When facing the various challenges that arise in their lifetimes, businesses tend to turn towards innovation to overcome hurdles – whether that’s a piece of software, new equipment, or simply just a different way of thinking. For the former – software tools – businesses have traditionally fluctuated between purchasing an off-the-shelf solution and attempting to build their own in-house; recently, however, a third option has become more popular.
Innovation is incredibly important for businesses because it means that there are new exciting ways to ensure that things are kept fresh in both a business sense and a systems sense. The benefit to this is that not only do your employees stay motivated and refreshed but it also ensures that you are future proofing your business against potential challenges along the way. Nothing is more evident when it comes to innovation than the implementation of cloud technology and software – it is this approach that many businesses are moving towards and something that should not now be overlooked.
The Best of All Worlds
Blending the high level of customisation a home built piece of software can offer with the ability to outsource its creation to a third party, bespoke software options have started to provide businesses with a far more specialised tool for overcoming their various challenges. In essence, choosing bespoke allows for the best of both worlds – internal teams don’t need to use resources and time on creating a purpose-built solution, but the finished product is still guaranteed to provide everything the business needs.
But it’s not just this hybrid approach – or even the addressing of individual needs – which is making bespoke software more and more attractive to businesses; there are a myriad reasons which we’ll explore in this article, including the obvious savings (in more areas than you might think), and not-so-obvious long-term advantages you may not have considered before.
The obvious main benefit is the ability to build cloud-ready solutions exactly when you need them, for specifically the purposes that your business needs them. No more “round peg, square hole” scenario of off-the-shelf software solutions because with the plethora of available options now available thanks to this ideal mixture of bespoke, control and cloud technologies; you can get exactly what your business needs, when it needs it.
The Time Challenge
When weighing up whether to choose an off-the-shelf solution or a bespoke offering, more and more businesses and their directors are waking up to the potential time savings that become possible. Initially, you may think that an off-the-shelf tool is already the best time-saving option – it’s already been built and is ready to buy into at a moment’s notice; perfect.
The reality, however, is that off-the-shelf solutions require a continual investment of time. Beyond the initial training – which may include watching numerous how-to videos and the passing of information between multiple team members – organisations need to be prepared to plough time into data migration and support desk requests, as well as adapting the tool to fit their individual needs; off-the-shelf is another word for ‘generic’, after all.
You must also consider the scenario in which you need to change, modify or upgrade an off-the-shelf solution to ensure that it is compliant with the ever demanding work of cloud connected software. With the workforce now becoming laden with millennials and generation-Z’ers, you must cater to their work habits and the fluidity of working from any location is now something that will attract the best of the employment world.
In contrast, bespoke software specialists tend to deliver specific training on the finished product, allowing for first-hand information exchange, in addition to offering simple data migration, continual maintenance, and a tool which doesn’t need to be adapted.
Future Proofing Your Solutions
These time-saving elements also extend much more long-term – another reason why businesses have started to change tactics. Because a bespoke system is built around a specific business, its teams and its individual challenges, it’s much easier to scale up (without mounting upgrade costs) and can thus continue to be used far into the future.
This ‘future proofing’ element removes any need for shopping around once an off-the-shelf tool becomes obsolete and saves organisations large sums of money when trying to get more out of their purchase. In business terms, bespoke solutions can add tremendous value to growth plans – and for businesses with high aspirations, that’s an absolutely invaluable advantage.
With a lot of cloud software there is also the ability to scale up whenever necessary and implement this software seamlessly into new sites that your business may open – further aiding with growth.
For businesses who have embraced bespoke software, savings haven’t been limited to the purchasing element of a tailored solution – the features brought to the table are more than capable of streamlining processes and cutting out unnecessary work to drive further cost savings.
Kaleida witnessed this first hand following work with our client Face for Business. In order to tackle call handling limitations impacting the team, Face for Business found themselves considering hiring extra staff at an increased cost to the business. The challenge, it transpired, was one that didn’t require more people, but more innovation instead.
By creating a tailor-made call parking system, Kaleida was able to help Face for Business to overcome the challenge. Now, PAs are able to take new calls before returning to deal with existing messages, freeing up their time and removing the need for additional staff. In cost terms, this provided Face for Business a 35% saving on wages.
Speaking on the additional feature, Face for Business’ Andy MacGregor commented that it was a ‘really innovative addition to our system’, and when placed in the context of their growth plans Andy made it clear that the 35% saving has the potential to be worth ‘literally hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of savings in the near future’. It’s easy to see, then, why bespoke is so attractive when the potential savings can be so high.
Better Off Bespoke
With so much more on offer than just the fundamentals, it’s become clear why businesses are embracing bespoke software development solutions, yet it’s obvious that for all their faults, off-the-shelf solutions continue to be popular in the short term. However, as all business owners know, the short term is a precarious place – and when keeping their organisation one step ahead of day-to-day challenges (and competitors), they really are better off bespoke.
The other major key player now that we are well under way in the roaring 20’s is cloud technology. This will be a game changer when it comes to accessibility and ensuring that people get the most out of the bespoke software development for their business.