Your business is unique and so are its needs. Since data is the backbone of all businesses thriving in the digital age, it makes sense to have a customised software to suit your ways of working. This is where bespoke software comes in. It is designed keeping in mind specific features needed to carry out vital business interactions. Bespoke software development also takes into consideration the way your business operates so that the transition to the new software feels familiar. 

There also exist ready-made or off-the-shelf software which offer the general tools that businesses may need in a pre-packaged form. Off-the-shelf software doesn’t require the kind of investment that you would put into bespoke software development. You can opt for a ready-made software if there is an urgent need or only a small team assigned to use the software. Moreover, you can overlook developing a custom software if an off-the-shelf software gives you all the features that your business needs. While it’s the cheaper and quicker option in the short-term, it may prove to be expensive in the long run. Being a mass market product means that you’ll face a learning curve, have no control over upgrades and new features, and it’s likely that competing businesses are using the same software. 

Bespoke software development is all the rage nowadays. Businesses want to stand out and do things their way. Today, bespoke software is not only built to carry out key business functions but is meant to be a reflection of the values and vision of the company in ones and zeros. Here’s a brief list of the pros and cons of having bespoke software designed for your business. 

Pros

  1. You pay for what you get

Having a tailor-made software means that you only pay for the functions and features specific to your business. Ready-made software might have too few or too many features that may or may not be useful to you. 

  • The software adapts to you

Bespoke software  developers understand your business operation and create a system that slots seamlessly into your existing one, meaning there is no compatibility issue or learning curve. 

  • Saves time in the long run

Although a custom-made software takes time to set up, it is user friendly and saves you a lot of software training time. If automation is built-in, it could take care of menial tasks allowing your employees to focus on more important ones. 

  • It gives you a competitive advantage

The software is exclusively yours and your competitors will not have access to your unique business solution. 

  • It’s scalable

Your software can grow with your business to include newer features and tools that you might require. 

  • Complete control over updates

Off-the-shelf software developers roll out updates and new features based on what they think a majority of clients need. That may or may not suit you. With bespoke software you control when updates are needed and what features need to be added. 

  • Better security

Bespoke software are often considered less secure because off-the-shelf software developers have tried and tested their product on a number of clients. However, this may not always be true. In fact, having a large user base can make it more tempting for hackers to find a way in, and a single security breach can compromise many clients. Rather, bespoke software can have security built-in unlike ready-made software that rely on third-party security solutions. 

Cons

  1. Development time

Bespoke software development takes a lot of time. Developers have to understand your business needs and create the software from scratch. Moreover, there will be rounds of trial and error, and it could take a while before your custom software is up and running. A commercial software, on the other hand, just requires installation and some training to get you started. 

  • It’s expensive

Bespoke software is cost-effective in the long term. However, the time and expertise required to build a software from the ground up means that upfront costs can be high. 

  • It’s not tried and tested

Product reviews give you a rough idea of what you’re getting. Off-the-shelf software are vetted by a number of businesses and their experience lets you know what to expect. 

  • Ready-made could be the solution

Commercial software are loaded with features that are beneficial to your business and could be all you need. Small businesses, especially, can have a number of tools at their disposal without having to spend much.  Despite the time and money it takes to set up bespoke software, your business could benefit from it in the long run. It’s intuitive, flexible, adaptable and gives you complete control to shape the software to meet your needs. As a business owner, it’s important that you choose a bespoke or off-the-shelf software after carefully evaluating the value that each has to offer.