Every company and enterprise works with data. Even a tiny ice-cream shop has to calculate revenue and make stock up with necessary ingredients. All organizations draw up financial statements, accounting docs, orders and contracts, manuals, and much more – all these things require reliable storage and effective management. IT companies help automate the above-mentioned processes using innovative solutions and, thus, save time and budget for the company.
Types of IT Solutions
Today’s market offers several options for companies that want to improve their business processes using IT solutions.
- Online Services – cloud solutions installed on the developer’s server of this service and available through a browser wherever there is access to the internet. Access to the service is subscription-based with monthly or yearly payments. The number of users is limited by the chosen subscription plan.
- Full Packaged Product – this software gets installed on a server or computer after a one-time purchase. Users do not pay for use, but as a rule, new versions and support are fee-based.
- Open Source – is a free solution that usually requires extra work to solve any problem.
- Bespoke – is an individual solution developed for a certain company according to the technical specification.
Who Needs Customized Solutions?
Large companies are more likely to order custom programs because they can justify the cost. A product that matches all needs is also worth the investment, especially if the company has security issues or performs unique operations that conventional solutions cannot account for.
For instance, IT company Develux provides bespoke software development services based on its own experience. Coders at Develux have developed the product management system the company currently uses. Thus, they have gone through all stages themselves and know what is bespoke software in detail.
Programmers receive a TOR and turn it into a working program with all necessary features.
5 Tips on Choosing the Right Bespoke Software Development Agency
- Choosing a bespoke software development company for your project, heed the experience the chosen developer has in bespoke business software development.
- Ask for references and feedback from other clients.
- Go to the website of the chosen service provider and look at how many projects it has completed and how many years it has been on the market. Small companies that have been in operation for less than a year are not the best choice when it comes to tailor-made software.
- Pay attention to what the manager offers you and whether they understand the project requirements clearly.
- Make sure that the chosen company has a team of UX/UI designers for your project. A user-friendly interface eases the transfer from the old software to the new one for the client’s managers.
Typical Project RoadMap
To get the general picture of what is bespoke software development, let’s skip through the list of standard steps of the team engaged in the project:
1. Step: Evaluation
- Discussion of the idea with analysts and designers.
- Collecting information on the required functionality.
- Drawing up an overall plan.
- Forming a commercial proposal with a preliminary assessment of the project.
2. Step: Technical Specifications Development
- Preparation of a product project. Here, the developer takes into account the existing business processes of the customer.
- Drawing up a prototype.
- Coordinating functionality and other technical details.
3. Step: Implementation of the Project
- Preparing a developer’s environment.
- Writing program code according to the agreed TOR.
- QA testing.
4. Step: Maintenance
- Incorporation of the developed program into the customer’s infrastructure.
- Transfer of documentation.
- Execution of an agreement for warranty support.
- Consulting on the work and development of the project.
Custom vs. Ready-Made
To compare tailor-made programs to ready-made solutions, let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of both full-packaged and bespoke software:
All applications can adapt to business processes, and not vice versa. Software made for a particular purpose is convenient in design, so employees will quickly get used to it. So, the client will save time and effort spent on learning to work with the new interfaces. Custom software adapts to the existing system and causes fewer errors in work.
Unlike advocates of ready-made solutions, users of the custom solutions do not need to worry that the developer may cease updating the system or sell it to some other company. The owner of the program can terminate it at any time. This thing could never happen to bespoke software.
The competitors will most likely use the same program (like CRM) unless yours is custom. With the latter, you decide how the interface looks and functions. For example, users can make it more customer-centric, while the competitors keep using off-the-shelf software with limitations.
The customer decides what changes they need in the program and when they need them. Dedicated software has controls for adding, modifying, deleting features, and adapting the app or system to new business needs. Besides, there is no need to transfer the software – just transfer work data to a new platform or expand on an existing one.
Customers using tailor-made programs do not need to pay extra to expand access to the application (as is often the case with ready-made solutions). They also do not need to pay for extra functions that are never used but still present in the package.
The price on the off-the-shelf solutions is fixed, which is an advantage of such programs, while the development costs are high. Depending on the TOR (Terms of Reference), they may vary from medium to enormous. The price for a custom solution exceeds any monthly subscription. So, the bespoke option better suits long-term projects that will last at least to see positive ROI numbers. To test this, you will compare the cost of your software versus the subscription price for the duration you plan to use it.
7. Time investment
Custom software takes time and effort. First, you must develop a project and draw up a technical task (TOR). Next comes the development and implementation (about three months). Ready-made solutions take less time but offer limited functionality.
Why Bespoke Software?
Custom solutions are the most cost-effective and reliable in the context of individual business processes. Customized app and program development allows getting the most out of business processes, as it takes into account and fixes all bottlenecks and unnecessary routine operations.
Custom software can also be the most effective solution for a company with many scattered offices, compared to purchased full-packaged software licenses. For instance, it solves the problem of many users accessing the same server or needing a corporate subscription to some apps.
If you are still at the crossroads choosing the best solution, look at the advantages of bespoke software listed as prioritized by the current users:
- It offers better scalability options (the customer gets all the rights for the code and components).
- It is a tailor-made product that suits all requirements. The specifics of the business and competitiveness are accounted for.
- Higher security level.
- It integrates with the existing services and programs.
- Bespoke solutions offer individual design and better usability.
- Full ownership over the program. It is purchased once and installed on a server or computer.
In many forms, personalized solutions resemble a good pair of shoes – the one made for you will suit you better and never give blisters. The same case concerns programs necessary for business processes.