Mobile App: Build vs. Buy – Making Informed Decisions for Your Custom Software Development



When it comes to developing a mobile app, the decision to build or buy software is pivotal. This article delves into the considerations that can guide your choice, emphasizing the importance of customization, cost assessment, and a thoughtful analysis of pros and cons.

  1. Figure out what you really need:

In the quest for a tailored solution, it’s crucial to align your tool with your team’s unique needs. Recognize that no off-the-shelf solution fits every criterion perfectly.

To determine your needs:

  • Evaluate the problem: Consider whether the problem aligns with your core value proposition for customers. b. Existing solutions: If there’s a product meeting your needs, buying software may be recommended.
  1. Calculate the cost of custom development:

Understanding the investment in custom development goes beyond upfront costs. Consider direct expenses, subscription costs, and also account for time-saving benefits. Simplify cost comparisons by equating tool costs with your team’s hourly value.

Example: Assessing time at $50 per hour, compare the cost of building a tool to buying a subscription, e.g., Zoom Meetings.

  • Cost-effective decisions: Evaluate scenarios where custom development proves worth the investment.
  1. Ask the right questions to assess pros and cons:

Both building and buying come with risks. To make informed decisions, address critical questions:

  • Opportunity cost: What if the project runs past the deadline? b. Personnel changes: How does the departure of key team members affect the tool? c. Reliability: Compare the reliability of your solution to an off-the-shelf tool. d. Training time: Consider the time required to train your team on each solution. e. Scalability: Often overlooked, scalability can impact long-term product success.

Pros and Cons:

Explore the advantages and disadvantages of custom software development and SaaS solutions:

Pros of Custom Software Solutions:

  • 100% customization to meet specific requirements b. Full ownership of the software and data c. Better integration with third-party software d. Enhanced reporting and analytics capabilities

Cons of Custom Software Solutions:

  • Time-consuming scoping and development b. Initial high investment (cost-effective in the long run) c. Prone to security risks and bugs d. Greater dependence on developers

Pros of SaaS Solutions:

  • SaaS provider handles IT infrastructure and maintenance costs b. Cloud deployment with minor configuration needs c. Provider-managed hardware and software updates d. Flexibility to change plans for additional functionality

Cons of SaaS Solutions:

  • Limited customization due to no ownership of core code b. Subscription costs accumulate in the long run c. Dependence on a single provider for all software needs d. Data stored in provider-controlled databases, raising security concerns


While off-the-shelf solutions pose risks, custom software development requires careful consideration. Beware of vendors claiming plug-and-play solutions. Custom software can differentiate your business by offering a unique customer experience, creating a competitive edge. If your envisioned tool addresses a gap in the market, the investment in custom development may be the strategic choice for your

Don’t miss out on the benefits of having a dedicated mobile app for your business. Contact Krato today to learn more about how our mobile app solution can help you streamline your operations, connect with your audience, and elevate your brand presence in the digital realm. Your distributors and customers deserve a place where they can easily find YOU and learn more.