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Bespoke software development

Bespoke Software

The Advantages of Bespoke Software

  • Software to meet your precise requirements
  • A solution that can grow and adapt with your business
  • Development can be phased to distribute costs
  • The software may have a resale value
  • Generates an edge over your competitors

Some businesses will not consider the option of bespoke software development (i.e. commissioning the development of a software solution from scratch) because they assume that the process will be more time consuming and more expensive than the alternatives. This assumption, in many cases, can prove to be incorrect - please read on...

Do you need 'mainstream' software?

If you are looking for a Stock Control application or a Sales Ledger package, a Payroll solution or a Tax software product then there are many to choose from and an off-the-shelf product may well suit your needs. However, many businesses require more specialised software solutions for which there is less choice available and, perhaps, a bespoke development is at least worth considering.

Finding a product is time-consuming

While you may be reluctant to invest time describing and agreeing the requirements for bespoke software development, remember that finding an off-the-shelf product is also time consuming. You need to decide exactly what you are looking for, research the market, arrange demonstrations, compare the available products and reach a decision. If you are not happy with your shortlist, you may have to repeat the cycle.

Will you know the right product when you see it?

How will you identify the right product? It is easy to be impressed by the appearance of a software product and by its literature and claims. Can you really tell from one or two demonstrations that it will do the job for you? In practice, unless you arrange multiple demonstrations or a trial period of live use, you will not know if it is right for you.

Will you need to adapt your business?

No off-the-shelf software package is likely to match your requirements exactly. You may have to pay the supplier to adapt it for you (if they are willing to do so) or you may have to change aspects of your business to suit the software. If the latter, it is important that you are not forced to make changes to your business that might actually decrease your efficiency or, worse, lose an edge over your competitors.

"But bespoke development will be so expensive"

Not necessarily! First of all, the power of software development tools currently available and the sophistication of databases and reporting tools means that development is a lot faster than it used to be. Also, these days software is often made up of a number of re-usable components - perhaps 80% of your own requirements could be met by using or modifying such components leaving only a small amount of truly bespoke effort.

You can actually PROFIT from a bespoke development

Have you considered that any bespoke application developed for your use could be of value to others in the same business? At Phase Software, if we believe that a bespoke application has the potential itself to become an off-the-shelf product, we would take this factor into account when costing the development. Also, in such cases, we will often offer a return on future sales, subsidised support or free updates to the client who commissioned the original development. However, the wishes of any client to maintain the individuality of their software would, of course, be respected.

Increased control

With a bespoke development you will often have the option to own the resulting software outright. This option gives you much greater control over direction and cost. As your business grows, you may choose to build your own software development team who would be able to complement or replace the services offered by the original supplier. Also, if you want to install the software on multiple PC's and/or in other locations you will not be restricted by volume or site licensing constraints.