Can Bespoke Software be the Solution to an Organisations low Productivity?
Bespoke Software is gradually becoming more commonplace, and we can see why. After all, why use an off-the-shelf application when you can have Bespoke Software that has been specifically tailored to your organisation’s needs? This type of software is usually created for just one entity by a third-party (freelancer) or in-house developers, making it unique to that organisation. But can it boost productivity? Let’s take a closer look at off-the-shelf vs bespoke software.
Custom vs. off-the-shelf
Off-the-self software is basically packaged software which is available on the mass-market. It’s available to consumers and organisations at large who all have very similar needs – so it’s sort of a ‘one size fits all’ deal. Sort of like an ‘off the peg’ dress or suit, you take it as it is and you fit your needs around what you have to work with. An example of this would be Microsoft Word – it’s a solution that fills the diverse needs of its users, and it works well. However, it doesn’t address a specific entity’s needs in the way a custom application would. If off-the-shelf software is like buying a dress or suit straight from a high street chain, Bespoke Software is like custom tailoring designed to fit you in all the right places. It’s sleeker and has been designed to fit only you – and because it fits so well, you’ll be able to move better and more comfortably while you’re in it. Custom software development involves commissioning, developing and releasing a software product specifically designed for just one group of users – for organisations all the way from financial institutes and publishing houses, all the way to bakeries or sewing factories. The software would be used for one specific company, or even a specific department within that company, and is in keeping with the company’s brand, infrastructure and policies.
Pros of Bespoke Software
The most obvious benefit to bespoke software is that it can provide features that you just can’t get off-the-shelf – features that are specifically needed by your company in order to improve its efficiency and make things run smoothly. Say if an off-the-shelf application allowed you to manage your data in three steps, a bespoke application could have the potential to simplify that process so that you only really need one or two of those steps. At least the implication of increased productivity is there. If a piece of bespoke software has been designed to increase your organisation’s productivity, or perhaps to address a specific need that isn’t currently being filled by off-the-shelf applications, its cost is then balanced out by the increase in productivity you’ll be able to expect as a result. If there is a better, more efficient way of tackling your business’s operations with a bespoke software package, it quickly becomes the smarter choice and improves not only your revenue, but also makes life easier for your employees.
Cons Bespoke Software
Of course, there is a downside to bespoke software solutions; with an off-the-shelf package, everything will have been tried and tested a million times over, and if there are any problems, they will have been addressed by someone, somewhere down the line. The cost of bespoke software to develop is also increasingly higher than if you were to just purchase an already existing software solution. Then there’s the question of picking the right company to develop your bespoke software application, and making sure they understand your needs. This requires meetings, contracts, and patience while the software is in development – plus the possibility of having to address any issues that crop up either during development and afterwards, when it is put in use (bugs etc.).
The right bespoke software can improve your organisation’s productivity, if you’re willing to weigh up the time and cost of getting it developed versus simply buying an off-the-shelf alternative. Consider the ways a bespoke software solution could improve the way your organisation runs, and how your employees could benefit, before making an informed decision.