SaaS vs Custom software: The pros and cons for business software applications

When considering new technologies for your business – there’s a lot to take into account. Be that investment, scalability or usability. Each is important but each enterprise has a different focus. A SaaS (Software as a Service) platform offers limited customisation for any of these focuses. In this article, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of an off-the-shelf SaaS platform vs having a custom-built bespoke solution, tailor-made for your enterprise.

SaaS Platforms

SaaS platforms are a brilliant way to kickstart a digital revolution in a business, through cloud computing and the unification of data. There are both pros and cons to this sort of platform and its use cases in business.

Pros of SaaS Platforms:

  1. Cost-effective: SaaS platforms are generally more affordable than bespoke software solutions, as they are offered on a subscription basis and do not require any upfront investment in hardware or software.
  2. Ease of use: SaaS platforms are designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, with minimal training required. Hoever they might not fit your business.
  3. Maintenance: SaaS platforms are maintained by the vendor , which means that you don’t have to worry about maintaining the software or the hardware it runs on yourself. This helps keep your overheads low.

Cons of SaaS Platforms:

  1. Limited customisation: SaaS platforms are less customizable than bespoke software solutions, as they are designed to meet the needs of a broad range of users. This means you can find yourself limited in the expandability of your platform.
  2. Security: SaaS platforms are hosted on the vendor’s servers, which means that you are entrusting your data to a third-party. This can be a concern for businesses that deal with sensitive data.
  3. Reliance on the internet: SaaS platforms require an internet connection to function, which means that you may experience downtime if your internet connection is slow or unreliable.
  4. Scalability: SaaS platforms can be scaled up or down according to your business needs, without requiring any additional investment in hardware or software. However, this will often see an increase in your subscription.
  5. Expandability: Quite simply you can’t expand your SaaS system, what you paid for is what you get, you can’t control the expansion of a new system.

Bespoke software solutions

Custom solutions are how major businesses build themselves. Without being forced to go the same path as their competition they enable private companies to remain innovative and get ahead of changes in their industry.

Pros of Bespoke software solutions:

  1. Customisation: Bespoke software solutions are designed to meet the specific needs of your business, which means that they can be highly customized.
  2. Control: Bespoke software solutions give you complete control over the software, which means that you can make changes and updates as needed.
  3. Security: Bespoke software solutions can be designed with security as a priority from the out set, which means that you can ensure that your data is protected.

Cons of Bespoke software solutions:

  1. Cost: Bespoke software solutions are generally more costly than SaaS platforms, as they require a significant upfront investment in hardware and software but these see a larger return on investment.
  2. Maintenance: Bespoke software solutions require ongoing maintenance and support, which can be time-consuming and expensive. However, you have a direct relationship with the development team so can rectify issues with ease. Not run through layers of customer service hell.
  3. Scalability: Bespoke software solutions can be difficult to scale up or down, as they are designed to meet the specific needs of your business.

Both SaaS platforms and bespoke software solutions have their pros and cons. SaaS platforms are generally more affordable, and you can get access right away. However, they are less customizable and may raise security concerns. Bespoke software solutions, on the other hand, are highly customizable, give you complete control over the software, and can be designed with security in mind, but they require a larger initial investment. Ultimately, the choice between a SaaS platform and a bespoke software solution will depend on your business needs, direction and budget.

The team at Shoothill specialise in implementing the correct solution into a business given these criteria, be that a pre-existing platform – or a custom product designed and developed with your business in mind. To begin your journey in either direction – contact Shoothill today.