution to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Interview customers to identify their needs and preferences, things that might not have occurred to upper stakeholders.
Upper management and stakeholders can sometimes find that they have unintentionally migrated away from their customers’ perspectives. We help them relocate that perspective and produce a solution that the customer will use and find helpful and increase productivity.
One of the advantages of custom software development is a concrete deliverable as per the discussion with the client. Our Chicago custom software development team will continue to be on board until we have deployed and handed it to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders. But the software development process is not linear like the development process of many physical products. You can do all the planning, prototyping, and blueprinting, but any software requires constant optimization as the needs of the business evolve due to internal and external factors. Sometimes it is hard to determine upfront what the software should do without it being in the hands of the actual user. Therefore, there is a need for enhancement at every stage.
In many ways, you don’t know what you have until it gets into the hands of the intended customer or user. You can game out the best user journey in the world, but a whole different user journey may unfurl in the real world. That’s why the custom software development process must be continuous optimization. We test it in the hands of mock users, then actual users, at every iteration.
Our chosen development methodology is built around ongoing optimization. It’s called agile methodology, and it is widely accepted as a framework for custom software and web app development.
Agile is a methodology of rapid deployment and iteration over short, rapid development cycles known as sprints. Here’s what you need to know about the methodology
- Development teams work in parallel, coding separately and then reconciling the code so as not to be slowed down by a linear development process.
- Code is deployed rapidly, in an iterative process, each version building on the last version.
- Users test each iteration to get rapid-response, actionable feedback for the next iteration.
When we deliver your custom software solution, you can rest assured that it is active after clearing several testing, optimization, and improvement stages. And the optimization continues even after delivery. We support you through further iterations and improvements, even after deploying the software.
A software solution is only as good as its results and the problems it solves. Our role, first and foremost, is to solve a particular problem. Our Chicago custom software development team makes a detailed inventory of the project’s desired outcomes. Then we reverse-engineer a software solution that accomplishes those outcomes. It might or might not be in sync with the stakeholders’ vision. Either way, we’re here to act as a sounding board, neutral third party, and brainstorming partner to pursue a solution. Our Chicago custom software development team brings order to the chaos, acting as a bridge between imagined results and actual results.
The results of any software solution and web app can be measured by:
- Increased number of users
- Customer Satisfaction
- Increased efficiency and time saved
- Streamlined processes
- Reduced cost and better ROI
We begin the process of cataloging results in the initial kickoff meeting. We interview stakeholders to discover their expectations and visions for the software solution in that meeting. We also talk with the end-users, like customers or support staff, to understand their needs and pain points.
The solution lies at the intersection of these convergent sets of needs. Our job is to find it and make it a reality through code and digital artistry. While less visible than the concrete results of the software solution or web app, another significant impact is what doesn’t happen within the technology ecosystem—cybercrime. Cybersecurity is a threat to everyone, from major enterprises and governments to private businesses. Web apps and networked software can be a pathway for data theft if the code is faulty or not encrypted.
Liventus takes this responsibility very seriously. Our Chicago custom software development team is certified SOC 2 Type 2 certified and PCI compliant, updated on the most current cybercrime threats and the best coding practices to guard against them. We pride ourselves on meeting the highest software and web app cybersecurity standards. Our job is not done until we deliver a beautiful, elegant custom software solution or web app that achieves all the agreed-upon results in the conceptualization stage.
About the author
Danielle Dolloff – EVP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Danielle runs sales and marketing for Liventus. She is passionate about tackling new challenges and unlocking business opportunities.