The Benefits of Bespoke Software
Businesses have a few options when it comes to software. Owners can elect to use off the shelf business software. It is inexpensive, user-friendly, and easy to install. Programs and applications are pretty self-explanatory and allow a small amount of flexibility. This option may require slight changes in business operational procedures to match the capabilities of the software. The software works well for mainstream business practices, invoicing, and data collection. Licensing fees are paid annually and are typically based on the number of software users.
Off the shelf software can be upgraded with one or two custom applications and systems integration. The cost is minimal and the results can include increased productivity, ways to meet unique needs, and catering to owner preferences. A more involved option is custom Software Development, which includes adding or altering several programs or systems. The process of custom software development begins with an assessment of current applications. The developer will discuss desired outcomes with the owner and determine which systems can be added to meet expectations. This choice requires a slightly larger investment than integration, but can provide a competitive edge for the business. The ability to offer clients or customers something the competition cannot will make a substantial difference in contracts, referrals, customers, and revenues.
The ultimate option is tailored software, which consists of completely original programs, applications, and systems. A bespoke software developer spends a lot of time learning all the needs, desires, and expectations of the finished product. The business owner and department managers are consulted to ensure the end result will suit both current and future requirements. Once completed, the software programs will not work for any other businesses. The benefits include innovative systems and processes that will not be duplicated by the competition. That can apply to a manufacturing process, research and development procedures for an IT company, a unique inventory and shipping system that guarantees faster order delivery, or increased capability to store and cross reference data. The possibilities are endless.
Business owners will want to find an experienced company that has been developing software for decades. That will decrease the time it takes to complete the project. It is also important to negotiate access to the source code. The code is needed to make any changes to the systems at a later date, such as upgrades or altering applications. Most development companies will not allow the business to have access to the code. Search for one that will allow the source code to be maintained by the business. The intellectual property rights will remain with the company, but the business can make changes when wanted or needed.