Off-the-shelf vs. bespoke software – what to choose?

Written by Bruce Hughes on . Posted in Computer Innovations

Businesspersons are always looking for ways to develop their companies and to take them to another level. Since it is the era of rush and technological advances, companies use all sorts of devices, apps and programs in order to make employers’ work a lot easier. While some consider that off-the-shelf software is the best solution for their companies, others prefer investing money in a bespoke one. However, in the latter case, it is necessary to resort to the professional services of a software development company. Here are the main differences between these two types of programs.

Off-the-shelf software

This type of program is ready-made, which means it is available to numerous people. All one has to do in order to use it is pay a license fee. There are numerous such programs available on the market and Microsoft Office is only one good example. One of the benefits of choosing off-the-shelf software is that it is more cost-effective. The reason is quite simple: the development costs of this software are spread across numerous users, which means you have to pay far less money on it than in the case of building it from scratches. Another advantage is that it is available immediately. You do not have to wait for it for several weeks or months, since developers have already completed their work. The training costs are also significantly reduced, not to mention that in the case of updates, you will have to pay less money on them or even no money at all.

Bespoke software

Bespoke software is a type of program that is specifically designed to meet your business requirements. This is also one of the greatest advantages that come with choosing it – it is tailored to you. The developer ensures the program works exactly how you need it to and provides you the desired results. Another great advantage of bespoke software is its flexibility. The system can evolve over time in order to meet any changing requirements you might have. This means that you can ask for an update to the software whenever you need it. You do not have to wait for the vendors to release an update themselves, as it happens in the case of off-the-shelf software. What is more, by choosing this type of program, you do not have to worry about per-user fees. Since the software is tailored to your needs and unique, it means that your competitors will not have the same software as yours, so you can turn this into your advantage.

The hybrid solution

There is a third solution to this matter and that is the hybrid one. This implies having an off-the-shelf package that meets nearly 70% of your needs and hiring a developer to have it customized to suit the other 30%. The number of companies that have chosen this type of software has significantly increased in the past decade. By doing this way, you can benefit from both cost-effective and fast setup and custom-made software to meet your requirements.