Off-the-shelf software is made to suit a wide range of businesses. It helps automate systems by incorporating technological advancements to streamline operations. But there’s a ‘but’. Out of the box solutions inevitably come with compromises. Not every software feature in a product is required by every customer, so it’s fit for purpose can be lacking and its usage unnecessarily cumbersome.
It is uncommon for off-the-shelf software to address all the needs and requirements an organisation has. Upgrades and modifications are at the behest of the vendor; users can never know with any certainty what direction the solution will take.
On the other hand, bespoke software is crafted precisely to the individual’s needs. Below, we review the important benefits bespoke software offers:
What’s better than having something that is exclusively made for you? Bespoke software – like a tailored suit – is custom made to address your particular needs. It is developed according to your specific business requirements.
Software made for a particular business gives full control to the end-user. It also allows further customisation to suit the changing demands of a business. In an ever competitive environment, it gives an edge to a business from those using off-the-shelf software which is based on generic – and often complicated – feature sets.
The sense of security that bespoke software offers is altogether more. Off-the-shelf software, because of its innate widespread usage, is more prone to security breaches. Hackers generally have greater ease of access leading to a greater sense of data vulnerability as compared to bespoke software.
Bespoke software is more difficult to break into since there is minimal information openly available for exploitation.
3. Scalability & Flexibility
Flexibility is another key driver for choosing bespoke software. As an organisation’s needs change, the ability to adapt and develop the software accordingly is more easily met with a bespoke package.
Along with the expansion of a business, its bespoke software may also require functionality modifications. In such scenarios, unlike the standard off-the-shelf systems, new features can be incorporated into the bespoke one as and when required.
Since customized software already belongs to the user, developers can readily add additional features. Furthermore, because the development team already has a full understanding of the implemented software, it doesn’t take too long to understand and implement the required changes.
Scalability, in this way, makes the software further customized, and adapted to the business’s changing requirements.
4. Support & Maintenance
Companies offering off-the-shelf software support and maintenance provide generic incremental improvements. This can prove a hindrance if users lose a feature they hitherto relied upon, and/or when the changes don’t actually provide any specific meaningful progress.
On the contrary, bespoke software comes with individualised customer support which inevitably means organisations will benefit from timely and necessary enhancements that they have specifically requested and need.
5. Value for Money
Although it may appear a hefty investment to choose bespoke over off-the-shelf software (tailored suits cost more than off-the-peg right?), a simple cost-benefit analysis validates the value for money the former offers over the latter.
Off-the-shelf software can include additional costs in the long-run with respect to troubleshooting, waiting for upgrades and poor maintenance packages. Bespoke software automates business processes through optimising the client’s specific existing business operations, which delivers a level of improved efficiency that off-the-shelf products simply can’t match. The savings achieved through deploying tailored software solutions can then be invested in other areas of the business.
6. Quicker Integration & Implementation
Because the client is front and centre of the service, the process is more easily manageable for all concerned, especially the end user. It doesn’t therefore, take any extra effort for the user to train and use it, after all they created the specifications. From a standing start, implementation is embraced, not stressed over. Integration is considered from the outset, and only wanted features are included.
Going live with a new software solution, as any developer will tell you, can be a challenging period. Deploying a bespoke software solution, rather than an off-the-shelf product, nudges the odds more favourably towards a quicker and more positive impactful deployment.
Tony Robbins, an American author and entrepreneur, says:
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
Choosing bespoke software is an important decision and when it’s done right, can propel a forward thinking business in the right direction. Deploying cost effective, tailored solutions for long-term business growth and stability is undeniably an ultimate business driver of success.