Software

Generic Vs. Custom Software: How to Choose the One that Suits You Best

Are you looking for game applications for your slot machines? Or, do you need assistance with the existing game software for your slots casino? When it comes to software for your slot machines, there are two software types to choose from: generic and custom. Keep reading to find out how differ and choose one that meets your need, if you are hearing this for the first time.

What are the differences between Generic Software and Custom Software development?

Generally, generic software refers to a product available in the market to address various business needs and is developed based on market demand. In other words, software developers create this software, targeting a group of clients with similar needs.

On the other hand, custom software is developed upon request by a customer and is meant for specialized business needs. This product is developed for a single client who may be a group of people or a company.  

Following are the key differences between custom software development versus generic software development:

Generic development

Custom development

  • Done for a general purpose application
  • Done for developing an application based on the needs of a specific customer
  • Developers depict end-users specifications
  • End-user specifications may be aggregated by communicating through them 
  • This type of software may be utilized by a large number of users
  • The software is utilized by a limited number of users
  • Product quality is not given a preference
  • Quality is the major criterion
  • The process of development is controlled by the development team
  • The customer takes charge of the development process
  • Associated with lower initial costs but may have hidden costs
  • Associated with higher initial costs but minimal additional costs 

Generic versus Custom software: Pros and cons

As with any product, custom and generic software also have advantages and limitations. Following are the pros and cons of these two types of software products:

Generic software

Advantages

  • Feature-rich
  • Lower initial cost
  • They may meet a number of your needs
  • Quick to set up
  • Support is usually included or may be added through a maintenance contract
  • User communities across forums and the internet offer self-help support

Limitations

  • It may come with additional costs, including licensing fees, per-seat costs, and upgrade costs.
  • The software will probably not meet all your business needs
  • It may include functions and features that are not needed
  • You may be forced to change some of your processes to match the functionality of the software
  • It may be impossible to customize
  • High costs of customization
  • The software may have platform or infrastructure requirements that a business can support
  • You may incur additional costs to purchase a platform or hardware that is compatible with the software product.
  • May include technical or security solutions that may not conform to your internal business parameters.
  • Feature requests may go unheard, with the future enhancement not being relevant to your needs.
  • You risk obsolescence because the software may be slow to evolve with the industry. You will be compelled to only keep processes that match the software, do away with the software entirely in the future, or bring in new systems to link the software and your future processes.

Custom software

Advantages

  • The solution is designed to meet your specific business needs, security requirements, and processes.
  • You can begin with the core functions and features and add more with time
  • It can be developed with a language and platform or infrastructure that matches your business need 
  • You own custom software, and you can sell the code to generate more revenue
  • It may give you a competitive advantage
  • Possible integration with additional systems and legacy
  • You get direct dealer support
  • Changes may be executed quickly 
  • No additional costs, such as licensing fees
  • No risk of obsolescence and enhancements and updates are completely controlled.
  • Unlimited options
  • In the long run, offers an extensive and evolving solution that stays current with your business.

Limitations

  • High initial costs
  • Feature requests and changes may cost you
  • Needs developer sources bringing inherited risks
  • There is no user community to offer self-help support. However, direct relation with the vendor cancels this problem.
  • It needs regular developer communication during the development cycle, from the requirements to design to development to QA/testing to training. In other words, the steps will call business involvement.

How do you choose between custom software and generic software? 

Now that you know the differences between the two types of software, you may need to choose one that suits you. You should consider the key factors when choosing either custom software or generic software are capabilities and cost. 

Cost

When considering cost, you need to ask yourself some critical questions. One of the key questions you should ask is the amount it will cost you in money and time. An additional question is the much it will cost you to acquire software that offers a workable solution. Lastly, consider the amount of money you will need to maintain either custom software or generic software in the next five years.

It is important to account for all the resources spent on buying or building new software. For instance, if it takes you a month to buy and set up a new slot machine software and eight months to develop a custom slot game software, you are likely to think that purchasing is less time-consuming. However, if you need to replace the software every three years because it cannot keep up with the changing needs of your casino business, but a custom software lasts you six years with the least maintenance, then you may be wrong. Therefore, you need to evaluate the total resource expenditure for the two options and compare them to find one that is less costly.

Capabilities

What prompted you to look for the software? Does a product that can fulfill your needs already exist in the market? If not, do your teams have the capacity to develop software that is able to fulfill the needs? These are the some of important questions that you need to ask yourself when it comes to capabilities. Various considerations make up your business needs and include budget, functionality, and return on investment. Cost aside, a piece of software should meet your particular business needs. The golden rule when deciding whether to use custom or generic software is understanding your business needs. Then you should evaluate which one of the two options matches your needs. If you consider developing your software in-house, you should think about the capabilities of your teams. 

Identifying your business needs and the cost of the two kinds of software will help you choose one that suits your needs. You should consider the cons and pros of each approach and decide what you can trade off and what you cannot.