A Comparison Between “Bespoke Application Development” and “Off-the-Shelf Solution”

A Comparison Between “Bespoke Application Development” And “Off-The-Shelf Solution”

One of the difficult situations which most enterprises hit upon is, to select the most suitable approach between “Bespoke Application Development” and “Off-the-Shelf Software Applications”. Implementing automation in the varied business processes, calls for hefty investment. However, its’ ROI depends on choosing the right approach among the above mentioned.

In such conditions, the enterprises normally outsource the work to a Specialist Consulting Group rather than taking it up on its own.

Off-the-Shelf Solution

Learn about off the shelf software solution

Selecting a ready-made applications have its own share of Advantages and Complexities:

Advantages:

  1. Selecting this path the enterprise opts for a well-tested and referred application that has lower chances of implementation failures & readily available support.
  2. Off-the-shelf systems are developed to meet the perceived needs of a particular Industry. A proven application can improvise the current business practices of that organization to a large extent.
  3. These applications are easy to install and user friendly. Also, they are developed from the best components /functions of the various other established software, which are additional advantages.
  4. Selecting a ready-made application is cost effective due to its easy installable nature. These software are affordable and the problem of getting it outdated and obsolete is eliminated as the development team behind it is constantly upgrading it.
  5. Most of these applications are offered in SAAS. The subscription model eliminates investments on the network infrastructure and buying the complete licenses. These solutions are best suited for the startups and ventures with steep budget.
  6. Implementing a market leading product from top brands like Microsoft, SAP etc. introduces industry best practices. This improves and optimizes the overall operations of that business.

Complexities:

  1. This software has the ‘One size fits all’ set of generic features for more complex applications, it has customization facilities. But sometimes the organizational needs may vary and may be limited. So lots of ‘not required’ features are also bundled with them.
  2. One issue that can cause a problem is the compatibility. If the system is not compatible with the existing Infrastructure, then it asks for changing the current IT Infrastructure with lots of investments. The changes made for the new application needs to take care of other previously installed applications too. It demands for active contribution of the Internal IT teams with very clear road map.
  3. The investment in new infrastructure mentioned in point 2, can be avoided by using a subscription model, but the SAAS models are normally not customizable. Hence, lots of critical processes may be left out of automation. Plus the organizations need to align their operational processes to the application process flow, which is time consuming and also ask for the time investment on Training/Learning.
  4. One disadvantage worth mentioning is the licensing structure. The leading organizations like SAP, Microsoft etc. do not get involved in the product implementation directly. They only sell the licenses. The implementations are taken up by third party implementation partners. Due to the licensing costs only limited user avails the application, plus the Implementation success is highly depending upon the Implementation by the consultants/partners hired.

Ready-Made applications are the best fit if enterprises look for a cost effective and proven solution. They need the system in place as quickly as possible for a quick return on investment.

Bespoke Software Solutions

Learn about bespoke software solution

We would like to list out the advantages and disadvantages of “Developing Bespoke Software Solutions”

Advantages:

  1. If the process for which the application is needed is innovative or unique, then it’s hard to find any consultant to provide any kind of solution. In those scenarios this method is the only option. The enterprises involve their own functional and IT team or outsource the technical development.
  2. The beauty of Bespoke Application Development is that, the applications are tailored to the exact requirements of the company enabling key business objectives to be met.
  3. Scalability comes naturally with bespoke systems; these c-an accommodate business growth and any kind of scaling down, if required. The structure matures up along with the company to provide an ongoing perfect fit.
  4. Bespoke Application Development provides complete control over the source code. This tailored software once successfully developed can potentially be sold to other companies in the same industry, and may become an extra source of revenue for the enterprises.

Complexities:

  1. The process of software development is a difficult task which involves highly skilled people and consumes a great deal of time.
  2. The cost of Bespoke Application Development can be much higher than ready-made solutions. The resources required to create and maintain a bespoke system quickly sums up to a huge investment.
  3. The features of a bespoke software are limited to the extent of the definition by the organization and the understanding of the developers. Lack of clarity during scoping of the applications may lead to longer time and capital investment.

Overall Bespoke Software Solutions and Web Application Development Services is the best way to go if the business processes are unique and innovative. In above conditions the enterprise itself is the best functional consultant for a successful application development. Also, these scratch developed applications eradicates the time and efforts needed for the enterprises to learn the functional flow of the ready-made applications and let them continue with their own operational practices. Plus, these applications might specify the best industry practices while development. In these conditions, opting for a bespoke development may be a better option in terms of operational excellence in the long run.

So based on the factors mentioned above, what suits your need? To Build or to Buy?

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Maitray Gadhavi is a senior business development manager with Radixweb who accelerates the growth of organizations through innovation-led custom software development. Balancing the long-term gains in an evolving industry, he brings the voice of the customers into the enterprise. Binge-watching favourite series is his idea of fun after work.