28th May 2019

Why companies choose bespoke over off-shelf software

Software is essential for running a business, whether for research, communication, employee management, accounting, or project management. The digital technology market provides a wide variety of software that offers solutions to most common needs. This software is faster to get off the ground, with a lower initial cost than any customized solutions.

Based on their business needs, some companies want to avoid the risk and cost of developing their own software solutions. They might need a quicker solution that doesn’t require any customizations or upgrades in the future, so they opt for off-shelf solutions.

But why do so many companies prefer to engineer their own solution when they can license off-shelf software to fulfill their needs? Here are some reasons why companies opt for bespoke solutions:

Unique business needs

Off-shelf solutions can be customized, but only to a certain degree. So if your company suddenly grows or adjusts its profile to a slightly different target market, that amazing and inexpensive off-shelf software will fail to respond to such change. Off-shelf software won’t completely fulfill the specific requirements of a company whose profile is a little more complex. Such companies usually decide to build custom software that will never fail to address their challenges.

Increased efficiency

Off-shelf software is loaded with functions your company might never use. Too many features can slow your system down, causing more problems than it solves. In most cases, these extra options can’t be turned off, so you’ll be stuck with software that complicates your workflow. It can also be quite a hassle to maintain all these features. That is not the case with custom solutions. Businesses can tailor bespoke software to their needs, ensuring smooth and efficient operations.

Better return on investment (ROI)

Developing custom software requires some serious funds, but in the long run it will cost you much less, since you won’t have to renew any licenses or subscriptions. Additionally, a bespoke solution doesn’t require constant changes to accommodate your company’s needs. It’s an investment that will pay off in the near future.

Enhanced security

Security is another threat in off-shelf software. According to a recent analysis of 25,000 off-shelf enterprise apps, 6.8% of apps might have security defects. Ease of access to off-shelf software makes them more vulnerable to security threats. Using a custom-built solution makes it much harder for cybercriminals to learn the ins and outs of your system, which greatly reduces the likelihood of an attack.

Easy to implement changes

It’s so simple to make adjustments to custom-built software. If you need to change something due to new legislation or customer demands, you can get it done in no time. Your software developer can implement the tools you need at any point without negatively impacting your business.

Endless support

One major advantage of bespoke software is the range of support you receive. Some development companies offer help after the initial setup; make sure you use the service of such providers. A reliable support plan is crucial to running a business smoothly and successfully. A team of expert technicians who developed your software will be able to fix any issues or adjust the solution quickly and efficiently.

No user limits

With off-the-shelf solutions, you are usually limited to a certain number of people allowed to use the software. If you have a small company, this might not be such a big problem, but imagine businesses with hundreds or thousands employees. Software cost can really hurt their budget. Custom-built solutions have no such restrictions.

Development is getting easier

Software development is getting simpler with time. With the advent of RAD tools and low-code platforms, today’s programmer doesn’t spend weeks on writing numerous lines of code. Drag-and-drop interfaces make it possible to build highly complex applications without dealing with complex code. This has encouraged companies to create their own applications.


The decision between bespoke and off-shelf software is one that can have profound consequences down the road. It’s important to make this decision with these long-term complications in mind. Short-term pain will often lead to long-term gain. Over the years, companies have realized that bespoke software is much more efficient in the long run. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small business or a huge enterprise. The demand for custom-built solutions is constantly growing, causing commercial products to fall far behind.