Bespoke built software can deliver huge business benefits, if done right and for the right reasons. But when should you look at a customised solution rather than exploring the ever expanding market of software products out there?
The simple answer is, when there isn’t a product that matches your needs. But that’s somewhat over simplifying the matter.
What does the business need?
Todays market place is full of software products from huge, complex enterprise software packages that can be ‘tailored’ to run you entire business, to individual products based in the Cloud that can be purchased as and when required to perform a specific function.
When selecting a software solution, first understand what the business needs from the software and make sure you get the needs of all the stakeholders.
For example a Cloud-based CRM system may well provide the needs of the HR department, but how does it integrate with the needs of the finance department? How do they get the data they need out of the cloud. How do your IT support staff provide support to you for this product? The answers will differ widely from organisation to organisation.
Does the solution match our business processes?
Find out how well the software solution matches your current business processes. Are you willing to change your business processes to match the processes defined by a software product? The flip side of this, is how much time and effort is required to ‘tailor’ a packaged solution to your way of working.
If the business case for tailoring a packaged solution doesn’t stack up then consider a bespoke solution.
When bespoke makes sense
- Bespoke solutions are guaranteed to meet your business requirements, since you have total control for defining those requirements.
- Bespoke solutions are guaranteed to meet the requirements of your internal IT support department, since they are in control of defining tools, databases, languages and standards that they expect.
- Bespoke solutions are not the right solution in many instances, but when you have an idea that can’t be meet by the product market place, you will deliver business benefits more efficiently.
Bespoke vs. packaged software solution? There’s no wrong or right answer, and plenty of opinion out there. Ask yourself the big questions above and work out if a bespoke solution is the right route for you.
If you’d like a sounding board, we’d be happy to give you the benefit of our experience. Call James on +44 (0) 117 9858940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org