Every company is different, in the sense that each business has its own particular requirements, needs, and objectives, so naturally, one would tend to believe that custom software is the best choice when it comes to deciding between bespoke and ready-made solutions. However, as we will see below, both custom and off the shelf software, offer numerous benefits, that companies should bear in mind, when making such an important move.
But before getting into the advantages that these types of software can deliver, let’s point out the differences between the two, by describing these concepts and their main features.
So, what is custom software?
Custom or bespoke software development is that which is specially designed for a particular company, so that it can meet the unique needs of the acquiring business. This type of software can be built either by in-house personnel or by a specialized vendor, to whom the company in need turns to.
And what about ready-made software?
Well, as its name suggests, ready-made software consists of packaged solutions, that appeal to the general public, being available for immediate use. Commercial software, as it is also called, is produced on a large scale, and entails an annual licence fee, which users must pay in order to have the right to use the software.
So now that we have briefly described the two types of software, let’s take them one at a time, and see what they can bring to the table. To start things off, here are the benefits of custom software, which is less popular than off-the-shelf software, but that has just as many perks.
Advantages of custom software
The most obvious benefit that bespoke software has to offer, is that resulting from the personalized approach that defines it. In this sense, companies that choose this type of software have the opportunity to fulfil their exact needs, and customize the software that themselves or their vendor is building.
Flexibility and scalability are also among the advantages that tailor-made software provides, allowing businesses to add features to the software at any stage of its development. Moreover, since you or your supplier will be creating the software from scratch, your company will have no trouble integrating it or using it together with pre-existing tools.
Moving on, when it comes to ownership, custom software has the upper hand; unlike commercial software, that can only be used under certain conditions, bespoke software can be implemented whenever and wherever the acquiring company wishes, as the latter is its rightful owner.
And last, but not least, we will be touching upon a benefit that will certainly catch the eye of businesses that are interested in custom software: increased security. Your in-house specialists or the vendor that you have chosen, will be able to spot and fix any security related weaknesses throughout the software’s development, and what’s more, your software will be less likely to become a target for cyber-attacks.
Advantages of ready-made software
As opposed to custom software, pre-packaged solutions can be implemented immediately; this means that once you have payed “the rent”, you can just download and install the software, and begin to use it straightaway.
Another benefit that ready-made software provides, is the ongoing support and new features in the form of upgrades, that are available to those who turn to it. Companies that prefer this type of software also enjoy the perks of having access to instruction materials and online assistance, in case of any trouble.
And of course, we cannot disregard the advantages that follow from acquiring software that has already reached other users. The latter’s feedback, together with software reviews that are available for interested consumers, can assist businesses in their decisions to adopt ready-made software.
When it comes to choosing between custom software or ready-made software, businesses should first asses their needs, establish their budget, and determine their short and long term goals. Next, a thorough research of the two types of software is in order, so that they know what they’re getting themselves into, what pros and cons do each concept have to offer, and how can they benefit the interested company. Because even though both bespoke and tailor-made software provide great advantages, only one will be able to tick all the boxes; so, did you manage to find out which one suits your company?
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