Custom vs. Canned Solutions: Best Practices

Custom vs. Canned Solutions: Best Practices

Last Updated: November 17, 20232.8 min readCategories: Business & IT Leadership, Custom Software Development
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Custom vs. Canned Solutions – Better Solutions for Your Business

Just as your business is dynamic and growing, your software needs to be, too. Custom built software can greatly increase stability and efficiency over pre-built, canned software. While, yes, canned or commercial off the shelf (COTS) solutions are typically thought to be the more cost-effective route, this is often only a perception and tends to apply only to the initial package price of the software. In reality, the cost of integration and customization typically push the cost dramatically. The many advantages of custom vs. COTS include the ability to customize, compatibility with other software, and the return on investment for your company.


According to Chuck Cohn, CEO of Varsity Tutors, creating custom software “focused on scalability and efficiency, can help mean the difference between offering a commoditized service and offering a highly differentiated one at a better price.”

The rigidity of not being able to add or subtract functions can be problematic for businesses. Canned solutions are designed to meet the needs of business across the board, and not cater to meet your specific needs. A vast number of COTS are closed source solutions, making customizing and change difficult and expensive. This inability to modify can be challenging for your business down the road, which will inevitably require a degree of scaling or changing. Custom software gives you the ability to tailor the software to your particular needs and unique problems.

If you are using more than one type of software for a particular task, it’s paramount they work together. Which isn’t always the case with canned solutions. As AgileFind reports, “complications can arise ten-fold if you try personalize it too far or need to integrate a number of custom-built or COTS software elements together.” Custom Software Development allows flexibility and helps align the projects goals with the software requirements.

By effectively being able to cater to your customers through agile and scalable solutions, you’ll be able to better meet their needs and grow your company.
Just the Stats – a recent survey of IT decision makers shows:
87% of IT decision-makers believe custom software is driving technology innovation.
97% expressed confidence in using custom software.
94% are likely to recommend using custom software.
72% of IT professionals acknowledge traditional solutions are too slow, and this prevents them from infusing their companies with digital business innovation.
52% prefer custom-developed software when looking to update their company’s IT infrastructure.
53% prefer custom software because of the efficiency of that type of software.
51% like custom software because it is designed to serve a unique need.
46% said the ability of the company to make enhancements was the top reason for choosing custom software.
* Survey from Nielsen/Harris Interactive Information Technology Decision Makers omnibus survey of 306 IT decision makers in December 2014. Taken from Appian and Reuters.

As always, it’s important to consider your what’s best your company. At QAT Global, we’re confident our custom built solutions will help your business succeed not just by increasing your ROI, but my giving you the power and flexibility you need. Go to to find out more about how our custom built solutions can better fit your business.

Let’s discuss the future of your business. Start the conversation today.
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