Bespoke software development equals big gains. Here we're up against off-the-shelf software.
There is more than one reason that bespoke software development gives businesses a higher return on their investment than using a standardised solution. In fact, it is the combination of all the benefits that represent the real value of its bottom-line profitability. In most cases, bespoke software will indeed cost more than a standard off-the-shelf solution to purchase (although not always as much as you might think). But if that software has been designed and developed correctly it will always pay back the extra investment over time. That could be anything from a few months to five years (depending on the product and purpose), but the investment will always be a smart one for the following reasons:
Fit for purpose
Imagine there is a hilly, cross country running race on a particularly muddy, rainy day. All the competitors are relatively equal in strength, fitness and speed; and all have been given the same make and model of road-running shoes that they wore for the track event the previous weekend. In effect, the standard solution. One of the runners in the pack, however, has been given special dispensation to wear the bespoke-tailored, super-grip, trail-running shoes that he had specially designed for this event and weather conditions. Who do you think has the edge?
The flexibility and adaptiveness of modern software mean that two systems can almost always be made to talk to each other – especially if they have been designed that way. Off-the-shelf, standard software, however, tends to speak one language – its own. Sometimes it has been designed to integrate with one or two of the other popular off-the-shelf programmes, but with many thousands of apps being launched each year it can never speak to them all. Bespoke software is like hiring the multi-lingual translation droid C3PO over the average British person’s smattering of French and German. It interacts with all of your systems seamlessly.
Usability is such an essential aspect of software on a practical level. Off-the-shelf, standard solutions dictate to users how they are to be used, a bit like driving someone else’s car without being allowed to adjust the seat position or mirrors. Bespoke software development is like sitting in the Bentley that you have designed from the showroom and had fitted just for you in every size, colour, finish and most exquisite detail.
The efficiency of process
Combining all the above results in something that we call ‘efficiency of process’ is where the true value of bespoke software starts to show its colours. Fully integrated, bespoke software development enables every piece of software that you use in your business to work together, seamlessly sharing information and significantly speeding up processes. It can talk to every other piece of software you use: perfectly translating the data between themselves. It only does what you need it to do, and has been designed specifically to fulfil those processes and tasks in the most efficient way possible. And finally, it can be branded as your own, and designed to fit the exact user requirements and styles of your team – making it a great experience and highly efficient way to work.
Ultimately, the combination of all these marginal gains creates something that increases productivity and operational efficiency to the level that profitability rises exponentially. And that is why investment in bespoke software development always pays for itself and then continues to add profit to the bottom line in any business.