Modern companies need to dynamic and continuously evolving to keep their heads above water. So it makes perfect sense to leverage software that’s easily adaptable and scalable to meet your organisation’s changing demands.
Canned solutions are rigid and only cater to the general needs of a wider audience. Oftentimes, companies have to use one software to complete a task and another solution to complete another task.
In contrast, bespoke software can be adapted rapidly to meet your business needs and boost productivity. After all, custom applications are designed to work the way you want them to.
Hidden Costs of Off-the-Shelf Software
When choosing whether to build a custom application or buy off-the-peg software, companies often fail to calculate the true total cost of using the latter.
Here are just some of the many costs that off-the-shelf vendors fail to disclose, which creates a hidden agenda for users:
Vendors typically charge based on the size of your project and the volume of data you’re working with. Depending on the scale of your operations, you may be facing expensive license fees just to accomplish relatively basic tasks.
Buying off-the-shelf solutions means you’re taking a jack-of-all-trades approach to your software strategy. They are designed to target as broad a market segment as possible, which nearly guarantees that your software will come loaded with features that you simply don’t need. However, you have to pay for the whole package regardless of whether you need certain functional features or not.
Labour costs aren’t included
Enterprise off-the-shelf software is never a real plug-and-play solution. At the enterprise scale, it still requires experienced IT teams for successful implementation and configuration.
If you don’t have IT resources to dedicate to this project, you’ll need to employ a regular team to carry out maintenance and manage users, which will elevate the overall total cost of the software. Additionally, you may even need to hire expensive implementation partners to help you install and set up the system, as well as integrate your new software with your existing systems.
In order to plug the software into your day-to-day operations, you will need to make certain adjustments to the system. Often “configuration” becomes equivalent to manual customisation. Getting your off-the-rack software to perform the functions you need may require your software team to implement very costly workarounds and kludges. These customisations can be very time-consuming, as they force the product to do something it wasn’t designed and meant to do. Resources dedicated to bespoke workarounds may then stretch your staff and lead to product release delays.
In this scenario, building custom software from scratch can be much cheaper, especially if you consider outsourcing your project development to a specialist provider with proven methodologies, relevant experience and portfolio, and the ability to staff and scale teams fast.
Custom software helps optimise processes and cut costs
When enterprise software doesn’t suit your unique business needs, employees and operations must adapt to the technology. Whenever this is the case, costs can quickly skyrocket with growing inefficiency. As a result, enterprise growth and innovation are stunted by rigid technologies.
For example, when one of Britain’s leading aggregate suppliers, Lafarge, engaged us to update their cumbersome legacy systems, they were able to enhance customer service and efficiency, and save as much as £4 million per year.
As off-the-shelf software is highly inflexible, it won’t scale with your company seamlessly. When American multinational pharmaceutical company, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) contacted Evolve, for example, they were working with a massive spreadsheet to validate claims and rebates on the off-the-shelf solution, Microsoft Excel, which was about to exceed capacity and risk failure.
As Excel spreadsheets couldn’t be linked to other systems and were maintained manually, turnaround times were significantly slower. However, MSD was able to turn things around with a bespoke cloud-based software solution that was completely automated, enhancing efficiency while mitigating risk.
Custom software helps companies leverage the latest technologies
When every bespoke solution is built to meet your specific demands, your company is well-placed to incorporate and leverage the latest technologies like cloud computing solutions, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML).
With the latest technology at your fingertips, your business is well-placed to identify new opportunities, innovate, and scale rapidly.
Bespoke software and microservices play a critical role in making disparate technologies work well together seamlessly. So while the initial investment is higher, organisations save money in the long-term.
This approach also helps minimise interface conflicts, improve integration, and enhance enterprise security. So you can grow and innovate faster without running into a technological brick wall.
One of the indirect benefits of custom software that’s often overlooked is its impact on staff. When your employees aren’t tasked with juggling multiple systems and cumbersome legacy technology, your business is well-placed to boost employee satisfaction and staff retention.
Custom software also comes with the added benefit of lower hardware costs (as it’s tailored to what you already have in-house). Because you decide how long you want to maintain the custom software, there won’t be any surprise costs down the road (for example, when the vendor decides to discontinue an off-the-shelf solution).
Why is it essential to partner with an expert bespoke software company?
Building custom software is challenging (to say the least). Software development teams consider multiple (often competing) variables and make it work.
It takes years to build appropriate knowledge and foresight to avert any potential hurdles through each iteration. Without the benefit of experience, software teams can quickly run into problems that cost a significant amount of money and time.
In this scenario, it’s always best to partner with an experienced bespoke software development provider.
Piggybacking on someone’s else tried-and-tested capabilities still proves to be a highly cost-effective approach that helps business scale rapidly.
Following this methodology can help boost your time to market and potentially identify new opportunities for innovation. Internal IT teams can be myopic, so it helps to have some fresh eyes to take a good look at your overall operation.
How do you find a custom software development provider?
Finding the right third-party development partner starts with doing some homework. If you’re ready to reap the benefits of bespoke software development, conduct a local search online.
When you type “software companies near me,” you’ll find plenty of businesses in the results. Try different variations of this search phrase like “bespoke software development companies in my city,” “custom software development partners in the area,” or “hire software consultancy locally” and compare the results.
Make a list of the ones you like for extensive vetting. If no one is within a twenty kilometre radius, take a look at B2B directories and review platforms. It also helps to get some real-world feedback from someone you know, so go ahead and ask your peers for referrals.
Regardless of how you go about it, it’s critical to spend a considerable amount of time identifying a partner that fits your business demands and corporate culture.
In a highly digitised world, even small and medium-sized businesses can’t afford to just work with boxed software. Sometimes it’s vital to go with a total bespoke software solution or find a comfortable balance between the two to access improved efficiency, optimise processes, save money, and grow rapidly.
If you think custom software products are right for you, request a commitment-free call back now.