• Brendon Koh

Custom Development vs Generic Apps

Updated: Sep 12


When deciding on a business process automation software, it is important to understand the difference between a generic application and one that uses custom development. Often businesses end up purchasing too many business applications because a generic application does not meet all of their needs. Let’s take a look at how custom development can help you avoid data silos and integration issues while meeting all of your organizational needs.


Generic Applications

A generic application is one that is created to be purchased right off the shelf. These solutions are developed in a way to meet the needs of a broad selection of clients, rather than focusing on one specific organization’s needs.

Software companies like these applications because they are easy to scale and save them time with development and installation. The functionality is based on large-scale use, so the features are rather broad and generalized.

Benefits of Generic Applications

Generic applications are useful because most of them meet the standard business needs. The integration process is straightforward, and new upgrades are usually released free of charge.


A generic application also requires less financial investment when it comes to development and integration.

Similarly, a generic application will have a large source of references and reviews for you to determine how well the product works and whether it will be effective for your automation needs.

Drawbacks of Generic Applications

The main drawback of using a generic enterprise solution is that it is likely not going to meet all of your software requirements. Since the features are built to serve a large customer base, it may be missing key capabilities that you need to satisfy your business needs. In other words, a generic application may work temporarily but there will likely be gaps in features that you need to have digital transformation.


Custom Development

Custom-developed applications are built specifically for your organization. To build custom B2B software, the company works hand-in-hand with the developers to select features, capabilities, and functionality.


The goal of custom development is to understand the unique challenges a business is facing with digitalization and process automation - and to design a tool that will solve them. The entire application will be centered around the company’s needs and wants and is often kept confidential for that client.

Benefits of Custom Application Development

Custom database apps offer many benefits for organizations, with the main one being the fact that it will meet all of their business process and system requirements. This software is built specifically for your business.

With custom development services, you can work with developers to define the platform and make changes as needed. It is flexible and is tailored to your exact business needs. Since you are choosing the features included in the application, you also do not have to worry about paying for functions that you do not need or want.

The rise of no-code development has made creating custom applications easier than ever. These platforms allow your business to build a system that will fit your specific needs, without having to hire an extensive team of data scientists and developers.

Drawbacks of Custom Development

A drawback of custom application development is that if you get too specific upfront, the software may not be scalable in the long run.

Likewise, your organization is responsible for funding any additional development, upgrades, or system changes in the future since there will not be standard updates. This means that a custom application may be more expensive in the long run, since you have to pay each step of the way.


Which is Best?

So, which solution is best for your business – a custom application or a generic one? Both generic applications and custom solutions have their benefits and drawbacks, but the answer will depend on your unique business needs. If your organization has very unique and specific needs, a custom application is likely your best option. While you may be able to patch multiple generic applications together to try to overcome all of your business challenges, this will likely lead to data silos and integration issues.


If the process you are trying to automate has to be replicated exactly as it is done offline, you should consider custom development. Most generic applications provide standard workflows and reporting features, but the more specific the process is the more unlikely that the application will be able to meet your needs.

To put it in simpler terms, if you need to have complete control over the features in the platform and the way it is integrated into your business, you should go with a custom enterprise solution.


This is also the case when you have to integrate your new platform with other proprietary hardware or software. If you need your specific equipment to work with a mobile app, or you need to track detailed data from medical devices, a generic application will generally not cut it.


While it may be more costly upfront to develop a custom application, it can save you money in the long run because you will not need to buy multiple generic applications to try and overcome your challenges.


Moving Forward with Custom Development

If you have decided that creating a custom database application is the best choice for your business, consider working with a custom development agency like Automate Labs.

At Automate Labs, we work to help you build custom database solutions that are easily integrated, cost-effective, and user-friendly.


Our custom digital tools will allow you to satisfy all of your system requirements and help you overcome the challenges you are facing with the automation and digitalization of your business processes. This will promote a boost in your productivity and allow you to use data to gain valuable insights to take your organization to the next level.


We will work with your budget to include only the features and capabilities that you need, ensuring that there is no unnecessary financial waste. Our projects can be ready to go in just a few weeks, so you can be up and running with a custom application in no time!

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