Bespoke software is a type of software that is designed around the needs of a particular user, or organisation. It exists as an alternative to off-the-shelf software. Think of it like a ‘bespoke’ suit; it is tailored to specific requirements, environments, and styles of working. It can be developed by in-house or outsourced teams. It provides you with a unique system that no other company, including your rivals, will be using. It can also be designed to seamlessly integrate with software that already exists within your organisation. This saves time and money, which is often limited during the process of introducing new software. A bespoke software system evolves as the company evolves; changes can be easily made along the way, depending on changing business needs.
What is off-the-shelf software?
Off the shelf software is a ‘one size fits all’ service which has been developed to fit the general requirements of as many users and organisations as possible. It is available to purchase on the mass market and it is often initially cheaper than bespoke software. However, it usually acquires additional costs as the number of users relying on the software grows. Off-the-shelf software is designed to suit a range of methods of working, business needs and integration requirements. It is not customisable, and it is likely that the off-the-shelf software you choose will either meet more than your required needs, which could be costly, or less than your required needs. If it does not fit all of a business’s needs, the business might then need to purchase an additional software package; incurring greater costs, and risking integration incompatibility with existing software. Off-the-shelf software packages often require a change to current methods of working among an organisation, as the software is not tailored to the way your company usually operates. This could drive frustration among your employees, and using the software could take up valuable time and money if training is required. Further, when issues arise they may be difficult to resolve, as help and support avenues will also be utilised by many other users.
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The importance of bespoke software in the modern context
Bespoke software has become even more important in the age of digitalisation. Digitalisation has been a growing trend over the past few decades, and it is here to stay. If the world is going digital, then businesses need the best and most efficient software systems to rely upon in order to carry out an increasingly extensive range of business processes. Bespoke software will always provide a better, more reliable and effective foundation for your business than any off-the-shelf software. If you are looking for a software development company, check out here: software development company London.
The rate at which digital transformation has spread among businesses has been dramatically accelerated in the wake of the pandemic. Indeed, Rodney Zemmel, global leader of McKinsey Digital of McKinsey & Company, agreed that “digital has been accelerating in just about all categories”. One of the major transformations that the pandemic has driven is increased experimentation and risk-taking among a businesses’ digital initiatives. This has been essential for surviving, and even thriving, during the storm of the pandemic. Global Leader for Workforce Transformation at Korn Ferry, Ms Swift, described how “Nothing silences an individual’s – or an organization’s – inner perfectionist like a full-blown crisis. In response to dramatic disruption, many organizations have undergone a healthy re-negotiation of their relationship to digital technology – prioritizing “hey, it works!” over “after years of slaving over this initiative, we’ve assembled the very best bells and whistles.” Bespoke software provides an ideal digital environment to accommodate the rapidly changing needs and functions of a company. It enables, supports and works with these changes, instead of working against them. With bespoke software, designers are able to experiment, quickly resolve problems, modify processes and adapt to changing circumstances at any stage of a software’s development and usage. Further, after changes have been made, employees are able to seamlessly get back to where they left off, without having to wait for software alterations and risk losing the progress they have already made.
Another major shift in the realm of digital transformation is the importance of meeting customer expectations. This has become an increasingly significant factor in a customer’s decision to use an organisation’s digital services. This has been confirmed by a recent cross-cultural study of 10 000 participants across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; the “Experience 2030: The Future of Customer Experience is… Now!” report. The investigation revealed that 61% of customers stated that they were willing to spend more on brands that delivered good customer service during the pandemic. 49% of shoppers even prioritised the quality of customer service over good prices and discounts. In modern times, customer service needs to be increasingly delivered online. This is why bespoke software systems are the most appropriate and relevant software package for any modern organisation that wants to stay competitive. Bespoke software allows an organisation to deliver exceptional customer service by tailoring its design around the needs of a company’s customer base and target market. By moulding a brand’s digital services around the customer, a customer’s needs will be met and they will feel valued. Once this happens, revenue will increase as brand loyalty increases.
Examples of bespoke software
Content management system (CMS)
A content management system can be used to design, develop, and transform a website easily and simply, without the need for advanced technological knowledge. The system gives users the structure and scaffolding to upload text, images, graphics, interfaces and other website features. This saves the user time, energy and money as they don’t have to hire technical specialists to provide basic website services. Instead, they can concentrate on the actual content of their website, how they want it to be laid out and how they want users to interact and engage with the website.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM software is designed to enhance all aspects involved in the relationship between a business and its customers; an increasingly important variable of business success in modern times. It monitors marketing campaigns, manages contacts, identifies trends in customer behaviour, and manages direct interactions between a customer and a business among other functions. A helpful dashboard in CRM also allows the user to monitor the many functions that this software offers.
Business Process Automation
Business process automation software automates the manual efforts of everyday tasks and processes that all businesses and employees are faced with. This includes employee onboarding and purchase orders, among other functions; these tasks typically involve heavy paperwork and time consuming back-and-forth processes. Completing these tasks manually is often time-consuming, inefficient and labour intensive. Tasks can get lost, repeated or completed inaccurately. Employees also waste time that they could be using to concentrate on the core components of their role. By automating these everyday processes, business processes become streamlined; transparency is provided when things go wrong; business processes become more efficient reliable and accurate.
In conclusion, bespoke software is the ideal alternative to off-the-shelf software for any business. It is designed around the unique needs of your business and your customers, and can therefore cut costs, save time, and drive efficiency, flexibility, and innovation. Off the shelf software, in contrast, may be initially attractive because of the smaller price tag but often eventually incurs more costs than a bespoke software package would. It can also become cumbersome, and provide obstacles to your progress as it might not fulfil all of your business needs and supplementary systems are needed to work alongside it. The importance of utilising the benefits of bespoke software in the modern context cannot be overstated. It provides the flexibility, resilience and adaptability your business needs to stay competitive and thrive. It does this by facilitating creative experimentation, and providing a better way to manage customer expectations and relationships. Examples of bespoke software include content management systems, customer relationship management and business process automation.