custom software development

Are you facing challenges with manual, time-consuming tasks and ongoing hurdles within your business operations, even though you already have custom software in place? Do you find yourself questioning the efficiency of your existing processes?

For those who own custom software and are looking to optimise their operations, this is the right space to explore insights and solutions tailored to enhance the performance and effectiveness of your existing custom software system.

With over a decade of expertise in custom software development, we at Mallow have a proven track record of delivering tailored software solutions to a wide array of clients. We believe it’s critical to empower clients to make informed decisions on whether they should go with in-house expertise or outsourcing.

By the end of this article, you will gain valuable insights into crucial aspects that cannot be missed or overlooked when owning custom software applications. With this knowledge, you can make well-informed decisions, freeing your business from the limitations of standard software. 

9 questions to ask yourself if you own custom software

If your business is already using custom software and you’re considering further development, it’s crucial to identify challenges and ask the right questions. 

1. Have you chosen developers with your business app’s future growth in mind?

When embarking on the journey of hiring a developer team for the development of your custom software, it’s crucial to prioritize scalability not only in the software architecture but also in the size and composition of your development team.

As your business evolves and expands, the demand for additional expertise and resources may arise. Therefore, it’s advisable to seek a development team that not only possesses the requisite skills for your current project but also demonstrates a proven ability to scale up seamlessly. Inquire about their past experiences in rapidly growing or adjusting their team size, their recruitment processes, and their flexibility in accommodating evolving project requirements. A development team that can readily scale with your business ensures a smoother transition during periods of growth, fostering a collaborative and adaptive environment that aligns with the dynamic needs of your evolving custom software.

2. What does your customer experience look like?

If your business is with persistent issues in meeting customer demands effectively or managing customer relationships, even with custom software in place, it’s time to reconsider and optimise your current solution.

For instance, if fulfilling orders promptly or personalising services remains a challenge, despite having custom software, further customisation can address these issues. Consider an e-commerce platform that receives unique customer requests for customised products. Standard order fulfillment processes may fall short, but additional customisation of the software allows for flexible and tailored solutions, ensuring the business can effectively meet specific customer demands and enhance overall satisfaction.

Similarly, if you’re still encountering challenges in managing customer relationships and communication, such as disjointed interactions and inconsistent communication channels with your existing custom software, consider further customisation to streamline these processes. Imagine a scenario where a company’s CRM system lacks integration with communication tools, leading to a fragmented view of customer interactions. Customising the software, in this case, ensures seamless integration, enabling a unified approach to managing customer relationships and communication across various channels.

If a poor user experience remains a persistent issue, with customers finding it difficult to navigate your system or encountering glitches despite having custom software, opting for additional software customisation is essential. For instance, consider a mobile banking app with a confusing interface or frequent technical issues. Further customisation of the software to improve user interface design, resolve technical glitches, and enhance overall usability ensures a smoother experience for users, contributing to higher customer satisfaction. 

3. How well is your business managing data? 

If your business already utilises custom software but is still with data security concerns or facing challenges in maintaining accurate records, it’s crucial to reevaluate and enhance your current solution.

If you’re dealing with data security issues, especially the vulnerability of sensitive information, consider further customisation as imperative. 

Take the example of a healthcare organisation handling patient records; despite having custom software, the organisation may face challenges in securing patient data due to strict regulatory requirements. Customising the software ensures the implementation of robust data security measures, including encryption, multi-factor authentication, and access controls, thereby safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

If challenges persist in maintaining accurate records and efficient workflows in your CRM processes, despite having custom software, consider the benefits of additional customisation. Imagine a scenario where manual data entry and disorganised customer information lead to communication gaps and missed opportunities. Customising the software enables the integration of automated CRM solutions, streamlining data management, enhancing communication, and ensuring a more effective customer relationship management experience.

Similarly, if you’re experiencing inconsistent or unreliable reporting capabilities with your current custom software, leading to challenges in obtaining accurate insights from your data, opting for additional customisation becomes essential. For example, a retail business using a generic reporting tool that doesn’t fully cater to its specific needs can benefit from further customisation. This allows for the development of tailored reporting features, ensuring reliable and consistent reporting capabilities aligned with the organisation’s unique requirements, supporting data-driven decision-making.

If there’s an ongoing inability to analyse data effectively for strategic decision-making, despite having custom software, consider the benefits of further customisation. Imagine a financial institution struggling to extract meaningful insights from vast datasets for risk assessment. Customising the software allows for the integration of advanced analytics tools tailored to the financial industry, enabling effective data analysis and informed strategic decision-making to stay competitive and compliant with industry standards. 

4. What type of financial impact does your custom software have on your business?

If your business, despite already owning custom software, struggles with limited visibility into performance metrics and faces challenges such as slow response times, it’s imperative to reevaluate and enhance your current solution.

For example, a retail business relying on an existing off-the-shelf analytics tool might find it challenging to capture specific performance indicators relevant to its unique operations, even with the current custom software in place. Further customisation can enable the development of personalised dashboards and analytics features, providing a clearer and more tailored view of business performance.

If you’re dealing with slow response times and poor system performance, hindering operational efficiency and user experience, the optimisation of your existing custom software becomes a crucial step. 

Take the instance of an e-commerce platform experiencing slow response times during peak traffic periods, causing frustration among customers and potential revenue loss. Customising the software allows for performance optimisation, including database tuning and code enhancements, ensuring faster response times and an overall improved system performance. 

5. Is your custom software compliant with current regulations and adaptable to ongoing industry changes?

If your business, despite already owning custom software, is encountering difficulties in adapting to evolving industry-specific regulations or compliance requirements, it’s crucial to reassess and optimise your approach.

Consider a scenario where a financial institution, with existing custom software, still faces challenges in adhering to the ever-changing regulatory frameworks specific to the finance industry. Even with your current custom solution, there might be opportunities for further customisation to better address nuanced and industry-specific compliance needs.

Customising your software ensures precise alignment with the unique regulatory landscape, incorporating necessary features and functionalities to meet compliance requirements effectively. This refined approach ensures legal adherence and demonstrates a proactive stance towards regulatory changes, minimising risks associated with non-compliance. 

6. Is your custom software addressing collaboration and accessibility inefficiencies within your business?

If your business, despite already owning custom software, has inefficiencies in collaboration or accessibility, it’s time to reconsider and optimise your approach.

Imagine a scenario within a large organisation where different departments struggle to communicate seamlessly due to limitations in existing collaboration tools. Even with the current custom software in place, there might be opportunities for further customisation to integrate features tailored to the organisation’s evolving needs, facilitating more efficient communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among teams.

In cases where accessibility remains limited for remote teams or a mobile workforce, impacting flexibility and responsiveness, the customisation of your software becomes crucial. 

For example, a company with an increasing number of remote employees may find that the existing applications lack the necessary features for effective collaboration.

Customising your software ensures the development of mobile-friendly interfaces, incorporating cloud-based solutions, or other features that enhance accessibility for remote teams, fostering seamless collaboration regardless of geographical location. This refined approach not only improves team efficiency but also contributes to employee satisfaction and adaptability to modern work trends.

7. Is your custom software experiencing errors that are impacting your operations, such as software bugs or technical glitches?

If your organisation, despite owning custom software, is dealing with high error rates and an increased risk of mistakes affecting operations, strategic optimisation becomes imperative.

Consider a scenario where, in a manufacturing setting with manual data entry processes, the existing custom software may need further enhancement to address frequent errors in production records. The original customisation may not sufficiently cater to these specific challenges.

Optimising the software allows for the integration of advanced error-checking mechanisms, automated validation processes, or user-friendly interfaces designed to reduce the risk of mistakes. This refined approach not only enhances accuracy but also boosts overall operational efficiency, mitigating the potential negative impact of errors on productivity and customer satisfaction. 

8. Is your business optimising existing custom applications for ongoing adaptability to changing trends? 

If your organisation currently grapples with challenges in adapting your custom software to evolving needs, it’s crucial to reassess and refine your approach.

Consider a scenario where your bespoke Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, while tailored to your initial business requirements, may lack certain features essential for evolving processes.

Customising your existing software becomes imperative to ensure it aligns precisely with your current business needs, fostering efficiency and maximising the value derived from the application.

If you are facing issues such as costly maintenance and support for your current custom systems, where the software’s outdated features hinder adaptability to evolving business demands, opting for further customisation is a strategic move.

For instance, as technology evolves, the costs associated with maintaining and supporting custom systems may increase, leading to compatibility issues. Customising your already-owned software allows for updates, improvements, and integrations that extend the system’s lifespan, making it more adaptable to changing business needs while reducing overall maintenance costs. This proactive approach ensures that your technology infrastructure remains agile, efficient, and aligned with your organisation’s current and future requirements.

9. How much time does your team spend on application maintenance every month?

If you currently own custom software and find that maintenance has become a challenging aspect, it’s crucial to reassess and optimise your approach. 

Consider a scenario where a company has invested in custom software. Despite its customised nature, the application may still encounter issues leading to disruptions and placing a strain on maintenance resources. 

To enhance your existing custom solution, it’s essential to explore further customisation tailored to address specific maintenance challenges. 

This may involve developing features that automate routine maintenance tasks, incorporating predictive maintenance capabilities, or optimising the application’s performance for increased reliability.

By strategically customising your already-owned application, you can proactively tackle issues, minimise downtime, and streamline maintenance processes. The goal is to create an even more resilient and efficient operational environment, ensuring that your custom applications not only function seamlessly but are also optimised for sustained performance.

How to optimize the performance of your custom software? 

At this point, having gained a thorough understanding of the essential elements of owning custom software, it is evident that careful consideration of these aspects is paramount for effective management and continued success with the custom solution.

In custom software ownership, boosting performance is crucial for success. Regular audits and scalability planning are key strategies to enhance efficiency and user experience.

For tailored insights into framework-specific optimization, if you own a Ruby on Rails development, check out this article on improving Ruby on Rails application performance. If you own a Laravel development, explore mastering Laravel performance optimization. Continuous evaluation and improvement ensure your custom software aligns seamlessly with evolving business needs.

Still unsure about your next move? Feel free to reach out to our team



Jagan is a successful project manager with over 8 years of experience at Mallow Technologies. With his strong leadership skills and meticulous approach to project management, Jagan has consistently delivered successful outcomes for a diverse range of client engagements. Throughout his career, Jagan has been responsible for overseeing complex projects from inception to completion. His excellent communication skills and collaborative approach enable him to understand client requirements, effectively communicate project progress, and address any concerns that may arise. Outside of his work, Jagan is an avid reader and finds solace in the world of books during his free time. He believes in continuous learning and stays updated with industry trends, management methodologies, and leadership practices through his reading habits.