Bespoke software what’s that, and what are the advantages of bespoke software?
We build bespoke/custom software for businesses dealing with complex problems. These problems cannot be dealt with using ‘off-the-shelf’ software since the scope is too broad. Businesses in these circumstances require software that is tailor-made to fulfil their needs.
Hold up, custom software, what is the difference between that and bespoke? There is no difference. Custom software, bespoke software and tailored software all mean the same thing.
We can build, deploy and maintain a bespoke software solution that will deliver great results for your business from day one. At Yozu we put people before processes so, to realise your bespoke application, we use a set of management practices called Agile. This puts you at the core of our software development process, allowing us to respond to your requirements quickly, no matter how dynamic they are.
The software is built with your operational flow in mind, your company’s working practices may differ in comparison to the businesses you’re in competition with. Depending upon the nature of the industry you’re in, many competitors of yours might use off-the-shelf services, however, switching from one application to another can become cumbersome and less efficient. This is one of the key factors that cause many business leaders to turn to a bespoke software solution.
Only the features you need
We develop bespoke software only around your business workflow. Excluding irrelevant features will minimise the complexity of the software.
During the requirements phase of a consultation process, we gather enough information about your business’s workflow. This information is used to assess which applications are currently in use and what features are not needed in a bespoke solution. The goal is to prevent unnecessary human errors by limiting the number of possible mistakes.
A bespoke application developed some years ago may not always fit your requirements now. Your business may experience a change in management, with that a change in the way that general operations occur from within. The existing application may also need some adjustments or a complete overhaul. However, it is possible to integrate a new application with an older one. A custom build API resolves integration problems with older systems. It links the two applications together using the older applications “endpoints”. If the application was built with the future in mind then we won’t have many problems.
If your business uses a number of important third-party applications e.g. Pandle (we hear that one is pretty good), Sage or one of our favourites Trello, then it’s possible to house them in one place that’ll handle multiple services without the need to switch around applications.
Internet of Things (IoT) bespoke innovation
A large percentage of businesses can benefit from IoT. Offering a connection to everyday appliances and objects can improve customers’ lives and yours too! An IoT custom software infrastructure can do the hard work, tracking assets (equipment, machinery, tools, etc) through the use of sensors and connectivity. This helps organisations take advantage of real-time insights. Some retail, public transport and food businesses have released some fantastic customer-facing IoT services.
Offering many options to your customers can be the difference between a one-time visitor and a loyal patron.
Your brand everywhere
It can be a little jarring when your customer finds themselves in an unfamiliar environment that doesn’t reflect the same branding they expect from your business. Bespoke software ties together the design of your brand, keeping it consistent throughout all applications. This makes the layout and the general user experience reflect the brand voice and values. Forms, automated message responses, reports, and notifications. These features are all important for customisation, they provide a greater level of branding.
Remaining consistent with brand identity across a range of apps can become difficult with time. Businesses that aren’t able to display their brand identity and mission statement may find it hard to preserve customer loyalty due to a lack of trust in the legitimacy of the product.
Advantages of bespoke software vs off-the-shelf
Advantages of bespoke software
Tailor-made: Just like a finely fitted suit, the software created is designed and developed to fulfil your requirements whilst exceeding your expectations. Bespoke software ensures that you get a service that works exactly how you need it to and delivers the results you want.
Evolution: To meet your future requirements we adapt bespoke software. The aim of off-the-shelf software is to serve a very large user base, so a small number of users requesting changes would go unheard.
The number of licences has been exceeded: You will never hear this prompt/error message ever again when using a custom software package.
Disadvantages of bespoke software
How well do you know your business?: A thorough understanding of your own company is vital before deciding on a bespoke software solution. If the business owner doesn’t have a proper understanding of where they want the company to be within x years, then you will not receive the full potential that a tailored application can bring. You must first fully understand your own company’s objectives.
On the other hand, wouldn’t this be a fantastic opportunity to get to know what your business goals are?
The expense: Some business issues are only solved with bespoke software. Off-the-shelf products cannot solve everything. Teams knowledgeable in an area of difficulty come with a cost. However, while bespoke software development involves quite a bit of investment, you will experience financial benefits quickly. When it’s planned and built well, the time and human resource savings will quickly pay for themselves, as can the competitive edge you can gain from using better systems than your competition. Bespoke software also becomes a part of your business’s intellectual property which adds value to your business.
Wait time: An off-the-shelf software solution is a quick fix, available from the get-go. Businesses with similar workplace operations, lacking complex features, are best suited to this solution.
Very little training required: Packages like Microsoft Office are commonly used in most businesses. It also happens to be the most used ‘premium’ desktop office service. As a result of this, most users wouldn’t need training on how to best use this software. Many off-the-shelf software packages will include training material and user manuals, these materials would save a lot of money when you compare it to a one-on-one teaching environment.
More functionality: Off-the-shelf software packages tend to cater to a very large number of users with a lot more functionality than a bespoke service comes with. This is in an effort to meet the requirements for the many, not the few.
Updates aplenty: Most software vendors continue to develop their service following its release, this is normally an effort to provide you with new and improved features and functionality whilst squashing those pesky bugs that crop up in the process. Updates are free or at a reduced cost, you’ll have to pay for updates when you invest in bespoke software (depending on project end date).
Too much functionality: One of the advantages of an off-the-shelf package is the amount of functionality provided for what you’re paying. Yet, this can be a disadvantage. Things may be overcomplicated when users discover functionality they’ll never need. How many times have you found yourself curating a mail merge or inserting a video on a Microsoft Word document…
Tasks are less simple when you’re having to sift through many features irrelevant to the job at hand.
The compromise: A software service that suits your requirements wholly is very difficult to find. This kind of offering can only be found when selecting a custom software solution.
As you can see, there is a great difference between bespoke and off-the-shelf software. You need much more time and money to develop a bespoke solution, but you invest in the future of your company in the long term. On the other hand, there is commercial software which is cheaper but may not meet all your needs. Your choice depends not only on your budget but also on the character and size of your own business.