| Bespoke Systems

Bespoke systems are essentially any systems developed for a specific, unique purpose. Bespoke systems or software, are much like a custom suit and made to your specifications.

Since a bespoke solution meets the specific needs of the business that a ready-made software can not meet, it makes a business efficient and at the same time removes the restrictions and frustration that are usually associated with a ready-made application. However, many companies do not invest in custom made solutions and settle for off-the-shelf software.

What is Off-the-shelf software?

Off-the-shelf software, also called commercial software, is a pre-packaged solution available to purchase on the mass market. It is general-purpose and designed to work with different business models, to be used by as many people as possible.

Pre-packaged off the shelf software is made for use by the mass market, and as such, is not built to any one set of specifications, offering general tools and features that many businesses will need. Thus can cause a predicament because you could just as easily find you have an abundance of functionality available to you. Considerably, more than you will ever use, or not enough to carry out your business functions.

You may be able to carry out all the functions you require to run your business with commercial software. Equally, you may find you need to hire a developer to try and change it to meet your needs or purchase additional software to carry out your work. Alternatively, you will have to adjust your needs around the software or find another solution to fill the gaps.

Advantages of Bespoke Systems

A bespoke system made for you and your business, would not have any limitations or restrictions in place for how many people can use it. Many users can use it and need not worry about the additional costs or upgrades. With bespoke solutions, you can add new features or customisations, to grow your business. Majority of commercial software available now are provided as 'Software as a Service' (Saas). To make use of the software, you need to purchase licenses based on the number of users or installations.

Bespoke systems don't appeal to cyber-criminals, also known as hackers. Usually, hackers avoid hacking private custom software as it needs hours of hard work for very little satisfaction or gain. Hackers like to find faults and security loopholes in commercial software for maximum benefit and exposure.

Many companies work manually to complete various work processes and tasks. Automation is no longer a choice, but it is an opportunity that helps businesses to stay competitive in the market. Automation provides a way for businesses, to produce more output with limited human involvement, resulting in savings on workforce costs.

Disadvantages of Bespoke Systems

The up-front cost associated with a bespoke software solution can be a disadvantage. Bespoke systems may cost you more than commercial solutions, due to the amount of time and effort required to create it, but the long-term benefit is worth the investment. It is worth noting smaller systems are usually much cheaper than the ongoing licensing fees of commercial systems.

To receive a 100% useful bespoke solution, you need to know your business and specifications very well. Ordering some tools and hiring resources without knowing what your company needs can lead to a waste of money.

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