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Which Kind of Product is Better for Your Company? Off-the-Shelf or Customized?

When it comes to software, you want to have the best systems you can get. After all, the success of your company may depend on it. It may take longer to develop customized IT products though and sometimes time is of greatest importance in business. What is the difference between off-the-shelf software and customized one? Which should you choose for your company?

Off-the-shelf vs. customized IT products – differences

You can compare off-the-shelf software to a ready-to-use product in a shop – all you have to do is to pay and you can use it right away. Such tools are developed for a wide audience. The goal of creating them is to sell them to as many business users as possible. Off-the-shelf software is based on best business practices in a given field, so it could be useful for many companies. But a system addressed to many different users can never fulfill the specific requirements of every one of them. 

The alternative is to develop custom software. In this case, a group of experts works closely with your company to understand your needs and requirements. This way, they can develop business solutions tailored to your needs. Such software can be built with the technology of your choice. You can also determine which functionalities are most important.

What about websites, web, and mobile applications addressed to your company customers?

Have you ever considered custom web design development services? An organization needs two types of applications: 

  • those used for internal purposes of a company (analytics tools, CRMs, CMSs, intranets, HR systems, and others),
  • those that the company is using to communicate with its customers. 

Developing an entirely new application or website always requires a custom approach. Such a product needs to be compliant with the brand and must be unique. Consultants, designers, and developers run workshops with a business client to select the core features of the application that is about to be built, create exceptional designs, and apply modern solutions to your product.

Highly customized applications and business tools – what do you need to know?

The development of atypical applications that use the most modern technologies takes some time and requires certain resources. There are some things that you need to consider before choosing custom development services.


Creating an IT solution tailored to your needs costs much more than purchasing an off-the-shelf product or developing a simple application. Some of the ready-to-implement solutions are even open-source, which makes them free of charge. Before you invest your money and time in the development process, conduct research and check if any off-the-shelf tools would suit your needs.

Reliability and ease of implementation

Having your own, custom software seems like a great option, but you need to understand that there is a long way from release to perfection. There will be bugs and glitches that you will have to deal with before your business solution matures. Many off-the-shelf products were developed over a long period, so various problems have already been solved and many questions answered. As a mature product might be safer and easier to use, it is not always sufficient to meet all the business challenges, in which case you should choose a custom solution.

Integration with other systems

A good business solution can be easily integrated with most of the applications and systems your company uses now. Nowadays, it is important to make the business as much data-driven as possible to reduce costs by automating various processes and to get access to real-time analytics. You cannot benefit from advanced analytics if there is poor communication between your business applications. Make sure that your new system works properly with the rest of the software you are using.

To sum up

Both off-the-shelf and custom business solutions may assure good results for your company. You need to consider your needs and resources carefully. Compare available open-source and fee-based off-the-shelf systems and ask yourself a question: does one of them have every feature needed to succeed in your company? If the answer is “yes” then you just found your ideal tool. But if the answer is “no” – do not hesitate to contact the chosen software house to develop your custom application.