Before we do anything else, let us discuss what bespoke software development exactly is. The entire process of bespoke or custom software development entails a smaller process, including design, building, deployment, and maintenance of the software product for a particular business, user, and purpose. Bespoke software solutions are entirely different from off the shelf commercial software solutions.
Unlike bespoke software that is designed for specific requirements, off the shelf software solutions target a variety of different needs. These are packaged solutions that are commercially marketed and made available for purchase. Solutions like Microsoft Office are off the shelf packaged software products. MS Office, for instance, is developed to meet the general productivity needs of a workplace. If you want to use it for productivity that is specific to your business, it won’t offer you a solution. However, this doesn’t mean that off the shelf solutions aren’t popular. Who can argue the popularity of MS Office?
When you hire a bespoke software development company, you need a solution that is tailor-made to fulfill those. You take this option when you know a commercially available off the shelf solution wouldn’t do. Bespoke solutions can be used for any custom need. It could be a banking application to connect a bank with its customers. Or it could be a field service app that manages the field workers of a construction or a manufacturing company.
Now it is up to you to decide whether you want to put together an in-house team to handle your bespoke software development needs or outsource it to a third party. If you are a small business and have limited funds, having an internal team to do the job for you can be an additional burden that you can do without. You will have to take care of their salary, healthcare benefits, and other perks.
On the other hand, when you hire a bespoke software development company, you are not responsible for managing or handling the benefits of all the people who are working on your project. You agree to a mutual fee right at the start with your development company, and that’s all you are supposed to handle on the financial front. The rest is taken care of by the software development company you hire.
A bespoke software development project starts with requirements gathering, creation of code, testing, and deployment. As other software projects, you will have all development methodologies, such as DevOps and Agile amongst others to choose from. Efforts associated with bespoke software development include product customisation, product modernisation, and product management, amongst others. Product customisation is the process of working on an off the shelf solution to make it work for individual needs. Product modernisation is the process of ensuring that the product continues to serve the evolving needs of a business. Product management involves tasks that support a product’s proper usage – installation, optimisation, updating, and more.
A lot of businesses also choose to go with bespoke software development because it helps them to give their needs priority. As we already mentioned, off the shelf solutions are developed for general use. For businesses that need a solution that is exclusive to their needs, it can often be a compromise. It may be good enough to meet some basic needs but could fall short when it comes to providing you with a solution to your more complex problems. In simple words, these are one-size-fits-all solutions. So when you buy one of these products, you don’t see if it meets your needs, instead, focus on what it offers to you.
If you don’t have resources to spare and are not willing to spend more money on customising off the shelf solution to meet your needs, they aren’t made for you. Even when you consider customising them, you are always in constant fear of violating the terms mentioned in the license. In the end, you only have one choice left – to use it with the limited functionality it offers.
On the other hand, you are always a part of the bespoke software development process. Developers work closely with you to ensure that the product features all the things that you communicate to them. So you don’t have a product filled with all the features that you don’t need. You instead have a product that features what you want and doesn’t have what you don’t. So the final product is a more personalised and leaner solution that helps in improving your business processes and workflow and is an answer to your specific pain points. You won’t have any trouble installing it, using it, or scaling it in the future.