In the modern world, innovations have been gaining roots at a fast rate due to the increasing demands and needs by the various stakeholders. Through this, it becomes vital for firms and other entities to make wise decisions concerning the technology and software products that they adopt. This is because these technologies and innovations link directly to the general performance by these entities.
Some of the common solutions that are presently available for entities include the Bespoke and the Off-the-shelf solutions. Many firms find it difficult to choose between these two technological solutions. By definition, Bespoke refers to a software that is customized following the individual needs of the client while Off-the-shelf software comes with a pre-built integration. Additionally, the latter is normally vended by third party entities. For a business to make a well informed decision, they must consider factors such as compatibility and also the cost of acquiring and maintenance. This article aims at juxtaposing these two software solutions.
Factors to consider in choosing between the two
Each of these two solutions will have their benefits and disadvantages. However, it is the role of interested firm to ensure that they go with the one that best suits their needs. As such, there are factors that tend to dictate this. These are comprehensively discussed below:
- Compatibility and Flexibility-This refers to the ability of the software to synchronize with the systems of a firm. This is a factor that contributes greatly to the decision making process of choosing between the Bespoke and Off-the-shelf solution. This is because in the choosing of the solution, a firm must check its current infrastructure, processes, workflow, staffing and even the size. At times, the firm may choose solutions that do not fit them and this leads to losses at the end of the day. It is therefore vital to ensure that the solution chosen complements all the resources of the firm so as to promote increased productivity.
On the flexibility bit, it is worth noting that the bespoke solution will tend to be more flexible. Therefore, when this software is used it will be responsive to the numerous processes of a firm. Through this, each component is able to complement each other and can always be tweaked to fit in to the needs of a business. On the other hand, the off-the-shelf solution will tend to be more rigid. It therefore becomes hard to complement the firm and its processes. For instance, the firm cannot tweak anything without prior knowledge of the provider.
- Obligations-There are requirements in each of the software solutions and they tend to differ for each of the two software. For instance, in the case of the Bespoke solution, the requirements will be minimal since the software is always tailor made to fit the needs of a business. As such, the requirements of this solution could only deal with compatibility. On the other hand, the off-the-shelf solution will tend to have numerous requirements. These may include extra upgrades or payments for certain features. By checking on the requirements, the firm is able to choose the best solution. In this case, it would be ideal to go with the Bespoke solution since it has minimal requirements. For instance, a firm will always possess the proprietary rights of the solution contrary to the off-the-shelf.
- Costs and Maintenance-The main objective of any firm is to minimize costs at the same time maximizing profits. That said, it is worth noting that a firm will tend to go with the solution that is less expensive in the installation and implementation processes. Looking at the two solutions, it would be prudent to state that the Bespoke software will tend to be more flexible in terms of costs. This is because this solution is meant to go in line with the firm’s resources and goals. As such, a firm can always implement the solution in small bits. However, focusing on the off-the-shelf solution, it would be right to state that it would cost more to a firm. This is because the solution is mostly offered by third party vendors whose primary focus is to make profits. Therefore, a firm may end up paying hefty amounts for simple solutions. Additionally, the off-the-shelve solution will tend to throw a firm at the mercy of the providers. In this, a firm may be greatly inconvenienced in case of a flaw whereby the provider is not at a near proximity. This makes the maintenance costs high as compared to the Bespoke solution that is easy to work around. This factor is however not fully conclusive as a firm will tend to look at other factors before making a decision. Moreover, it would be prudent for a firm to consider long-term goals and profitability. Through this, it is possible to adopt the more stable yet promising model.
- Usability-This mainly refers to the ease of usage of a certain solution by various stakeholders. This is a factor that greatly determines the choice made by a firm. It is worth noting that in the current age and era, firms will be conscious of the decisions made by their competitors or firms in the same industry. Through this, most firms will tend to adopt the solutions that they have seen work in other models. Most will not want to risk and end up being on the receiving end. Narrowing this to the two solutions, a firm that greatly considers this factor may tend to sway more towards the off-the-shelf alternative. This is because this is a global solution that the vendors offer to the various firms. IT would therefore be easy for a firm seeking to adopt the same to check its effectiveness before implementing it. On the other hand, although the Bespoke solution will have some kind of a basic framework, a firm may not get a scenario in which it has been fully implemented worth success. This may create fear on the side of the firm which then may hinder progression.
It is evident that these two software solutions will tend to form the backbone of any given firm. As such, it would be prudent for a firm to check both the pros and cons of each before settling on any of them. However, focusing on the above factors, it is evident that adopting the Bespoke model would help a firm stand out competitively while at the same time promoting growth.