Why Off-the-Shelf Software Should Stay Off Your Shelf


Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls of generic software.

While an off-the-shelf software solution can tick a box, that’s often all it can do. In today’s ever-changing tech environment, whether you run an online store, building an app, or need a unique payroll system, custom software is a necessity. It’s good to remember that while off-the-shelf, generic software may save you a few Rands from the outset, there are far more disadvantages than you’ll initially encounter:

Long learning curve

We all have that one ‘weird’ or unusual thing or habit that we do (and we know it’s best for us) and like to stick to doing it, even though there are other ways of completing that task. That is how many companies operate, and these businesses have built their own procedures to fit initial strategies that were put in place. Off-the-shelf software will often require an established business to change their way of doing a particular task (whether it’s logging data or something more complex) in order to fit the software’s strict guidelines. This can add a learning curve, waste time, and add problems to your business, rather than having a piece of custom software that takes your previous personalised methods into account.

Overcomplicated or overly simple

Most generic software solutions either opt for the all-or-nothing approach, and tend to have oversimplified capabilities or features that are completely unneeded, which you end up paying for. While a custom software solution may be slightly pricier than the bottom-level off-the-shelf option, you’ll get a focused and specified platform, rather than paying needlessly for unnecessary features.

Adoption and satisfaction issues

Taking into account who will be using the software is important, as employees’ workflows can be disrupted or complicated by lacklustre software. If the program or software they’re operating on isn’t efficient, morale can be affected.

Unable to evolve

The only constant is change, and while most companies think they’ll stay the same way forever, the truth is that they’re always adapting (even without noticing it). Having software that’s malleable and customisable is important – whether it be to a cater for a change in company size, user preference, a new client, new products, or new addition.

Although it can seem like a daunting journey to embark on, taking the leap into custom software will pay dividends for any business that is willing to invest the time and energy into it. My Online Presence are well-versed in the process of turning a novel concept into a functioning reality, and their expertise can take add a lot of convenience and peace of mind to the process.

So if you’ve been toying with the idea of developing a distinct digital platform to get your company’s growth to the next level, get in touch with the team at My Online Presence and let them guide you on the way!

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