Custom software (also known as tailor-made software) is software that is specially developed for some specific organization or other user. As such, it can be contrasted with the use of software packages developed for the mass market, such as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, or existing free software. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Since custom software is developed for a single customer it can accommodate that customer's particular preferences and expectations. Custom software may be developed in an iterative processes, allowing all nuances and possible hidden risks to be taken into account, including issues which were not mentioned in the original requirement specifications (which are, as a rule, never perfect). In particular, the first phase in the software development process may involve many departments, including marketing, engineering, research and development and general management. Companies commonly use custom software for critical functions, including content management, inventory management, customer management, human resource management, or otherwise to fill the gaps present in the existing software packages. Often such software is legacy software, developed before COTS or free software packages offering the required functionality became available. Custom software development is often considered expensive compared to off-the-shelf solutions or products. This can be true if one is speaking of typical challenges and typical solutions. However, it is not always true. In many cases, COTS software requires customization to correctly support the buyer's operations and has an annual license fee. The cost and delay of COTS customization can even add up to the expense of developing custom software. Cost is not the only consideration however, as the decision to opt for custom software often includes the requirement for the purchaser to own the source code, to secure the possibility of future development or modifications to the installed system. With nowadays the demand for custom software has increased driving the costs down and making it feasible for companies to implement a custom package that works for them. Getting support and customisation from third parties? In the case of custom software, the software development may be outsourced or done in-house once again keeping costs to a minimum and gives you the flexibility to choose your service provider.