In the previous blog we looked and 5 signs your business may need new software . This blog extends that with 5 reasons you should at least consider going down the bespoke route. People often think a bespoke software solution is only for when no “off the shelf” solution exists but there are real reasons that this is not the case in many situations.
Your Business By Your Rules
If you have ever tried to swap between two off the shelf packages, for example moving your CRM from one supplier to another, you will be well aware of the pain involved. In most cases when you start looking at other suppliers you come up against a road block of this does not fit how our business works today. So in order to facilitate a move you have to make compromises. Sometimes these compromises are small but often they make moving packages very difficult.
Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Well one reason is that you have matched your business processes to the software you use rather than match your software to your business processes. It is an issue that really only shows itself when you try to move to another package but those reasons do naturally occur over time, for example you could want to make sure you are still getting best value for money or the software you are using is no longer supported or maybe you need a feature that is only available elsewhere.
Bespoke software solutions remove this problem. The software is designed to meet your business needs and as those needs change it can be modified to always keep up with your requirements. It offers a great deal of flexibility because you are in charge.
You can buy the best off the shelf package on the market, but so can your competitors. In order to be a market leader you have to be better than the rest and software can play a key part in that. Obviously not all software provides an advantage but when you get to the point of saying we could be better than our competitors if our software did this, then it is time to look at bespoke solutions.
Separate the Wheat from the Chaff
Off the shelf software is designed to meet the needs of the many. On top of not having specific features you need it also means that feature lists are bloated with lots of things you don’t need. This is more of an issue today with Software as a Solution becoming more and more popular. Rather than buying a specific version of a bit of software you are now subscribing to a platform that is constantly being evolved with new or improved features. This can be a great thing, unless you don’t need the features being upgraded or added. Your subscription is covering part of the cost of that development that you don’t need but it is not the only reason to scale back software to exactly what you need.
Overly complex software leads to higher training requirements for new users and more user errors. Bespoke software can be just the features you need, no more, no less.
We covered this briefly in the last blog. Over time, as more software is introduced into a business, it will become more disjointed. Loss of efficiency is a typical outcome of this problem, especially if you are committing the ultimate software offence of getting the same data into two separate bits of software.
The great news here is that bespoke doesn’t have to mean a complete change of all that software. Integrations and middleware are often quite simple, which means they can be done quickly and cheaper than full blown bespoke software solutions.
Cheaper Than You Think.
One of the great misconceptions is that bespoke software is more expensive than off the shelf software. Of course it can be, but no software development company worth their salt would recommend going down the bespoke route unless there is a business case for it.
The business case is normally easier to make that you might think and it is rare that bespoke will not win out by a combination of actual price (yes, you read correctly, bespoke software is often the cheaper solution over time against subscription based off the shelf solutions) and providing the features you need.
Bespoke software is not always the right decision. That is why we meet with our customers in advance, find out their requirements, see what off the shelf options are available and present them alongside any bespoke software proposal that we prepare and we do this all free of charge!
However, bespoke software is often the best solution and if you want any help in deciding if it is the right direction for your company than please get in touch. Before we finish this blog we would just like to leave you with one thought.
Off the shelf can be great, bespoke software can be perfect!