Bespoke software development?

25th January 2011

As software developers we’re constantly being asked what are the benefits of getting something developers versus just buying something off the shelf? It’s an interesting debate with pro’s and con’s but for us bespoke software applications, written to meet specific client requirements, offer many advantages over standard, off-the-shelf software.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Bespoke software is easy to use because it works the way you work.
  • You are in control – you can make the changes you require when you like.
  • Bespoke software precisely matches your working practices, requiring less supervision and generating fewer errors
  • Bespoke applications increase productivity by automating repetitive tasks.
  • Your own software differentiates you from the competition with unique products and services.
  • Business information is easier to understand because bespoke applications incorporate your business know-how.
  • Information can be integrated from disparate existing applications.

A custom application may be a better solution than standard, off the shelf, software application. Off the shelf software is designed for a wide range of businesses and may not be ideally suited for a specific business.

With off the shelf software you can be left to do everything yourself including installation, defining fields, importing data. Costs can be deceptive as they don’t include setup, customisation of reports, support nor your own learning time.

Off-the-shelf software often forces you to work in ways that are not always natural or efficient. They must cater for a wide range of organisations and may include many functions you will never use. You may have to use clumsy, general purpose screens not designed specifically for your needs.

Custom software can actually cost less, especially for large number of users. You pay a one off fee regardless of the number of users.

Replacing Multiple Programs
Do you have information fragmented across many different programs such as contact managers, excel spreadsheets, accounts systems?
Combining the functionality of multiple systems into a single custom designed application can:

  • save time
  • make information more accessible and more easily shared
  • reduce training
  • eliminate multiple system purchases and licenses
  • reduce system administration and maintenance
  • improve reliability

Customised software applications can eliminate waste and save you time and money on software and operation costs.

Update:

We’ve added a section to our main site here that goes a little more into the points above.