BEWARE: Bespoke software is best? Bulls**t!

People kid themselves that bespoke software is better because they believe they’re getting exactly what they need to transform their business efficiency, making it easier to manage. But Directors who put their business on a pedestal for being different and unique need to realise that those differences aren’t always significant enough to warrant bespoke software development. And what you think you want and what you can get with bespoke software are two very different things.

Most companies that embark on developing bespoke software for their business believe it will enhance their competitive advantage, but they soon realise it does the opposite. Here’s why:

Good developers are expensive, difficult to manage and let’s face it, you won’t understand the code.

Developers can’t analyse a business; they just want to develop exactly what you tell them. So, you’ll need a Business Analyst to spec your requirements and you can’t do that without everyone in the business working together to scope, detail and explain exactly what features the software needs to have.

Is the opportunity cost really worth it?

When it comes to Project Management, your costs will quickly soar, and your development may not be delivered on time if you don’t keep a close eye on it. Because let’s be honest, most development projects get delayed and experience hiccups, so you’ll need to keep this in mind.

Have you really got the time to go through extensive User Acceptance Testing (UAT) & updates?

Once you get to the stage of having the software created, the project (nightmare) doesn’t stop there – this is only the beginning. From this point, you will start to see the big difference between what you wanted from the software and what it’s actually like in practice. When it comes to bespoke software programming, extensive amendments and usability testing is required on an ongoing basis for it to really add value.

Bespoke software will only ever be as good as your own thinking!

What people tend to forget when creating customised software are the limitations. Yes, you can do whatever you want with it, but who’s saying you’ll think of the same features or updates that off-the-shelf software can provide? If you opt for an established software solution, you benefit from partnering with a company that always wants to be at the forefront of technology advancements and service delivery. Not only that, but they’re continuously learning from different industries and getting suggestions from their wide customer-base on what updates are needed. And let’s face it, that thinking is going to be better than your narrow-minded vision is, no matter how talented your people are!

It’s a bit like buying a Ferrari but quibbling over the servicing costs! – Maybe you chose the wrong car?

Put it this way: if you’re not big enough to have a collective team of Business Analysts, Developers, and Project Managers consistently working on the software and continuously looking for ways to improve, whilst backing all this up with capital investment, don’t be surprised when it all goes wrong.

Your ego will get the better of you if you think the bespoke route is best without having the necessary resources to back you up. It’s not just the cost of developing and implementing the solution either, you need to consider the cost of time spent on a project that could end up breaking your business. Why do you want to risk spending more whilst getting left behind? Don’t be fooled; your competition is bound to overtake you whilst you’re sat waiting for this perceived ‘superior’ tech…

We’ll admit that bespoke software can be beneficial if you have the budget, the talent etc but it’s not the easiest route! And it should only be considered if you can fully comprehend the time and costs needed and most importantly, know that it’s worth it.

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