Optimising Your Business Technology: When to Buy Existing Mass Market Software or Build Custom Software

Optimising Your Business Technology: When to Buy Existing Mass Market Software or Build Custom Software

Every modern business needs software to function efficiently. But with so many options available, the age-old question arises: should you buy existing mass-market software (also known as Commercial Off-the-Shelf or SaaS) or invest in building a custom software application?

This article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to help you make an informed decision.


Mass-Market Software: Pros and Cons


Lower Short-Term Costs: Readily available software is typically cheaper than custom development. No need to invest in upfront development costs.

Fast Implementation: Existing software can be up and running quickly, minimizing downtime and disruption.


Limited Flexibility: COTS software caters to a broad audience, so it may not perfectly match your specific needs.

Unnecessary Features: You might pay for features you don’t need, bloating the cost and user interface.

Integration Challenges: Integrating COTS software with existing systems can be complex and require additional workarounds.


Custom Software: Pros and Cons


Perfect Fit: Custom software is built to your exact specifications, ensuring it seamlessly integrates with your workflows.

Competitive Advantage: Unique functionalities can give you an edge over competitors.

Scalability and Security: Custom software can be easily scaled to meet your growing needs and built with enhanced security features.

Long-Term Cost Savings: While the initial investment is higher, custom software can streamline processes and save money in the long run due to the removal of licensing fees.


Cost and Time: Custom development requires a significant upfront investment and can take longer to implement.


So, When to Choose Which?

Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

When deciding between mass market software and a custom solution, consider your needs and priorities. If you have common business functions and need a solution up and running fast, existing software is a great option. It’s cost-effective and often comes with vendor support for easy implementation.

However, if your business operates differently, demands specific functionalities, or prioritizes tight integration and future growth, custom software might be the better choice. It offers the perfect fit for your workflows, increased security, and the ability to scale seamlessly as your business expands.


Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs, budget, and technological expertise. It can also be a good idea to explore hybrid solutions that combine existing software with custom integrations or modules.

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure you choose the software solution that empowers your business to thrive.

Having dealt with many businesses in manufacturing and engineering, Genolis has often found that mass market software limits potential productivity gains for these businesses due to their highly unique business requirements.

When we develop custom applications for these businesses, we often find that they save time and money in the long term as our applications are highly tailored to their operations.

If your business is in need of a custom solution, feel free to reach out to us on LinkedIn or via our website. Let us help you improve your performance and save costs with a bespoke software solution from Genolis.