Whichever software system you choose for your business, it’s important that it both works and also provides you with the capacity to grow and adapt.
When researching which platform variations are on offer, we’d suggest that you have a list of IT and business objectives that you’ve set yourselves for the next five years to see where these platforms prevail and where they fall. More often than not, you won’t want to limit your business to a single vertical, and having this list may provide you with the brief required if you choose to commission a bespoke solution.
Here are a few considerations to bear in mind when looking at whether a bespoke or off-the-shelf solution suits your business:
Off-the-shelf products are designed for a wide range of consumers with a standard design and a framework that is pre-produced. These solutions try to offer a little something for everyone, which, while they can be modified to a certain extent, they could also mean that you compromise on some of the particular requirements your business has. You might also find yourself reliant on a variety of third-party developers to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The biggest advantage of a bespoke solution is clear: it’ll do exactly what you want it to and in doing so, it can keep maintenance down to a minimum.
When it comes to adaptation, flexibility to respond and act upon ever-changing tools and tactics is essential. Bespoke software will effectively build the framework you require, and it should be easier to fine tune it in the future with updates thereby ensuring that a high level of performance is maintained.
Generally, with off-the-shelf software there are costs associated with updates, and some software platforms only offer updates for a limited period of time, which can quickly render the purchase obsolete.
As your business grows you may want to operate multiple systems, and a bespoke solution can help you to keep everything on brand and centralised.
Furthermore, multi-platform management from a single login is only possible with a custom system, and this could potentially offer you a competitive advantage. Developers can make suggestions to improve your service and open up alternatives, while acting as an ongoing source of information and advice relating to IT.
A customised platform can also save time and money spent with partner companies. For instance, SimpleClick’s Doddle CMS was used to create an Artwork Builder for a travel agent. This bespoke software system saved the company approximately 17,500 hours of work following its launch. Previously, the travel company’s design team produced posters and flyers on behalf of each travel agent, which took the company on average seven hours to design and produce per item, plus printing costs and postage. The Artwork Builder has saved Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines both time and money, as the central CMS system allows the client to input content and imagery once and in one place, so that travel agents can produce posters and flyers advertising cruises internally.
Most software solutions are built using open-source platforms, which can be customised, but as these systems are easy to replicate and the code structures are virtually identical, your own design is unlikely to remain unique for long!
A truly bespoke software solution is completely unique and is a much less attractive target for hackers and spammers since the code isn’t readily available to download and explore.
If you’re planning for growth and are looking for new solutions to improve efficiency or to identify cost savings, a bespoke platform could be the ideal solution for your IT and business needs. Contact us on 0844 736 2747 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how custom software solutions can enhance the way your business operates.