Originally published in October 2017, last updated in April 2020.
Do you ever feel that your enterprise doesn’t stand out from the crowd? Or that nearly every company around you experiences growth and yours is left behind? Do you wish to gain more experience from working with certain types of clients, yet current company organisation is too chaotic to handle another big project?
If you want to get a competitive advantage, it’s high time you unlock the potential of the bespoke software development solutions, perfectly adapted to match the exact requirements of your business.
What is bespoke software?
Bespoke software solutions (also known as tailored) can be described as custom-made services and products, created according to the client’s unique ideas and requirements. They respond to the specific needs of a company and reflect the actual way in which its business processes are organised.
Now, you may ask yourself what is wrong with the existing system that you bought many years ago? The application is a little slower than it used to be but it still gets the job done. Maybe its design needs a little refreshment and you wish to synchronise it with a new form or a process and, of course, you’d be more than happy if you could benefit from such features in the next few weeks.
Well, that’s exactly what is wrong with your product. Over time it has become obsolete, has increased in complexity and improving it is more of a business risk than a solution to your problems. However, acknowledging that is only the beginning.
Now, the dilemma is whether to look for tailored software development services or buy an off-the-shelf package.
Why should you invest in bespoke software development?
Customised systems stimulate company growth by fully adapting to the specifics of every type of business. Unlike the one-fits-all solution, bespoke software – thanks to its scalability – constantly evolves with the company profile. In result, it does ensure a continuous, perfect match to the current development strategy, is designed to support the working environment of a specific company that will use it exclusively.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf applications meet the common expectations of a certain group of predefined clients from the chosen sector. Software development companies resell them multiple times as a proven, universal (thus, simplified) set of functions that clients need for performing their daily work. However, lower prices could lead to a situation where rivals among the sector have access to the same product, decreasing the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition.
It’s worth to mention that the biggest disadvantage of the box systems pleads in favour of the customized solutions. The main goal of the off-the-shelf solutions is to please as many users as possible, learning from their common experience. Yet, when choosing between many versions available, sometimes you need to decide, which features you can manage without.
In opposite, the design of the tailored system takes into account the actual way in which business processes are organised within a specified company – including its real structures, typical roles and activities. Thus, it doesn’t require any organisational changes, being effortless to adapt by employees. The agile system significantly improves their performance of tasks by facilitating daily communication and ensuring an efficient flow of information.
There is also a huge difference in licensing. The regular off-the-shelf software solutions offer a limited-use licence, while the tailored systems provide you with full ownership of the solution, and the possibility of introducing almost unlimited changes. Nothing stands in the way of further developing the custom-made system even after the implementation project has been completed!
Make up your mind
Here’s why many businesses chose to implement bespoke software into their structures:
- No licence fees (pay once and use it forever)
The moment you decide to have your system developed, you become its sole owner. A well-made project can be resold multiple times, giving the investing company an additional source of income. Yes, you’ve read it right – you can actually get your invested money back.
- The whole package
When you choose a tailored product not only do you receive the system itself – paying for what you really need – but also set up and digital/call support, provided by one of the software development companies. This vastly reduces costs, especially compared to the off-the-shelf version.
- Easy to accommodate
As it has been mentioned before, the custom system is developed according to your needs, this is why it is much easier to get accustomed to using it. Such a solution is fully integrated with your processes, working exactly the way you want it to work.
- Better security
Bespoke software development offers a unique opportunity to acquire an outstanding product, exploited only by your business – which minimizes the risk of data leakage and break-ins. You need to be aware that box products are particularly exposed to hacking, because of their one-fits-all approach, thus very predictable architecture. Basically, a successful break into a system leads to instant access to hundreds more.
- Standing out from the crowd
Only uniqueness guarantees originality. This is exactly what custom development provides you with! Gain a startling competitive advantage by having a tailor-made system.
- Easy implementation of changes (ease of working with the support)
Each business management system needs upgrades, however, in case of a tailored solution they are much easier to implement since it’s built around your requirements. What is more, your dedicated team of software developers is there to cater to your every need.
- Match your business (pay for what you use)
The design of a system is grounded on your guidelines and perfectly matches your projects, ideas and needs. No more unnecessary programs slowing down your software. Here, you get what you actually need, by i.e., creating a remote team on demand. Additionally, the possibility of errors is reduced to a minimum.
A few things to consider before getting in touch with a software development company
For each enterprise, the choice between the box and a customized solution must be preceded by conducting a detailed, diligent analysis of its business needs, plans, and capabilities. Regardless of your choice, remember that purchase of box or bespoke software should be considered as a long-term strategic investment in your company development.
Off-the-shelf solutions are intended to support basic processes – i.e., financial-accounting, payroll or sales systems. Thus, you need to be aware that they usually require payment for a variety of functionalities (even, if you’re not using all of them), as well as updates and support. Due to the lack of some features, you might even find yourself trying to change your business to fit the bought system instead of using it in order to stimulate further growth.
On the other hand, investing in bespoke software development provides your company with an incredibly tailored tool, which fully reflects the actual way in which business processes are organised and satisfies all the specific needs of your working team. As a result, you’ll be able to deliver even more effective service to your customers.
Where is bespoke software used?
Bespoke systems are highly recommended for large retail chains, as well as for managing a variety of internal/external processes in enterprises that intend to develop both nationally and internationally. It still constitutes the minority of the market, giving your business a chance to be unique and to distinguish from the competition.
And if you don’t believe that you deserve to be one of a kind and to gain a perceivable business advantage, then who will?
We hope this comparison of the two most popular types of business management software will help you to make the best decision for your enterprise.
If you have already decided to have your system tailor-made, find out more about software development services at Future Processing, or contact us straight away. We’re sure we can match any need you have for bespoke software development.