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What is bespoke software?

28 November 2017

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Bespoke software is custom-built to address the specific requirements of a business, often commissioned to a third-party software house. It’s built to modernise dated processes that have become elongated as your business grows. Old processes develop quirks that staff get used to working around instead of eliminating the problem..

Software can also bring great ideas to life. Perhaps you’ve spotted a niche that could revolutionise your business, or even your industry. With the ongoing digital transformation, bespoke software can really help your business take flight.

How do you know if you need bespoke software?

Just because your business is ticking along doesn’t mean your process is facilitating that. Spending extra time on tasks that could be automated or eradicated means your process isn’t working for you, your business is working around your process.

Bespoke software isn’t the only answer, though. You can achieve much of what bespoke software offers through a customisable software package. A customisable package provides you with a platform to fit around your business.

Why choose bespoke software?

Complete control
The software is dictated by you and the features are determined by what your business needs. It’s your software, so there won’t be any surprises or “buggy” updates.

A close relationship with the developers
The software developers work alongside you to gain an in-depth knowledge of how your team and business operates. Their experience enables them to suggest solutions you didn’t know were possible. They even remain on hand to offer support once it’s implemented. Having contact with the creator of your software provides not only convenience but peace of mind.

Transparency and potential for feedback
Thanks to agile project management, you can see the progress of your software throughout its development. This gives numerous opportunities to provide feedback and shape your product.

Customisable application
Bespoke software can be completely customisable. Should you wish to add further features down the line, all you need to do is get in touch with your developer. In doing so, you are instantly in communication with someone who already thoroughly understands your company.

Increased efficiency and productivity
When you implement a piece of bespoke software, it goes beyond simply working in line with your current processes; it evolves them. Through streamlining repetitive tasks, you improve operational efficiency; increasing productivity and reducing waste.

Unique selling point (USP)
Your competition doesn’t have access to your software. This USP enables you to give a better service. If your software is client-facing you can offer that next-level customer service that your competitors can’t emulate.

Full system integration
Your bespoke software can be built to incorporate existing databases, spreadsheets and applications. It integrates seamlessly and intuitively alongside current business processes with no data loss or negative impact on your business.

Drawbacks of bespoke

Capital expenditureB
espoke software can be an expensive solution to a problem that can be solved by other means. Customisable software often has a much lower entry point from a cost perspective but can give you the same level of flexibility as bespoke software.

Tied to one provider
Going down the bespoke route can leave you in a position where you are continuing to work with a developer/software company that has built your application and knows the system well. It can also be costly to transfer this knowledge to another developer or company to pick up.

Tech debt
When you set out on your bespoke project, you build it using the technologies available today. The advancement and scope for improvement in software is vast. A purely bespoke project can quickly become outdated, which can lead to security and technological challenges.

Summary

Bespoke software is a great option, but it’s important to remember it’s an option. It might not be right for your business, you might not need or want to fork out heavy developments fees to achieve your project.

There are plenty of other options out there. Whilst off-the-shelf software may be too rigid, and not fit your business. Bespoke could represent just as many risks.

There is a middle ground. Customised software provides you with a platform on which to build, tweak and deploy in a way that fits your business. There’s a lot to be gained by using a system that has been created from people with a huge amount of industry knowledge and practice, implementing solutions that are fit for your business, without having to shell out a huge amount of money.


If you’d like to discuss how Blue Wren can help create positive change for your business with customisable software solutions, such as Flight CRM & workflow management software, tailored around your business to streamline processes and maximise profitability, get in touch. You can also check out our case studies to see some of the solutions we’ve built.