• Aug 09, 2019


Starting a new business and choosing a software framework for it can be pretty similar to buying a new suit. If you got a friends-wedding or, god-forbid, a funeral sometime soon, you’d probably go for off the rack; maybe something from Brooks Brothers or their local alternative. And you’d be completely right.

On the other hand, the suit can be a major part of your image, something that people judge your trustworthiness; especially true for say a lawyer or a salesperson. In this case it’s something that needs to be comfortable, effective, and simply just right for you; it’s got to be hand-tailored.

The same principle works for dealing with your company’s software: you can either go for the off-the-shelf software packages or order a bespoke, designed and developed specifically for your business’s needs. That’s not saying off-the-shelf is bad and bespoke is good. Every need has its own solution. What do you need to consider when choosing what suits your business?

Bespoke software should fit like a glove since it was made particularly for your business after a team of professionals researched how you work and what you need

Taking the measurements

Both off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions bring their own risks and benefits. Off-the-shelf software packages offer a quicker and cheaper solution - since it is funded by a large number of customers using it. However, this is only true in the short-term, as regular updates, maintenance and support can drive the costs higher over the long-term. Additionally, since everyone using the same software gets the same “toys” to play with, off-the-shelf solutions will not provide you with a competitive advantage. They can't facilitate your unique selling points - what makes your company stand out, the way you do things differently and better than your competitors.

Bespoke software should fit like a glove since it was made particularly for your business after a team of professionals researched how you work and what you need, and it will grow with your company and its customers. But it has its own caveats too. The first is always the cost. The cost of bespoke software can be much higher than off-the-shelf solutions. Those professionals who learn how you work, design the solution, and the quality they bring to the table are not cheap. Also, the system can meet the needs of your business only as far as you can and the developers can define and understand them – and it is not a quick job.

Understanding what is the best for your company, and not just going for the cheap way out or spending too much on things you don’t need is much easier with an experienced software development house by your side.

What is better for your business?

A good, hand-tailored suit depends on how good is the tailor who makes it. Is he experienced to the point of intuition? Does he have a taste for the fabric and how it fits for different occasions?

Software developers are the tailors of business solutions for your company – they need to have the experience, the pedigree, and the tastes of a great tailor to advise on the best solution and then deliver it. Choosing a great developer is an altogether different adventure.

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