Custom Software vs Off-the-Shelf Software. What to Choose

Customization is a method of giving the software a unique identity. Software Development Services in Singapore offers both kinds of development, i.e. Custom Software and Off-the-Shelf Software. It purely depends upon the business needs what kind of an app company wants? The page is a detailed guide on the differences between the Custom Software & Off-the-Shelf Software.

Custom Software as the name delivers meaning are the suits that have some possibility of change. It can be a change in the features, functionality, app’s performance, codes or languages, etc. This can be only possible when any user opts for Custom Software Development. The software is available readymade in the market and the company according to its needs can convert or modify anything.

Growth of Custom Software World-Wide

Custom Software are also termed as Bespoke or Tailor-Made Softwares. The experts estimated the thriving business of $136 Billion with a growth rate of 33% in the future. One more estimation that triggers $27.23 Billion is forecasted for the year 2022.

What is Off-the-Shelf Software?

Unlike custom software development, Off-the-Shelf software constructions do not allow any specific moderation or change. The software is readymade, and the user has to accept the entire identity of the suit without seeking any modification.

Custom Software

This software sometimes does not stand on the requirements of the clients and hence avoided many times. Predefined codes and languages, attributes, functionality, etc. remain the same in such kinds of systems.

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Growth of Off-the-Shelf Software World-Wide

There is a marginal difference between both of the software development criteria. Off-the-shelf developments are not exactly popular because of the non-customization possibilities. But still, it is managed to have a great business in the upcoming years. As some of the companies want readymade solutions for their quick good to go journey.

What are the Major Differences Between Custom Software & Off-the-Shelf?

Custom Software

Software Development Agency in Singapore usually bifurcates these two terms on the following pointers. Readout all the differences one by one to get acknowledged of the major and minor similarities between Custom Software & Off-the-Shelf Software:

Development Purpose

Custom Software are apps that can be convertible or modified as per the client’s needs. It is constructed for meeting out the unique conditions. When these are developed well, it delivers some astonishing results.

Off-the-Shelf Software does not fall under the customization category and is designed on a specific framework. There are many instances where off-the-shelf development falls short of the client’s need. Therefore, people choose custom software development over off-the-shelf development.


Off-the-shelf software is accessible to all and can be utilized by multiple organizations. These are pre-constructed software and need no customizations. Hence, one can buy and install it within a few taps and start establishing their businesses.

Custom Software on the other hand is built for an organization or an individual needs. The user should have a clear and precise thought about the needs of the business before purchasing these suits. The installation of the software is smooth and easy.

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Off-the-Shelf Software maintains low upfront costs. They are less expensive when purchased initially because the development costs are distributed across a wider audience. Later on, the software becomes expensive due to some subscriptions, value-added services, maintenance, etc. Moreover, the staff who will be using the software needs to be provided with proper operational training.

Custom Softwares are expensive on the upfront side and are built to overcome the specific needs of the organization. Being expensive, they have high durability and software runs as completely as your organization owns it. Training is not that much needed as the entire system is built according to the business needs.


Off-the-Shelf systems once purchased are complex to modify. With the passage of time and growth of the business, the software might not offer you the required changes. Now that you are aware of the non-availability of the features in the pre-existing software, you might limit your business and have to deal with existing features only.

On the contrary, custom software is are not rigid in nature and can be convertible at any point in time. You have full access to the software and indulge the required changes as the growth and technological aspect of the business.

Development and Deployment

Deployment of the off-the-shelf system takes less than a minute. The user has to install it on their devices to get it ready for use. As the software comes with pre-existing functionality, it might not suit the business in the long run. Simultaneously, the implementation and customization in the software may take a few days or months.

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Custom software is the editable one that can edit anything at any point in time. It can be built from scratch and customizations go on lifelong. The development and deployment do not take much time, but the results are the best part about it.

Not only these dissimilarities but there are also several other differences which might make you think towards Custom Softwares over Off-the-Shelf systems. These dissimilarities include:

  • Community Support
  • Competitive Pros
  • Issues with Compatibility
  • Dependency over Software Provider

Final Words

These were the differences between the custom & off-the-shelf development. Users nowadays prefer customization over the single blend of functionality i.e. off-the-shelf solutions. You never know what comes as trending and adaptability to it that time is the basic need of the hour. This is why custom software development is expensive and is considered moreover off-the-shelf software development (being less expensive).

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