The question of off-the-shelf software vs. bespoke software is something that all business managers have to face at one point or another. Since technology has advanced and permeated every area of business management, this question is vital and necessary to answer. The problem is that most business managers get sucked in by the lower prices and easier installation of off-the-shelf software without thinking about the advantages custom software offers.
The biggest advantage bespoke software provides is versatility and customizability. Off-the-shelf is usually created with broad needs in mind – the more this kind of software sells, the better. That’s why you will be hard-pressed to find software of this kind that would fill your particular niche.
Custom-made software, on the other hand, is made specifically for you and your team. Whether you are catering to a very particular niche, employing a non-standard business model, or just need to have a piece of software that’s fine-tuned to your needs, you’ll find that custom-made software can help you.
One often overlooked disadvantage of off-the-shelf software is its short lifespan. Now, you might be wondering what lifespan means? Software, unlike other products, isn’t subject to wear-and-tear – this much is true. Lifespan in the software business refers to the program’s scalability and customizability.
No business remains the same, and over the months and years, you’ll need to grow and evolve – expanding to new markets, changing your business model, or even changing your products completely. It’s really hard to adapt off-the-shelf software to these changing needs.
With bespoke software, you’ll be able to plan ahead and integrate your future vision into the software from the get-go. You’ll also have a much easier customizing it and adapting it to your new needs because it is usually smaller and more focused than enterprise software.
Tying to our previous points, you’ll be surprised how much more infrastructure and resources you’ll need with enterprise software compared to a custom-made.
Enterprise software comes with a lot of extras, a lot of requirements, and a lot of features you have no use of. You can’t just take out the parts of the software you don’t want, and that’s why they’ll take up needless resources and require extra operations. If the software assumes a certain model or infrastructure, you’ll have to adapt to its needs too.
On the other hand, with bespoke software, you’re only going to get the things you asked for and require without any useless extras. The cost of adopting and implementing it would be much cheaper, and you might even save money in the long run.
Latest and Greatest Technologies
Since technology is advancing at an ever-increasing pace, it would really hurt your business if you adopted something that’s a year or two old.
Off-the-shelf software’s problem is that it almost always uses technologies that are a year or two old, if not older. Some of them claim they update their software every year, but most of it is just a user interface revamp without changing much of the underlying code.
If you hire a good software development company (for example, an SEO company in London) to create custom software for you or come up with a marketing plan, you’ll be sure that they are going to use the latest technologies and techniques to create it. That means your software will be viable for much longer, and you’ll have a competitive edge in your business.