Over the years, software solutions have become a necessity when it comes to running a business efficiently and thus making it succeed. They owe their popularity to the outstanding possibilities operating systems are able to offer to a company, no matter the size or industry. If you have been considering acquiring software for your business, you have two options: an off-the-shelf package produced for the mass market or a bespoke solution developed especially for your company to meet all of its needs.
There is no doubt that commercial products are cheaper and less time-consuming when compared to custom software solutions. There are a lot of ready-made packages you can start using right away, however, they are designed to answer the demands of as many companies as possible. The number of features can very often slow down your business instead of improving its productivity. Also, it is sometimes hard to find all of the functionalities you need in a single package.
Contrary to commercial products, tailor-made software is a solution offering your company all the necessary features that are relevant to your team. It can take both time and money to develop an individually crafted program, but it should be regarded as investing in the future of your business. If you wonder how you can benefit from using a bespoke solution, keep on reading.
Benefits of bespoke software
Bespoke software solutions are very often thought to be dedicated to unique organisations that cannot find a commercial package which would meet their requirements. To the contrary, tailor-made software can be beneficial for every company because of:
When buying custom software, you are the one who decides what the solution will look like and how it will work in general. Business analysts gather all of your requirements and then translate them for the development team, making sure what you receive is exactly what you need.
The agile methodology is a unique approach many bespoke software companies practise. Thanks to direct contact with the developers, you can provide them with your feedback during the development process based on how you find certain functionalities. If your requirements change, there is no need to worry as the developers will adjust them.
Another thing you are in charge of are updates. In the case of off-the-shelf products, there is often a demand to upgrade your software. Latest versions contain various features your business may not need, which can cause you a lot of problems when they are not compatible with your data. When it comes to a bespoke solution, you decide when and how you want to upgrade your software.
Commercial products tend to be loaded with functionalities, which very often slows down the speed of the entire system and makes it more difficult to use at the same time. Bespoke solutions, on the other hand, offer all the features you need and nothing more, which results in improving the workflow of a company.
When going bespoke, you can also be sure your team will understand the software very well. It doesn’t contain unnecessary and inappropriate components, which shortens the learning time. By working with the developers right from the beginning, you can avoid employees having problems with the software or working manually.
Another issue which makes bespoke software simple is the integration. If your company has used multiple off-the-shelf solutions in the past, the developers can easily integrate it into one package without losing valuable data.
Using a proper software has a great impact on the efficiency of your work. By introducing communication tools, for example an instant messaging tool, you are able to improve collaborative working in your company. It brings your employees closer, which results in boosting their productivity in general.
A bespoke software is also a valuable device when it comes to setting goals. Ordering the solution itself forces you to learn what your business needs and into which direction it is heading. It also offers great analytical tools, which allows you to visualise the effects of your work. That way you can discover the flaws of your company and eliminate them.
Custom solutions not only offer efficiency, they are also developed in an efficient way. Thanks to the agile approach, a software development company is able to provide you with flexibility when it comes to changing your requirements during the development process or upgrading the product after it goes live.
A bespoke software can turn out to be crucial as your business evolves. Off-the-shelf solutions usually limit your choice to either buying cheap software which cannot fit the business size or choosing a program that is able to support your company on a large scale but is too expensive for your organisation at the same time. When it comes to bespoke software, the solution is much more scalable.
You are the owner of the intellectual property, which means you do not need to seek permission to make changes in your software. You can have it upgraded and extended to a few more features your business may need while evolving. In the case of commercial products, there would be a need to buy another package.
Scalability also gives you the possibility to extend the number of software users without slowing the solution down. Bespoke software will work just as quickly when used by one hundred, as well as one thousand people. There is no need to pay more for licence fees.
Details are the key to success. With a few extra features developed uniquely for your business, you can easily beat your competitors. Personalised tools such as auto-generated messages show the users that you put a lot of effort into what you do. Building a professional brand identity may help you win new customers.
Going bespoke can prevent your business from becoming the next hacking victim. Small companies that use ready-made software solutions are very often great targets for hackers. Commonly-used commercial packages are constantly endangered as encrypting one system allows hackers to gain access to details of many companies. When it comes to bespoke software, it protects your business from external threats. Breaching a tailor-made system is much more difficult and gives hackers much less data in return.
Owning the software as intellectual property is another factor that protects your business. You are not obliged to continue cooperation with any specific vendor as you are the legal owner of the product. If you are not satisfied with the service, you can easily find another software company to take care of your solution.
The ownership also allows you to save money. In the case of off-the-shelf packages, there is a licence fee you have to pay for each user, which is not necessary when it comes to bespoke solutions. You decide how many employees can access the software.
Maintenance is, without doubt, the greatest advantage of bespoke software solutions. In the case of off-the-shelf packages, your company is one out of thousands who use the software and there is only one development team who can fix a bug. When it comes to bespoke solutions, a bespoke software development company guarantees to monitor the software and fix any bug you report after your product is ready to go live. That way you can be certain your software will work flawlessly.
A bespoke software development company is legally obliged to support your software for as long as you require, which gives you an additional protection. When the producer of your commercial solution goes bankrupt or decides to no longer maintain the product, you will have to pay unexpected costs.
To sum up
Your company does not need to have uncommon requirements in order to enjoy cyber threats protection, unique branding, increased workplace efficiency and other benefits of bespoke software solutions. Using tailor-made software is not only valuable for your company, your customers will appreciate it as well.
If you would like to talk about how HeadChannel Ltd. can help you improve the workflow of your company, give us a call on +44 (0)20 7099 6399. We have developed countless custom applications and every one of them has made a huge difference for the company. Feel free to use the contact form as well.