Every business step needs a thorough analysis of the outcomes and the benefits. When selecting the kind of software you’ll use for the business process, you have two choices – SaaS (Software as a Service) and custom enterprise software. Which one should you select for the best results?
Let’s review the main distinctions, pros and cons, and why you should pick one or the other.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, or else software as a Service, is a cloud-based solution when customers are provided with pre-installed application software, fully managed by a service provider. This kind of service is also known as software-on-demand.

SaaS providers manage the application and provide users with access to specific functions every month. In simple English, the SaaS solution company doesn’t have control over or ownership of the infrastructure required to run the application. It only pays for its use.

The SaaS present-day offers a wide variety of functions, including CRM and accounting software. In general, the functionality offered through SaaS solutions is designed according to the usual procedure of business process organisation. Therefore, typically, you can select from a range of options of predefined functionality for a varying cost.

What is Custom Enterprise Software?

Custom software is designed from scratch and adapted to the needs of a specific business. It is designed to provide the business and its users’ features. Enterprise software solutions that are custom designed are usually designed by software providers specialising in Java, PHP, and other technologies geared towards enterprises.

The development process typically includes the following stages:

  • To build a system in line with business requirements, the first step is to gather all information regarding the system’s processes and analyse the needs. Then, the team of developers prepares the technical documentation, and the development process begins.
  • The primary benefit of a custom software program is that it is completely customizable, including the features and the scope of the project.
ERP vs SaaS

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Pros and Cons

The core difference between software-as-a-service and custom software is that the former is more a uniform commodity, while the latter is a unique solution. Let’s look at these options in the context of important aspects for every business.

  1. Speed of Implementation & Initial Setup


  • Almost isn’t time-consuming to be implemented but does require the necessary time to determine the best solution.
  • Training for users in a rapid manner and their integration into corporate processes

Customised enterprise software

  • The process takes 6 months or more, based on the size of the project
  • It usually takes time to train the users and implement the system in a business

  1. Customization and Improvements


  • Have several features tested but may contain certain features that don’t meet your requirements.
  • Regular updates are good, but as with new features, they may not meet your expectations.
  • There are a few features that may not be important to your business
  • In general, it is possible to have the opportunity to test the capabilities

Customised enterprise software

  • Fully customizable: you decide the attributes
  • You will also specify all changes and new features that need to be created

  1. Integration with services from third parties


  • APIs allow integration with a wide (and set) variety of third-party software.
  • However, there could be issues integration with your existing software when SaaS isn’t able to provide the required APIs

Customised enterprise software

  • Based on the company’s specifications, it’s designed to work with all software you’ll need.
  • From the beginning of your project, decide which solutions, services, or existing software should be integrated into

  1. Costs


  • A subscription is paid for this aspect helps plan a budget
  • There is no additional cost when new features are made available

Customised enterprise software

  • The work is paid for (the cost is different based on the scope and the specifics of the work)
  • The cost is more as the development takes time and resource-intensive
  • The maintenance costs can be low if no new features or modifications are needed.

  1. Security


  • The software company determines security terms.
  • You need to sign-up and send certain details for the software to function.

Customised enterprise software

  • You determine the security terms that you require
  • It is not necessary to transfer the information to a third-party service

What is the appropriate enterprise software for your business?

Both SaaS, as well as custom enterprise applications, are viable options, but they are not suitable for all. Furthermore, enterprise applications aren’t about software but the business processes and involved people.

Below are the best unifying situations where one option is superior to one alternative.

  1. SaaS is best suited for
  • Your business is mid-sized
  • The business processes aren’t difficult or undefined.
  • There is no internal IT department or employee with the IT skills
  • This IT system is not large, or there isn’t any IT infrastructure whatsoever.
  • Your business has a solid business model that requires only an only a few adjustments
  • You don’t have a large budget to purchase sophisticated software
  • Your business doesn’t need the use of specialised software

  1. If you want to select a customised solution
  • Your company may be large or international
  • Your business has complex and established business procedures
  • You have an internal IT department or an employee who has a strong IT background
  • You’ve established your IT infrastructure and needs updates
  • The business model of your company changes constantly
  • You have the time, funds, and resources to build the foundation for
  • Your company requires a custom solution

Other factors to consider in this debate:

  • Independent Software Vendor 
  • Business Software
  • Cloud-Based ERP Software
  • Organisational Software
  • Software Delivery Model
  • Software Licensing
  • Software Maintenance


Custom software is about the highest level of customization and adaptation to the specifics of your company. The development of a custom solution requires both time and money. SaaS is generally an easy and cost-effective option for companies with processes that do not require specialised software solutions.
If you require specific or custom-built enterprise software but do not know where to start, contact us for a consultation!