There are three types of custom software: commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), bespoke software, and hybrid software. Today we will be taking a further dive into the differences between bespoke and off-the-shelf software. One of the most common questions business owners face when they decide they want to invest in software is whether they should go down the bespoke route, or choose something off-the-shelf.
The main thing that is often compared is the price, which tends to overlook any of the other benefits. And of course off-the-shelf software always wins the price war. Going bespoke gives so many more value-added benefits though, particularly by providing an opportunity to stay one step ahead of the competition.
For some of the simpler business requirements, such as accounting, there is no point in re-inventing the wheel. There are lots of excellent accountancy tools out there which simplify accounts and tax processes. Therefore, there is no point in investing large amounts of money to create something that is already available on the market. Off-the-shelf software is a much better option in this instance.
Now this is slightly different. When it comes to investing in software that is going to control, monitor or manage processes within your business, it is best to take the time to think this through. Whilst there are lots of off-the-shelf products that can help with business functions such as CRM tools, stock control, quality management etc, these types of software are built to please the ‘masses’ not the ‘classes’. What we mean by that is they include a variety of features and functions which are useful to the majority.
If you are truly ready to up your game and take your business to the next stage, bespoke software is your best choice. Purchasing off-the-shelf software is like buying the same racing car as your component. It is not going to help you beat them, you will probably just end up matching them.
Many people are automatically turned off by the phrase ‘bespoke software’. Firstly because of the cost associated with it, but also because they can be hard to maintain. There is also the concern that you will be tied down to the developer who created this bespoke solution for life. To some extent this is partially true, but this is where choosing the right software development company comes into play. If you are working with a highly innovative, efficient software development company they will be regularly working with you to keep improving your business processes. It doesn’t just stop with the first piece of bespoke software they create for you. It is a journey that will make your business stand out from the crowd.
Over the years, Lyke have helped many businesses gain a competitive advantage and transform their business processes using bespoke software. If this is something you are considering, why not give us a call today to see how we can help your business – 0800 254 5953.