In the fast-paced world of tech, businesses struggle with a pivotal choice: choosing between off-the-shelf or custom software solutions. To help gain clarity on which is the better option, we had a chat with Eugene van Aurich, a 25-year veteran in software development and Software Development Manager at Horizon Digital.
Eugene shares his unique perspective on the evolving demands of the tech industry and offers insight into the simplicity of off-the-shelf solutions versus the precision of custom software development.
So, Eugene, please tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Horizon Digital.
As the Software Development Manager, I oversee the software development processes and procedures, as well as manage our Technical Leads.
I began as a Software Developer for Client-Server Apps but later switched to Web App Development. Throughout my career of 25 years, I’ve moved from software developer to Development Manager, Director, and then Chief Technology Officer. But I’ve realised that I find the most fulfilment as a Software Development Manager.
What’s the best part about helping businesses with custom tech solutions?
The best part is the pure joy you see on someone’s face when we take their vision or a brand-new business idea and turn it into a fully functioning custom software solution. At Horizon Digital, we help clients with technical problems they can’t solve on their own.
What do you think about the role of technology in solving business problems and how has your perspective changed over time?
Having information at your fingertips is crucial for critical business decisions. But it all starts with the entering of that information into some sort of system. We prefer a system that saves our clients time, limits user error, and is something nice to look at.
Experience has taught me that it is a misconception that Technology is the answer to every problem. Knowing when and what to focus on gives you the best return on investment.
What’s the difference between a custom software solution and an off-the-shelf software solution?
Off-the-shelf software is ready-made software for general needs, made for a large number of people. This is the best solution if you have a limited budget and basic system requirements. Custom software solutions, also called bespoke software, are made just for you to meet your organisation’s specific needs. It will represent your brand and you play a large role in the success thereof.
What are the signs that an off-the-shelf solution is failing a company?
The telltale signs of an off-the-shelf solution falling short are summed up in one word—frustration. When you find yourself wishing for an extra feature and realising you’re only tapping into a fraction, about 15%, of the system’s full potential, that’s a red flag. Waiting for new features can compound this frustration, especially when your needs take a back seat to the broader global user group. And if you are not vocal about it, your needs might be ignored.
When does a company need a custom software solution?
The most important question you must ask yourself is: “Do I have the financial means to create something that addresses my unique needs, especially if the right system doesn’t exist yet?”
Embarking on this exciting journey isn’t for everyone, and success hinges heavily on the product owner. However, the rewards of launching a successful product are hard to match. Using your product and knowing that you’ve created it, gives you that additional inspiration.
How can an organisation be sure that a custom software solution is right for them?
When you partner with the right technology company, you can focus on what matters to you, while developing a software solution that addresses your specific needs. Remember, it’s a journey, not a destination and custom software solutions require ongoing enhancements to stay relevant.
You’ll know it’s the right system when all, or at least most of your requirements are met, with the least amount of time assigned to achieving your goals. A bespoke software solution is the way to go if you want to be in full control of where you are heading.
It’s important to know that tech solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all.
Ready to bring your tech concept to life? Schedule a free 60-minute software discovery session with our expert team today. Whether refining your idea, exploring custom software solutions, or discussing your project over coffee, we’re happy to help.