9th August 2021 - Tom MillerBlog Post
By its very nature, a bespoke software application holds distinct advantages over an off the shelf product, as it is specifically designed to meet the requirements and individual business needs of its user. It eliminates unnecessary functionality and makes for an efficient, user friendly and streamlined system, that is easily compatible with the business applications your company most commonly interacts with. However, due to this particularity, the off the initial investment is higher than an off the shelf option and stakeholders may consider this an unnecessary outlay. Here, we explore the benefits of a bespoke software solution and the added value your business can gain.
A bespoke solution possesses the flexibility and scope in scalability to adapt to changing business needs and growth. Built in functions, designed from the offset, with your business in mind, allow for seamless alterations to core business processes, easily accommodate increased workload, additional users, and the demand for further integrations to the system.
You are in total control and lead the pace and direction of the software development. New functionality can be integrated as and when the need arises and the system can accommodate as many users as desired, with no additional licence fees for new users and no unnecessary, costly, imposed upgrades. You own the IP to your software and can change it limitlessly. New changes and features can be added in line with business needs and not at the whim of an external third party.
Off the shelf software, with established, well-known vulnerabilities and multiple users is more exposed to attack; a tailored system, accessed only by trusted users and employees is less vulnerable, reducing liability to your business and keeping your data, and your customers’ data, safe.
Purchasing off the shelf software on the basis of reduced overheads often represents a false economy; although initial set up costs are higher when developing a bespoke system, any outlay is more than compensated by a smoother, tailored operating system, specifically designed around your business needs, with no redundant, expensive functionality and unrequired upgrades. A little-known benefit of developing a truly bespoke solution is the potential to reclaim business costs of developing the novel system via the Government R&D Tax Credit scheme.
A system designed to your business needs can be adapted for use for employees of all competencies, increasing staff efficiency and automating commonly executed tasks to reduce administrative burden. All required integrations can be pre-planned from conception to accommodate existing and regularly accessed systems, such as existing suppliers, and to quickly and seamlessly account for any future additions, minimising disruption to company processes as your business grows and changes. Another efficiency of a bespoke system is easily accessible and understandable business data, at the user’s fingertips, displayed in a manner that most efficiently suits company requirements.
Software that is bespoke to your business operations differentiates you from your competitors; an instinctive to use and company branded system, that makes relevant recommendations, without being intrusive, will improve customer experience, boost brand recognition, and increase sales.
The devil, as they say, is in the detail. With some choice additional features developed uniquely for your business, you stand out from the crowd. Personalised tools like auto-generated messaging keep users engaged and shows that you put real effort into your customer experience.
Off the shelf software applications are designed to serve a wide range of businesses and include many functions irrelevant to individual businesses. Generic screens, with no relevance to your business, reduce efficiency, slowing your system down and making it less instinctive and harder to use for staff and customers. Often, off the shelf costs do not include setup, import of company data, the necessary customisation of reports, customer support and the time taken to train staff on the system; Investing in a bespoke software system is often a more cost-effective strategy in the long term. Off the shelf software can be versatile and easy to use; however, a bespoke system will always hold the advantage because it’s targeted specifically at your business, your employees, and your customers.
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