The etymology of the word “bespoke” tells a story about wealthy men who could afford a custom-tailored suit instead of a suit made according to the standard patterns. The meaning of the “bespoke software” is quite the same. Bespoke software is considered to be a software that is custom-designed in accordance with customers requirements and needs. Such applications are presumed to be more user-friendly and more effective as all the business processes of the company are taken into account when it is being developed. Bespoke software advantages and disadvantages are the topics I will cover in this article.
When it comes to choosing a new IT solution to an organization, your starting point is to decide whether to invest in an off-the-shelf solution or to develop a bespoke system. Each decision an organization takes depends on its requirements and the value it wants to receive. Here I will support your critical decision by providing the advantages of bespoke software along with its disadvantages. Besides, you will get to know when an off-the-shelf software works better than the bespoke one.
Why You Might Need an Off-the-Shelf Software
So, let’s think of the cases when ready solutions can make you a favor. Below are the most frequent cases when buying an off-the-shelf product is better than waiting for the development of custom-designed applications:
Case 1 - Urgent Need
You need a software fast or even immediately. If you have a well-defined set of objectives, you definitely need a software that will address the problems immediately. Why not choosing a ready solution that has already proved to work?
Case 2 - Precise Requirements
When you are sure about what you need. If your requirements are straightforward, you can easily find the features required in the off-the-shelf products offered by lots of companies today.
Case 3 - Small Team
You need a software for a pair of users only. If your team comprises of only a few people, think of a ready solution. You will actually save lots of money.
Why You Might Need a Bespoke Software
Every business wants to stand out. Every business creates its brand and promotes brand awareness among customers. Why buying an off-the-shelf IT solution if you want to bring more value to your customers? Why doing like everybody if you want to differ from your competitors? Perhaps you heard some of those myths about bespoke software which make you so cautious about the custom-designed products? Below are the most frequent arguments against the custom software which I will try to dispel.
You know exactly what you get with a ready solution. There is a set of features and options offered by a bunch of ready-made IT products. You think you know what features you buy and what features will fit your needs. However, imagine, you should scale up your staff because your business starts growing rapidly! Did you learn if your ready solution has the possibility to scale? And if yes, how much will it cost you to change the tariffs? With a custom-designed software, you discuss all these things beforehand. Usually, business analysts conduct research on your business needs and take into account its potentials. So, you get a product that is already focused on the growth and development of your company.
Argument 1 - Bespoke software costs more than the off-the-shelf applications. It may seem that the custom-developed software is more expensive than the existing market solutions. However, do you remember the hidden and supplementary costs you will need to pay once you decide to modify your system according to your need? The bespoke development allows customers to pay for what they need according to the detailed SRS documents provided by the vendors.
Argument 2 - Custom software development means it will take you longer to implement a new solution in your company. Surely, buying off-the-shelf products is quite fast and simple. But as well as you meet the hidden costs, you will meet the hidden time needed to choose, buy, deploy, and customize your app.
Argument 3 - Bespoke software is considered to be riskier. It is presumed those big companies offering ready IT solutions are able to provide higher security than those who develop custom software. However, it’s not true. Bespoke software developers are motivated to deliver the products with a high-security level as their future payments depend on the quality of the software they produce. Besides, customers can negotiate the security issues before a team starts developing their app.
Argument 4 - It’s ridiculous to choose bespoke software development when there are so many application around. With the evolution of information technology, there is an impressive variety of ready solutions on the market. Why developing a custom product if there are so many options? However, a ready solution will rarely address unique business needs.
Custom built software solutions can improve the way you run the business, and create a better advantage over your competitors. Below are more benefits that custom-built systems can bring to your company.
Five Top Advantages of Tailor-Made Software
If you are on your way to adopting a bespoke approach, you should learn about the top 5 advantages of bespoke software.
Benefit 1 - You pay only for the things you need. You don’t pay for the functionalities you actually don’t need. It also means you won’t spare your time on customizing off-the-shelf products because you already know what features you really need and which ones are not worth the price you pay.
Benefit 2 - You get a product that is useful for you and your co-workers as well. The requirements of every single employee are taken into account while developing a bespoke software.
Benefit 3 - Your app is built with innovative technologies. When you contact a software company to develop a custom software, you will likely benefit from the latest technologies used by the development team to build your software. The matter is that most developers are interested in up-to-date technologies, they try to learn and use those as soon as possible. However, make sure what exactly technologies, frameworks, and coding languages will be used within the development process. New approaches and technologies allow companies to cut costs for the development and improve their time-to-market.
Benefit 4 - You get a product that is relevant to your employees and processes. The key to receiving the right solution for your unique needs and goals is how well the functionalities and features and their implementation integrates with your operational processes and users.
Benefit 5 - Bespoke is more flexible. A bespoke system can evolve over time to match your changing requirements. There’s more to custom applications than meets the eye. The changes you may want to implement along the way are done throughout the development process. This helps you grow your business and meet customers demands. Custom-designed applications are made to match your business model, resulting in less supervision, improved efficiency, fewer errors, and less supervision.
Five Disadvantages of Bespoke Software
Time and Efforts
It will take some time for developers to understand what features are best-suited for your business model. Custom software development makes no sense if not matching the needs of the company for which they are developed. Surely, the implementation of off-the-shelf software is much faster. All you need to do is buy the package, customize, and implement it.
It is presumed that purchasing a license is much cheaper than building your own solution. The upfront cost of custom-written software is relatively high, but think if you will have to increase the number of users, add the support price, and you will see that custom application is much more profitable in the long-term perspective.
It is obvious that ready solutions are designed to meet the of the masses. However, for the business which develops and grows, custom-designed software is a better fit. In case your company is small, it is convenient to buy a license as the off-the-shelf product can offer all the necessary features to its users.
Developing bespoke software takes a lot of time because there is a need for constant communication between the developer and the customer.
If you don’t have a copy of the source code for your application, you are dependent on the developer of the software. Should the source code become unavailable your business could be exposed to a significant risk.
How Can Diceus Help You With Custom-Built Software?
In the same way that a tailored apparel fits you perfectly, tailored software fits your company needs. Off-the-shelf software can often solve most of the problems for you. However, what hasn’t been solved will require you to change your procedures and practices, or create a series of new problems.
Tailored software from Diceus fits around your business, to make your processes better, not vice versa. For 8 years, creating bespoke software has been core to our organization. We work across a wide range of businesses and industries. But we are more than a team of professional software developers. Our real skill is in understanding your business, your processes, your problems, your challenges, and your aims and developing software to suit. Our business analysts conduct an in-depth analysis of your business. Armed with the understanding of what you face and what you want to achieve, we then start developing the software solution that is right for you.
What’s more, we guarantee this software. Having worked within a wide range of industries, we are able to share best practice and solutions. Industries in which we have worked include insurance, human resources, medicine, manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, automotive, etc. We worked with customers of all sizes from SME’s to multi-national organizations. Much of our work has involved integration with other systems, both mass-market, legacy, and bespoke to provide a true flow of information through an organization.
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