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Bespoke Software Development: A Simple Guide (2022)

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Wazobia Technologies

August 10, 2022

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INTRODUCTION

Businesses of all sizes increasingly depend on custom software to achieve their objectives. This is especially true for startups and digital-native enterprises, which rely on bespoke software to give them a competitive edge.

But what exactly is custom software, and why are they so important?

This article will cover the definition, the reason companies go bespoke, and a few examples to give you a general idea of Bespoke Software Development.

  • What is Bespoke Software?

  • Why Companies Build Bespoke Software

  • Advantages of Bespoke Software

  • Disadvantages of Bespoke Software

  • Examples of Bespoke Software

  • Final Thoughts


What is Bespoke Software?

Bespoke software, otherwise known as custom or tailored software, is a solution designed to meet the exact requirements of a company or user's needs.

Like every other bespoke item like suits and shoes, these software solutions are made and tailored entirely to the user's exact specifications. Naturally, therefore, it should fit the individual customer's wants.

Without overthinking, you can already tell it's the apparent alternative to "off-the-shelf" software.

Software companies create "off-the-shelf" software for general businesses so that many companies can use it. However, because they don't build them for a specific individual, there tend to be many features most big establishments won't find helpful. In addition, it leaves them with work to do in adapting their way around it, resulting in a loss of time & productivity.


Why Do Companies Build Bespoke Software? (Benefits)

There are several reasons why building bespoke software is the way to go. For instance, custom software can gain you a first-mover advantage in your industry. In addition, it will automatically give you a competitive edge. Let's discuss some more benefits:

Foregrounding factor

A company that consistently creates new products and satisfies its customers will stand out. Furthermore, companies can invent unique products with custom software, thereby increasing their revenue streams.

Automation of grey operations

Let's face it, running operations manually in today's fast-paced world will slow down the efficiency of any business. So companies order bespoke solutions to streamline and automate business functions, saving time & labour costs.

Close to Zero Recurring Payments

When using off-the-shelf or commercial software, recurring payments are a must to keep the service running.

While the initial cost is requisite for creating systems with bespoke software, additional fees are often optional.

Eye-catching Innovation

 It's impossible to give your customers a unique treat if you use the same software as your competitors. Wise businesses know one of the best ways to win customers is to improve the customer experience. Building custom software allows you to do that and stand out even further.


Advantages of Bespoke Software

The following are the advantages of Bespoke Software:

● They are designed to match your exact business requirements—no extra features. And you're free to model it however you like and make it work however you like.

● For businesses with sensitive data like financial records, bespoke software assures you of an added level of security to prevent hackers from getting access to them. In addition, the way software companies build them; not many people get access to the source code, which increases security. Found to be essential in Europe as privacy is a critical principle of GDPR. 

● Bespoke systems automate tasks that employers do manually and thereby reduce the number of human errors.

 

● Suppose you have a sales department, for example. In that case, team members can focus on revenue-generating activities like selling and marketing because of unique workflows associated with custom solutions responsible for generating leads, nurturing leads, follow-ups, etc.

● Did you know your bespoke software can serve as a source of revenue itself? Yes, if your system can solve a particular problem in your business, then there's a good chance other companies may be experiencing a similar issue that needs to be solved. And because you fully own the rights to your custom software, you can offer it as an excellent product and get paid for it.

● You're in control of development and support. From the idea stage to launch, the development team works closely with you to ensure your specifications for the solution. Then, if you want to update the system - including when & how - you can inform the developers to get it done.

● It enhances your company's brand identity. For example, in the advent where you sell your bespoke software to other companies for use, then by adding your name, colours & logo to the software, you instantly give more traction to your company's brand.

● When ordering bespoke solutions, you can ensure they can be integrated easily with other systems or compatible with systems you currently use for your business processes.

 

Disadvantages of Bespoke Software

 

As with most things in life, not all glitters are gold. Moreover, building bespoke software has disadvantages, especially for smaller businesses with limited cash & resources. So let's discuss some cons:

● Upfront cost tends to be high, considering the vast professional expertise involved. As a result, many companies turn to software outsourcing companies to develop their custom program, and they do so because of the massive talent pool of developers available to them.

● It takes time to develop because it's built from scratch. So if you're in a hurry to have new software for your company, you may want to consider off-the-shelf software.

● Sometimes, off-the-shelf programs could have features you didn't know your business needs. Even though such software may not be able to do everything you need it to do, still, they could be helpful for some of your business processes.

 Examples of Bespoke Software

Are you interested in some real-life examples of bespoke software? In the eCommerce & retail industry, market leaders like;

● Amazon,

● Alibaba,

● eBay and;

● Etsy are all excellent examples of companies that developed custom software for their business processes.

They build their success by satisfying their customers with easy navigation on their websites or apps, helping with inventory, logistics and shipping, and the security of their user info. These market leaders began using bespoke software because no commercial program could handle their large and complex systems.

The travel & hotel industry is another sector where bespoke software aids their processes.

Examples are:

AirBnB – who uses its platform for safely and securely connecting property owners with travellers without physically meeting

● Amadeus – who uses big data and API to connect travellers with airlines, cruises, hotels, etc

Skyscanner – runs a meta-search engine, taking just seconds to return users every available flight for a given date and destination.

Honourable mentions include Uber, Jumia Foods, Banks apps, and Social media apps (TikTok, Snapchat, etc.)

Regarding mobile apps, you can't go wrong with investing in bespoke software.

 

Final Thoughts

The pros and cons of developing bespoke software can help you weigh it. Comparing with off-shelf software can give you detailed insights on which you feel is best for your business.

As your company expands, ordering bespoke software should be the following action plan.

If you want:

● Your customers to feel more valued

● Your business processes to be streamlined and automated

● Greater efficiency amongst your employees

● To save your company money in the long-term

Then bespoke software is what you need.

At Wazobia Technologies, we specialise in creating bespoke software using the latest technologies.

You can schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your ideas and share how we can turn them into a reality.

 
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Wazobia Technologies

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