In a world where digital solutions are no longer a luxury but rather a necessity or a must, businesses don’t consider whether to digitalize or not. After all, it’s already a proven fact that digital solutions drive meaningful business results regardless of the scope of an organization. Cost-efficiency, reduced turnaround time, and enhanced productivity are three key pillars that are indispensable for business success today.
The question is which software to choose: a ready-made or bespoke (meaning custom) one. In this article, we are going to elaborate on bespoke systems, their advantages for business, and implementation drawbacks.
What Is Bespoke Software?
The definition of bespoke is “made for a particular customer or user.” meaning that bespoke technology is designed specifically in regard to specific business needs. In other words, if you need software that will allow your business to establish communication channels with clients and colleagues, handle data processing and analytics, as well as keeping track of all main KPIs for every employee, you may want to run a proprietary application rather than adjusting the existing CRM. This proprietary application is a bespoke system that is developed with a focus on your specific needs.
Advantages of Bespoke Systems
Here are the main benefits that a business will repeat when choosing bespoke systems:
Choosing bespoke technology is similar to building a house from scratch. You are designing every corner of your future home so that every single centimeter makes sense: a kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and their number are located with maximum comfort.
The same applies to digital solutions: every line of code is written in regard to your needs so that the end-users enjoy all the necessary functionality with the best user experience possible. Such a high level of customization allows you to build a system that will facilitate business operations and help to boost productivity, not drop it because of a complicated layout or lack of specific features.
With the rise of cyber threats, implementing a reliable, risk-free solution is a must. Otherwise, this blessing can happen to be your worst nightmare if a data breach occurs. Here is why reputable companies that can afford an expensive solution choose bespoke systems.
Since no one else except for you can access the servers or any valuable data, your information is much more protected. All you need to do is to ensure your developers aren’t scammers and that they don’t know more than allowed. Besides, you can always set up access control to hide confidential data even from your own employees.
When introducing a new system, one should also take into account possible requirements that may arise in the future, which may lead to financial or user sacrifices. Unlike a ready-made solution whose upgrade is at the mercy of new versions that rarely appear, a bespoke technology solution means complete freedom in future refinements according to your specific needs.
In reality, it implies that you can add necessary changes as long as they appear. You won’t need to look for another platform or deal with a new implementation, which means extra time and money resources.
Simple Onboarding and Installation
A bespoke solution is designed to make your life easier, which applies to installation and user onboarding. You can think through every single detail to make the interface as user-friendly as possible. Therefore, you won’t need to spend hours, weeks, or months educating your employees.
As for the installation, the system will be embedded organically. No extra adjustments are necessary, as your IT infrastructure is taken into account from the very beginning. This reduces the risk of misalignments during the system’s installation, fostering smoother implementation.
Disadvantages of Bespoke Systems
While custom-made solutions have certain benefits, there are some disadvantages that you need to be ready for. They are:
Long Delivery Time
What is faster: buying a coat in the store or turning to a tailor who will sew it from scratch? Of course, the former wins in terms of time. The latter option requires tedious hours of choosing the right fabrics, taking measurements, and, finally, making a coat.
That’s exactly what you will face with bespoke systems: brainstorming to identify key functionality, best layout, user journey map - everything, up to the slightest detail. After that, the developers will start designing the application. Therefore, prepare to devote months until the system is ready to use.
Involvement in the Process
Creating custom solutions requires not only your money but also time. If you want to create a high-quality system that will perfectly meet your needs, you need to prepare to get involved in the process - at least, in the stage of brainstorming, when the decision-making takes place. Later, you can delegate the monitoring to a project manager or any other trustworthy employee.
When choosing to go off the beaten path, extra costs are unavoidable. After all, a separate dedicated team is summoned to generate the application idea, think through a user journey and main features, and build a reliable architecture so that the solution is stable and scalable.
Sometimes, businesses try to lower the financial costs by hiring freelancers. This is a path to beware: you risk wasting money and time, as several unacquainted developers are unlikely to drive business value - especially if their rates are lower than the average.
Bespoke vs. Out-of-the-Box Software
We have already described the basics of bespoke systems above. But why are they better than out-of-the-box or ready-made solutions? To begin, let’s find out what out-of-the-box solutions are.
What Is Out-of-the-Box Software?
Out-of-the-box software is defined as a type of finished program that can be bought at any time by anyone and is designed for a specific purpose.
The best example of premade software is the Microsoft Office package. It is ideal to complete the most common company tasks. This type of software is designed with the idea that thousands of users use it in the same way.
In brief, out-of-the-box solutions have the following pros and cons:
- Affordability. Since out-of-the-box solutions are designed for mass usage, their price is basically distributed among all users, which lowers the costs.
- Fast Delivery. You won’t need to wait until the system is developed. Merely make a payment and start using the software.
- Constant maintenance and support. The vendor is the one responsible for updates, bugs improvements, and performance.
- Limited functionality. Out-of-the-box solutions usually cover the main functionality, meaning you won’t find all the desired features.
- Necessary adaptation. Whether you are using a white-label solution or not, you are likely to need to customize the provided software to drive business value. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible.
- Security and access issues. Since you aren’t the software owner, any shared data can be at risk of disposal if the system’s servers fall.
Bespoke or Out-of-the-Box: Which One to Choose?
There is no single rule for which software type to choose: it’s a matter of personal needs and resources. Out-of-the-box solutions suit you if:
- Basic functionality is enough
- You have a limited budget and time
- You don’t need complex tailored solutions
On the contrary, go for bespoke systems if:
- You need a custom-made system that will perfectly satisfy your business objectives
- The system’s reliability and further scalability are of utmost importance
- You plan to establish advanced security
- You are ready to devote time and money to implement a high-quality solution
As you can see, the principle is simple. Those who suffice with basic functionality don’t need to consider custom-tailored software. If, however, you are looking to build a meaningful system that will drive business value from day 1, then bespoke solutions are the best choice.
How Bespoke Software Is Created
Creating a custom program is a process that, if properly managed, can be enjoyable and challenging, and the result is an application that will ultimately increase your profitability and make everyday work easier.
The development of the application at the request of the client, or the refinement of the existing business system to the needs of the client, takes place in several steps:
- Drafting. It is necessary to determine in detail all the business specifics, analyze the existing system, and get acquainted with all business processes. Based on the collected data, you can draft a future bespoke system.
- Design. Based on the previous stages, the application design is approached.
- Features validation. Firstly, you list all the possible features to be embedded in the system. Then, you assess their viability, eliminate unnecessary ones, and leave only the indispensable ones.
- Development. When you review the specification and approve the project, the development of the application begins.
- Implementation. Program installation, user training, and the elimination of possible problems in the operation of the application are performed.
Don’t Rush Into the Development - Keep the Long-Term Goals in Mind
What is bespoke software for business? It’s a tool that allows companies to reduce costs, deploy talents for meaningful tasks, and optimize business operations. A bespoke system drives efficiency that enables businesses to achieve short-term and long-term goals faster and at reduced costs.
It doesn’t only allow you to outperform the competitors but also levels up the delivered service. Think about it: with optimized business operations, your employees complete their tasks faster and with less effort. Therefore, they are more productive, have more energy, and can concentrate on additional tasks. All this drives value for any business, regardless of the industry.
While all these sound tempting, there is an important factor we didn’t discuss yet - a dedicated team. You can drive value only if the designed solution is of high quality. Bespoke works well if it’s a masterpiece created by true professionals. We at Develux are ready to help you out. Let us know what prevents your business from success, and we will help to overcome the challenge with the help of bespoke digital solutions.