vs. SaaS tool
Develop your own custom software or use an existing Saas tool? That is a choice many organisations face when digitising and optimising business processes. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article we explain what you need to consider when making the right choice.
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Customisation vs. Saas
In many cases it is advisable to use a SaaS tool. There are many advantages to this. Firstly, SaaS tools are often more affordable than custom software. This is because SaaS tools are offered as a subscription model and you as an organisation only pay for the functions you need. In addition, a SaaS tool has a lot of user data, which means that the functions quickly become more user-friendly.
When considering custom software versus a SaaS tool, it is important to first identify the specific needs of your business operations. A SaaS tool can be a good option for organisations and processes that are common to businesses. However, if there are specific requirements, using a SaaS tool often becomes more cumbersome and may even interfere with the business process. In such cases, organisations are often better off considering customised software.
There are a few important factors to consider. First, how specialised or unique are the organisation's activities? If your organisation's processes are very different from those of other companies, then customised software is probably the best option. SaaS tools need to be usable by a wide audience, so the functionality is often generic.
Secondly, how much flexibility is needed? If your organisation needs to be able to quickly adapt the software to changes in the process, customised software is the best option. With custom software, you control the codebase and, with a good SLA arrangement, a dedicated support team can address changes and bugs in a short time. SaaS tools are logically not as adaptable as custom software.
Thirdly, is it possible to link data with other systems? In order to make optimal use of all digital resources, it is important that the software works together. Many SaaS tools offer the possibility to export data and apply API integrations. However, this often comes with limitations and additional costs. By having custom software made with API links, you can manage the data traffic within your digital ecosystem yourself.
Finally, how important are security and privacy? Custom software can be designed to meet specific security and privacy requirements. With SaaS tools, you do not have these criteria in your own hands. This is especially important for organisations that process sensitive data or have to comply with specific regulations.
When is customised software the right option?
To help you make a good decision, we have listed the reasons why you should consider customised software below:
- There is a need for specialised functions or functionality that is not available in a SaaS tool.
- The organisation has unique workflows or processes that are specific to the organisation and must be supported by the software.
- There is a need for more flexibility and control over the software than the SaaS tool can provide.
- There is a need to integrate with other systems or data sources that are not compatible with the SaaS tool.
- There are strict compliance requirements that a SaaS tool cannot meet.
- There is a need for greater security and privacy controls than are available in the SaaS tool.
- There is a need to adapt the user interface or workflow to the way the organisation works.
- The organisation has the desire to own the source code and have full control over future changes and improvements.
- There is a need for continuous technical support and customisation services from an experienced software development team.
As discussed above, developing custom software is often a bigger investment. That is why we often recommend starting with the development of an MVP, or minimal viable product. This way, you can keep the costs of software development under control. Simply put, an MVP is the basic form of the software; a selection of functionality that gives the user real value. A sharp MVP therefore ensures maximum added value for minimum investment. Curious about the costs of your software project? Then ask for a quotation without obligation.