In 2019, global IT spending hit $3.7 trillion. This underscores the pervasiveness of technology in our modern-day life. And as our lives become increasingly linked to technology, many organizations use it for their overall business operations and strategies. Application software is among the most important technologies that businesses rely on.
Although there is readily available off-the-shelf software in the market, some organizations and populations have unique needs that cannot be satisfied by these programs. To create software that is tailored to a particular group or organization’s exact requirements and specifications, companies go for custom software development.
Custom software development is the process of designing and creating software that is uniquely tailored for a specific group of end-users or an organization. Typically, custom software is developed exclusively for these target end-users and is not for distribution.
Developing a custom application involves a long and tedious process. It requires a sound plan with objectives, goals, time frame, and budget. Once the planning stage is done, developers decide on a development methodology.
The development approach depends on numerous aspects of the project. Here are some popular custom software development methodologies.
Best for simple projects, Big Bang methodology is employed when the client does not have specifics as to how the project proceeds as well as its requirements. It is uncomplicated and does not have strict formal protocols.
Developers do not go through pre-hand planning. Since the project is limited, the resources are also very minimal and easily manageable. However, since this methodology is simplistic, it should be used with caution on complex projects. Developers at Entrance Consulting consider it risky when employed in large projects.
In the prototype methodology, developers create prototype software to demonstrate, either partially or wholly, its functionality. The beta program allows the clients and end-users to test it and provide inputs that the developers use to make necessary modifications. Nisman Solutions, a software development company in San Diego, specializes in creating custom software prototypes for clients. Once the desired functionality is achieved, the actual application is developed.
This methodology reduces the risk of failure and solves many issues commonly associated with the traditional waterfall method. It also fosters good communication between the developer and the client.
One of the earliest software development methodologies, waterfall methodology follows a rigid development process. Each step follows the traditional life-cycle and pattern in developing software. It’s a step-by-step and methodical approach, wherein no phase can be overtaken or overlapped by another.
Considering its sequential flow and rigid process, this method can be employed for any project. Waterfall allows developers, collaborators, and clients to easily track their progress. Everything is carefully planned out prior to the start of the project, thereby saving time. However, in the case of a glitch at any stage in the project, the succeeding steps might be affected.
A popular and recommended, agile methodology is anchored on the fact that technology is continuously evolving. The process is focused on the product or project itself, rather than the procedures. With agile, developers expect various constant upgrades and modifications based on user feedback. It also involves internal changes within the development team.
Instead of rigid frameworks, the working process is divided into milestones; thus providing developers and clients with actual results and feedback immediately. This enables developers to fix glitches while at an early stage further improving the product. The downside, however, is that these constant alternations and changes might distract the development team and cause a delay. As such, this methodology should be taken with a goal in mind.
Each method comes with its benefits and limitations. There is no inferior or superior methodology. The nature of the project and all other aspects should be considered to find a suitable method to use. It is essential to check each methodology to help you decide which will work best.