What Is Bespoke Software?

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In today’s growing world of digitalisation, business owners aim to be able to solve problems quickly and effectively. How can work efficiently, make profits and ensure outstanding customer service? How do you stand out from the crowd? That’s where bespoke software comes in.

As technology becomes more advanced, bespoke software solutions are becoming necessary to meet the demands of modern businesses. But what is bespoke software? Is it worth it or should you opt for the off-the-shelf solutions?

There are a huge range of software development options available, which can make it very difficult to choose. In this guide, we’ll explain the differences between bespoke and off-the-shelf software, and we’ll also talk you through why you should choose custom software for your business. Additionally, we will analyze the pros and cons.


{What’s The Difference Between Bespoke And Off-the-Shelf Software?}

First, let’s look at the difference between a bespoke software solution and off-the-shelf software. Just like a bespoke suit made specifically for you, bespoke software has been designed to fit the customer. When you request tailored software, the development team will discuss your exact requirements with you.

You ask for a certain set of solutions and the team will tailor the software to suit you. Your custom software will be designed with your precise needs in mind and will be able to meet your business requirements.

These bespoke solutions can even be made to fit your current working methods, so you don’t need to change how you do things to benefit from the new system.

On the other hand, off-the-shelf software, also known as commercial software, is a pre-packaged software solution that anyone can buy. It’s “general-purpose” and is designed to be compatible with various business models.

Because this pre-packaged software is meant to be used by the mass market, it isn’t built with certain specifications. It offers the features and general tools that lots of businesses need.

However, this can cause issues because you may have many features that you don’t need. Or worse, you may not have enough to carry out the functions that your business needs.

{Benefits Of Bespoke Software}

Next, let’s take a look at the top benefits of investing in bespoke software solutions. This should give you a much better idea of whether it’s right for you and your company.

Custom software solutions that match your business

Bespoke software solutions are custom-built, meaning that you’ll have something unique that your competitors won’t have. Instead of a generic mass-market solution, your bespoke software will function much more efficiently.

Tailored software will automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and make workflow much quicker and smoother.

With bespoke software, you only pay for what your business needs. You won’t pay for a finished product with functions that you won’t ever use.

Custom software also provides a very specific approach to solving business problems. You choose what you’ll need and pay for that and nothing more, saving you money.


The bespoke software development team can adapt the software to fit any new requirements you may have. Your business needs the flexibility to respond to the ever-evolving market solutions and bespoke software can provide this flexibility, helping you to stay competitive.

This means that your business can expand into new areas and your tailor-made software will grow with you. A bespoke software solution means you’ll have a product that perfectly suits you, your business, and your employees.

The key to choosing the right solution for your business requirements is how well the functions will work with your operational users and processes.

Keeps you in control

Having a bespoke software solution transforms your business and provides full control over the developed solution. It belongs to you and you decide where and how it’s implemented, and the rights to it are completely yours.

You can use it no matter how many employees you have and you won’t need to worry about extra upgrades or costs. It’s up to you if there should be additional customizations or features.

Cyber Security

In terms of cyber security, off-the-shelf software will always be more susceptible to being targeted because everyone can access it. Bespoke software is less risky because only your business can access it.

It doesn’t make sense for hackers to spend copious amounts of time and energy trying to attack bespoke software solutions when they can easily access software that’s used by multiple companies.

Not only that, but you own the bespoke software and it’s up to you how it’s used, unlike an off-the-shelf solution where you’ll have to depend on the supplier that you bought it from. That supplier could also go out of business, cease support for that solution, or even discontinue it altogether.

Continued support

Bespoke software development solutions need less technical support and it matches the needs of your business. You won’t have to worry about any third-party corporations going out of business, leaving you without any support.

Any necessary updates and upgrades will happen when needed, they won’t be dictated by the general market. You have control over when and how the software needs adjusting.

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{Drawbacks Of Bespoke Software}

Despite all the benefits of bespoke solutions, there are some disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them so you can have a well-rounded view of the software.

Lead time

Of course, implementing an off-the-shelf solution will be much quicker than developing bespoke software. Just as buying a suit off the rack will be much quicker than having a bespoke suit made for you. But that tailored suit will fit you much better and it’ll be worth the wait.

It’s the same with custom software development. It will solve business problems, taking care of various tasks quickly and efficiently. But, it will take time for it to be developed.

The cost

It is cheaper to buy a pre-packaged product, but as they say, you get what you pay for. It may be suitable at that point and it may save you money initially, but consider the expenses for further maintenance and support.

If you’re planning to expand your business, there will be extra costs if you choose off-the-shelf software.

A bespoke solution will take into account your company needs, and the costs can be calculated in advance. You’ll find that investing in bespoke solutions will make a lot more profit in the long term.


A big concern some businesses have with investing in bespoke software is whether the support will still be available years after it’s been developed. If you don’t have the source code, you’ll be completely dependant on the support of the developer.

But this can pose a risk because it isn’t uncommon for developers to choose different career paths and no longer offer support for software that they created years before.

{Why Choose Bespoke Software For Your Business?}

Investing in bespoke software is a smart business choice as it’s a fantastic long-term investment in both your work and your company’s future. Be sure to choose a partner that will offer support all through the development of the project.

This will mean you can have a bespoke solution that suits your requirements perfectly and works with your business objectives.

If you have a large business, you’ll almost certainly need bespoke software as your systems may prove to be too big and complex for any old off-the-shelf software.

You’ll also need huge “behind-the-scenes” software and this will help with shipping, inventory, and other logistics. Additional reasons to choose bespoke software include:

  • It will be able to handle a sudden surge in users.
  • It will provide extra protection against hackers.
  • You’ll have more opportunities for business growth.

{Reasons To Choose An Off-The-Shelf Software Solution}

As revolutionary as bespoke software is, there may be times when you just need an off-the-shelf software solution for your business. Let’s take a look at why you may need to do this.

Time constraints

If you need a software solution urgently, good news! Pre-packaged software is specially designed for rapid installation and use.

This is because it’s a product that’s already been developed and all you need to do is purchase and install it. There’s no waiting around for it to be made like if you opted for bespoke software.

In fact, the longest wait you’ll have is the time spent looking for the right software for your business.

Keep in mind though that off-the-shelf software may have to be customized and it might not be compatible with your work systems. Annoyingly, this completely defeats the point of it being a quick solution.

You have limited resources

If money is tight, the cheaper initial cost of an off-the-shelf product will certainly be more attractive. It will definitely cost less than having software specially developed for your business.

This may be perfect for your company, but it all comes down to whether the software can do what you need it to.

There are off-the-shelf products that match your requirements

Because off-the-shelf software is designed for the mass market, it needs to have the functionality to be useful to as many people as possible. This means that when you choose commercial software, you may find a product that does everything you need and more!

Commercial software also typically includes new updates and versions to get rid of bugs and offer new features. This can be great if you’re enjoying the free updates as you’ll benefit from new features that could help you run your business better.

This might not be a good thing though, and you may even find that the software is missing valuable features that you could really do with!

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{Final Thoughts}

If you want to improve the way your business operates, bespoke software is the way to go. As technology becomes more advanced and sophisticated, business owners feel compelled to become even more computer savvy.

They want a seamless experience with a product that provides everything they want and need, regardless of which device they’re using. For employees, commercial software can be a hindrance, preventing them from working to the best of their ability.

Even though commercial software has its place, bespoke will win every time because it’s premium quality and tailored to your needs and the needs of your employees. Ultimately, bespoke software will be a much better solution for you, your employees, and your bank account!


With so many benefits, from saving development costs to receiving access to specialist software, software development outsourcing is more than worth it. Not only will you save money on expenses, but it will also free you up to focus on your business’ growth.

The outsourced team will handle almost all project development themselves, so you will only need to manage larger decisions. It can also help free up any other managers in your business, which any business manager can appreciate.

If you plan to work on a large software project in the future, or even just a smaller set of patches, consider hiring a software outsourcing company!

There is a range of benefits to hiring a software developer or outsourcing your project to an external development team. If you are looking to save money and worry that your business does not have the resources for a large project, outsourcing may be best suited for you.

However, if you want to ensure you have full control over a project and finances aren’t too much of a worry, an in-house software developer may be the right call.

Try to weigh up the pros and cons of each before making a final decision. It can be difficult to know exactly which is better suited to your project, but discussing possible options with your development team can be a great way to decide.

Much like hiring any external service, the first step is to find a team that is right for your outsourced software development. By using our handy guide above, you should have no issues doing this!

Once you have found a team right for you, you will want to negotiate the cost, show them what you need and discuss whether this is feasible. If possible, then a contract should be created that allows the outsourced company to handle your development for you.

The cost of outsourcing a project to an external development team will vary depending on what is required and how large the project is. Larger projects will, of course, cost slightly more than small-scale software, and the same goes for a specialist program.

Typically, you can expect an outsourced project to cost you anywhere between £20 to £75 an hour, depending on the developers’ skill. This is cheaper than hiring a full-time in-house developer, but it may not be what your company needs.

Communication during the whole process will be key to your budget. You will already have agreed on rates, but knowing whether the project is running to schedule is essential.

By being kept up to date through each step of the process, you will pinpoint any potential problem areas that may lead to costs spiralling out of control. Outsourcing does not mean an abdication of responsibility, and there will still be areas of project management that will need to be adhered to.


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