Deciding to invest in new software for your business is an important step. And if we are talking bespoke software, you probably know that you will need to spend a bit more to have everything customised to your business needs. But here’s an interesting question: is it worth paying more in these times when technology evolves so fast that everything seems to turn obsolete in just a few years?
This is tricky. And that’s because the lifespan of bespoke software doesn’t depend only on how fast technology advances but on other significant factors we discuss below.
As with any investment, when you spend money on something, you expect it to bring you profit, and the same goes for a cloud-based CRM or ERP system or an app you use to manage your business. The math is simple. Your new system should remain viable for as long as it takes you to recover the investment and a few extra years when it should generate pure profit.
Statistics show that software usually lasts 6 to 8 years before it needs to be replaced, but with a custom option, this period can be extended considerably, especially if the system is designed to cater to more than one department.
There are four phases in the life of a software system: birth, learning, earning, and retirement. According to researcher Saurabh Dhupkar, the goal of every company should be to extend the earning phase for as long as possible. And, in her opinion, the best way to do it is to hire are liable customised software development company for the job.
When designing a new app or another software system, your developer needs to consider a series of factors that may affect the length of the earning phase in the future.
Apple launches a new iPhone every year and other smartphone companies have started following this trend. You usually get 5 or more updates per year for your phone, and apps also improve their functions multiple times. So, what does this say? It is proof that technology is moving faster than it used to, and your software application needs to keep up with it.
According to NIH National Centre for Biotechnology Information has shown that the average life expectancy of a line of code is 2.4 years, so versatile software that allows updates may end up being gradually rewritten completely to adapt to the new market. But this is possible only with custom systems, which are the only ones allowing the owner full access to the code.
Even if no significant technology changes take place, app profitability can still be affected by shifts in trends that may occur in your industry. For example, until a few years ago, online shops used to sell more to customers who employed their computers for shopping. But the new trend is to use your phone to make online acquisitions, so many companies invested in apps and optimised their websites for mobiles.
HubSpot also estimated that influencers and social media will become the main promoting instruments for companies, and today most apps include a Facebook, Twitter, and/ or Instagram button.
The idea is that industry trends change, and software should be able to change with them.
If your bespoke system addresses multiple problems or a very complex one, often it takes longer for it to become obsolete. This is because it is not that easy to develop new technology that can handle complex problems.
If your CRM or ERP cannot grow with your company, you can expect not to be able to use it in a few years or maybe sooner if your business experiences rapid growth. At CodePixi, we always design scalable systems that allow you to add as many users as necessary and expand cloud storage according to your needs.
Beyond the bespoke application development process, there’s maintenance and support only reliable developers offer. If the company that created your system goes out of business, it may be difficult to find somebody else to handle maintenance and update your software. So you should always pick a developer that has years of experience and can offer the guarantee it will continue to provide support after the software is delivered.
No matter if you plan to use your app to keep your customers connected to your business or for a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) arrangement, going for a custom option instead of picking an Off-the-Shelf system is always the right choice, and here is why:
· Fewer chances for the code to be compromised– Off-the-shelf software is often built using open-source code in a proportion of 60% or more, which makes it more vulnerable to hacker attacks. Bespoke software systems, on the other hand, contain code that was written from the scratch, so they are less prone to hacking. A vulnerable system that exposes customers’ data quickly loses users. And a system without users doesn’t generate any profit, no matter how fast or attractive it is.
· 100% of the code belongs to the owner –not only that the code is safer, but the owner has all the legal rights to modify it. A modular system allows making changes without affecting all the functions, thus qualifying for quick updates that will keep the app in the game for longer.
CodePixi specialises in bespoke software that can serve both start-ups and companies with years of experience behind them. Book an online meeting with us to discuss your software idea and learn more about how you can use it to its full potential.