There are two main types of software used for business processes – SaaS and custom software. The choice ultimately comes down to a company’s budget and the amount of customization required. It is also important to consider the business’s future needs to ensure that custom software development goes as smoothly as possible.
What is SaaS?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a type of cloud-based software used by businesses of all sizes. This software delivery model allows data to be easily accessed from any device with a web browser and internet connection. Under SaaS software, the vendor hosts and maintains the databases, servers, and code that make up the application.
What makes SaaS unique from traditional on-premise software delivery models is that it does not require extensive hardware which allows buyers the option to outsource certain IT tasks required to maintain and troubleshoot the software. SaaS systems are generally paid via subscription instead of through an upfront payment.
What is Custom Software?
Custom software is a type of software exclusively developed for a specific user or organization. This differs from software packages that are developed for a mass market, such as commercial off-the-shelf software. Larger companies generally use custom software due to the personalized functionalities available. However, smaller companies can also benefit from custom software.
Custom software is designed with a business’s specific needs in mind which allow for greater productivity, scalability, long-term savings, and greater quality of service. Custom software is generally a larger initial investment but the payoff can be substantial.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between SaaS & Custom Software
SaaS solutions can be cost-effective, easy to use, and offer an extensive array of features that evolve over time without additional costs. Data protection, testing, training and security are handled by the software provider. A custom-built solution is designed to achieve ongoing evolution. Custom software can be costly to build and maintain so businesses must account for these ongoing expenses.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing between SaaS and custom software.
Amount of Customization Required
The main attraction of custom software is that all unique requirements set by a business can be met. This is not always achievable with SaaS solutions. The decision between SaaS and custom software should be made with consideration as to the amount of customization required. Custom-built software allows businesses to easily add and remove features as the company grows and their processes change. Custom solutions are more flexible and scalable to the enterprise, although they can be more expensive to build and deploy.
Needs of Reporting & Analyzation
Off-the-shelf software solutions do provide businesses with access to reports but the number of reports available is usually limited. It can also be difficult for businesses to access certain reports due to strict requirements from the SaaS solution. Standard reports do not always have the exact functionalities required by businesses to achieve full detail. Custom software allows businesses to undergo reporting through more comprehensive third-party tools ensuring that reports are analyzed in more detail.
When shopping for business software, businesses must consider features and functionalities. Without the proper features and functionalities, businesses are not able to achieve their desired outcome. To measure functionality, create a list of all requirements and prioritize them based on importance. If the SaaS solution does not meet all of the business’s functionality needs, custom software may be the better option.
Level of Training Required
It can be difficult for staff to learn new software, especially when the software is complex or contains many new features and functionalities. Having some level of training can be highly valuable to ensure that the business is able to use the software properly. SaaS software is usually equipped with online training that allows businesses to learn at their own pace. However, the training is designed for all businesses and may not answer specific questions employees have about the software. Custom software generally comes with organization-specific training which is more in-depth than generic training.
Price is often a big factor when choosing software for business. Custom software can cost more than SaaS software but many companies find that the extra expense is worth it. Businesses may even find that although the initial cost of custom software is more, they save money in the long-run by having access to a wider range of functionalities that help grow the business faster.
Speak to an Experienced Custom Software Development Company
There is no right or wrong answer when shopping for software for business. SaaS solutions may be suitable for small, newly established businesses that only require basic features and functionalities. However, businesses that have been in operation for several years may need custom software to help their company grow. To learn more about SaaS and custom software solutions, speak to an experienced custom software development professional at Orases.