Bespoke software development is an approach, in which applications or other solutions are developed specifically for the customer needs. Unlike off-the-shelf products, these applications aren't for the wide audience. In terms of the outsourcing, the tailor-made production can be developed both by the in-house and third-party team.
Off-the-shelf solutions provide the market with the commonly used range of features. Bespoke program development companies aim for the individual needs of the customer. For example, Skype matches needs of many users, but still, it may not cater to one's specific requirements.
NECESSITY OF THE BESPOKE SOFTWARE
The first question coming up here - is why'd not use the off-the-shelf solutions? There are many reasons for this. First, custom tools are anxiously developed to meet your requirements and needs. Developed custom, it has no useless features which you can face with, having commonly used applications. In the terms of your business evolution and expanding - the bespoke software is the part that evolves as well. This kind of program is flexible to the product features and details. And that is the reason why companies of different branches, from private to government, are using the tailor-made programs.
Unlike the common tools developed for the masses, the custom development is accompanied by specialized support. This allows to provide stable work of the application and in the case of issues - instant reaction on it. For you to have no more doubts, the bright examples of using bespoke software are given below.
Amazon, eBay etc.
Two world's largest e-commerce platforms like eBay and Amazon are great examples of a bespoke software. Instead of just selling a range of items using any of the ready-made e-commerce solutions, these companies have developed their own bespoke e-commerce platform which exists for the sellers and buyers connection. Their beauty is in their simple-use experience.
Banking mobile app and online web applications
Most of us have used the bank apps or at least are familiar with its work in general. This is the bright example of custom developed application on your device. No one bank allows himself to use side programming or share it with its competitors. Instead, they will try to fit their program functionality for the best client experience.
Summing it all up, any application that is designed for one particular customer/business can be viewed as a bespoke software example.
However, every solution has as the advantages, so the pitfalls as well. You should not be afraid of this fact. But being aware - means being ready.
BESPOKE SOFTWARE ADVANTAGES
Wherever you look, any solution will have its good and not so good sides. The same is here: having huge profit as a result, during the development process it will accompany with some issues. However, bespoke software advantages and disadvantages are easily recognizable, and significant ones are given below.
1. Your personal solution
That is a common situation when business is provided with the license from its vendor, but later it is clear, that this solution is not suitable for the business. Every company has different business requirements. The outcome of the cooperation with custom development provider - the product that is matching all your needs. Companies usually try to adapt to the programs they are using. Here you are doing exactly opposite thing: you create the tool that will stand on the rails of your workflow. Custom program development will keep you competitive. Moreover, it has a significant influence on your work rate since its functionality is tailored to your needs. Having solution like this will release you of "sharing" the tools with your opponents. With bespoke business solutions, you will be guaranteed that the software makes a significant adjust for all of your business' needs.
2. Updates and support
Custom applications are welcomed for their scalability and adaptation to overall business changes. Obtaining custom application does not depend on the provider's development work plan. You are in charge of all the required updates and improvements upcoming. Working with in-house developers team is efficient in the case of close personalized support, as the team is aware of your individual requirements. As for the adaptation to the existing server environment, the tailor-made program does not need a specific hosting. There is no more need to pay as much as twice to rent it because you will have one created specifically for you. In the case of off-the-shelf solutions, you never know if the company faces bankruptcy. If that happens, all your structure relied on third-party soft is ruined as well. For that not to happen, the bespoke software lives alongside with your business.
3. Security assurance
Using common product is quite risky. If someone tries to hack the program, all of those who use it may be in danger, and their personal data is vulnerable. The bespoke software can be hacked only with the targeted attack. Your application may have extra security measures to ensure its safety. A custom service application development company may also enhance your solution's integration with other tools. It makes your team's work much more intuitive and easy. Tailor-made applications are commonly protected from the external threats. The first reason of hacking attempts on commonly - used programs are successful - is that perpetrators are familiar with the code of that program. Custom tools are less affected for the hacking as it will need much more time and efforts to breach it. Bespoke software is made especially for the operating with your business and hardware. It is almost never the case that several common-used programs interact with each other perfectly and without any issues; licensing business programs that are not tailor-made for the software environment your business runs on can lead to your employees' productivity dropping as they experience continual errors and cannot effectively complete their work.
4. Gradual production
Custom production can be produced step by step. This also will let you gradually advance in the production and adjust your custom software during the development process according to the experience and user feedback received from the previous development stages.
You should remember that in bespoke development 80/20 rule might also be applied. This rule states that 80% of users use 20% of the functionality. You aim is to define this 20%, even if you create the program for internal needs and are short on time. Custom applications are more scalable and have the ability to grow alongside with your business. With an off-the-shelf product, you typically run into the issue of the software either being inexpensive to purchase but not suitable for large businesses or software being able to support businesses on a large scale but very expensive to license.
BESPOKE SOFTWARE DISADVANTAGES
1. Time and energy
People are seldom aware of the needs of their business. Sometimes it will need some time to make internal research on it, to see that features. Customized tools make no sense if not matching those feature. Off-the-shelf solutions, in this case, are good because of its versatility. All you have to do is to purchase it, adapt and keep on working.
2. High upfront cost
It may seem that buying 100 licenses for a year is cheaper than developing your own solution. And it truly is. The upfront cost is relatively high, but what if you'll have to extend the number of users, plus the support price, plus the price for, let's say, three years and you'll see that tailor-made program is much more attractive in the long-term perspective.
3. Less possibilities
That is already stated that off-the-shelf programs are designed for covering the needs of the masses. In the terms of developing business, it is a great opportunity. As for the small teams, it is very convenient for having the solution like this because sometimes ready-made products have the features that may even surprise its user.
Almost every successful business on its evolution way becomes on the stage when specific software is required for its further profitable existence. Most of the companies don't bother too much, and provide their staff, for example, with off-the-shelf tools. But as it stated, it cannot be 100% match. Sometimes it has a load of functionality, that is never used. Sometimes it has a lack of it. You'll never guess. But still, mostly it is chosen as the solution in one reason: affordable price. The second - is time. You simply buy it. At the same time, bespoke development will need some time and efforts input. Bespoke software advantages and disadvantages aren't limited to the list given above, of course.
But despite the disadvantages, the benefits are still supreme. The first and main fact to have the bespoke software is that it will be tailored to your needs and requirements to function exactly as you need it to. The result of its functioning will not only deliver to 100%, but it can be also extra useful. However, in that case, the experienced team for its development is required to embody your ideas. Of course, that is possible to let this task, as own application development to your in-house IT department. But as it occurs, the teams available are specialists in one sphere but aren't ready for such step as the application development. That is a common situation, so for the tailor-made software development, the outsourcing is used frequently.