What is Custom Software Development?

July 7, 2021
Emilie Mitchell

Is your business looking to innovate? Increase efficiency? Gain a competitive edge? Create a better experience for your customers? Let's talk about custom software development.

In this blog, we'll discuss what custom software development is, how to build it, how it can be used, how much it costs, and more.

What is custom software development?

Custom software development is the process of validating, designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining software specifically for a set of users. Since this type of software is completely customizable according to your organization's needs, there are endless examples, uses, and benefits involved.


When deciding on software for your company, there are two types you can choose from: off-the-shelf or custom. So, what's the difference?

While off-the-shelf software forces your business to adapt to the software's capabilities, custom software is adapted to meet the needs of your business. The reason for this is that off-the-shelf software is pre-designed to fit a wide variety of customers; however, custom software is designed to meet the expectations of your business specifically. Let’s look at some examples.

5 Examples of Custom Software

Content Management Systems

Also known as CMS, content management systems are designed to allow you to update your own business website with new content without the need of a developer.

Customer Relationship Management Systems

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are great tools for managing your company's relationships and interactions with current and potential consumers.

Enterprise Resource Planning Software

The purpose of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is to make managing day-to-day business operations easier through a user-friendly, all-in-one platform.

Operations Management Software

The main goal of operations management software is to ensure that your business's operations are running as effectively and efficiently as possible to best serve your customers.

Ecommerce Software

Ecommerce software is a tool that drives all online store processes such as managing inventory, adding or removing products, processing payments, and more.

Custom software development is limitless. These are just a few of the many examples of custom software. As a tailored solution, custom applications can be designed to fit any need your business may have.

What is the process of creating custom software?

When it comes to building custom software, it takes a team. There are a few options you can choose from when deciding who is going to build your software solution. You can build a freelance team, hire an internal development team, or work with an agency. Which is the best fit for you and your organization?


A freelancer is a self-employed individual who is skilled in a specific area. Depending on the project, one freelancer may not be enough. This would then require a freelance team, made of several experienced professionals. Because they don't work for an employer, they determine what they want to charge, who they want to work with, and how many projects they want to work on. This often makes building a freelance team a cost-friendly option.


An in-house development team is group of professionals who work in your office. To create an internal team, businesses must build a new department and hire employees fit for the open roles. Determining processes and finding professionals is often costly and can take a large amount of time. When the project is complete, your business may not need this department anymore, resulting in unneeded employees and resources. 


Agencies are established teams of professionals who work together seamlessly. Software development agency teams commonly consist of project managers, designers, developers, and more, providing expertise from a variety of fields. Agencies can be hired exactly when you need them and offer long-term support at a lower cost to your business. Unlike internal teams, agencies already have processes in place.

When implementing your own process, possible workflows include the waterfall method, where one phase can only start once the previous phase is complete, and the agile method, where multiple phases work simultaneously within small iterative periods.

The process used by the team who builds your custom software is crucial. With a poor or incorrect process, custom software development can easily go wrong. What are some of the top reasons why software applications fail?

•Misunderstanding of business needs

•Inability to define project goals

•Unclear expectations

•Lack of communication

•Poor project management

Avoiding project failure is something you should heavily consider when choosing a custom software company, but don't let this scare you. These mistakes are entirely avoidable by sticking to a strategized process, such as WynHouse Software's custom software process. This agile process focuses on strategy, project management, design, and development—covering all the crucial steps to custom software development.

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Connect with a WynHouse team member to learn more about custom software or discuss a potential project. 

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How can custom software be used?

For businesses, there are countless benefits of custom software. Custom software can do anything, but here's just a few of the many examples of what it can be used for:

KPI Tracking

Short for key performance indicators, KPIs are quantifiable metrics that evaluate your organization’s performance. KPI tracking measures your progress toward specific goals and discovers insights to help you improve business operations.

Process Improvements

Process improvement refers to identifying, analyzing and improving your business’s existing processes and discovering ways to better optimize performance, meet best practice standards, or improve the overall quality of user experience.

PLC Integrations

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial digital computer that is designed and adapted for manufacturing processes, such as assembly lines. PLCs continuously monitor the state of input devices and make decisions according to a custom program to control the state of output devices.

How much does custom software cost?

In short, custom app development can range from thousands to millions of dollars; however, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for determining the price of custom software. Alternatively, there are several variables that determine the cost of your custom app development:

1. Size

2. Complexity

3. Design

4. Integration

5. Migration

In addition to the cost variables above, custom software is exempt from tax in some states. Find out if it's taxable in yours. If you've decided custom software is a better fit for your business than off-the-shelf software, you might be asking the inevitable question, "Why is Custom Software So Expensive?" Ultimately, the upfront investment of custom software leads to a better return on investment (ROI) and enables more long-term growth.


Custom software development is the tailored process of creating an application around the specific needs of your business. The investment of custom software is no easy decision, and we want to help you make the right one.

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