In the ever-developing digital world, bespoke software is the most powerful tool your agency can own. The benefits of bespoke software are endless, but some highlights include scalability, security, differentiation, and automation.
Swapping off-the-shelf software for custom-built code that’s been developed with your agency’s specific needs in mind should be a no-brainer. But the tech can be intimidating—we get that.
So ask yourself these questions: How many hours does your team spend on tedious, click-intensive tasks? Do you find yourself constantly grappling with data from multiple sources? Wouldn’t it be great if your agency’s software was designed to work the way you work?
Bespoke software enables you to automate processes specific to your needs that no other app can. And the best part is that you get to own your custom solution and upgrade it as your business grows. Still unsure? Read on to find out why investing in your own bespoke software might be the best decision your agency ever makes.
What is Bespoke Software?
A bespoke software solution is essentially a custom-built application developed with the specific needs of your business at its core. Unlike mass-produced software, which tends to be ‘one size fits all,’ bespoke software is purposefully-built for a specific user.
Rather than having to navigate your way around a commercial app that was built with the needs of a multitude of businesses in mind, you get a say in which features and functionalities go in your bespoke software solution.
A custom web app can save your team hours of work every week by simplifying repetitive, click-intensive tasks, as well as help you integrate your data so that you can make faster, better-informed decisions. It can also consolidate your data from multiple sources and normalise it, allowing you to process it in seconds.
But perhaps most importantly, bespoke software is built with your business requirements in mind, right from the get-go. This means you achieve your business goals quicker while maintaining a competitive advantage.
What is Off-the-Shelf Software?
Off-the-shelf software, otherwise known as commercial software, are standardised, pre-packaged applications designed to be compatible with as many business models as possible. They are mass-produced solutions available to the general market and are almost always ready to use ‘out of the box.’
Because commercial software solutions were built for the mass market rather than with a pre-set of specifications in mind, they offer a wide variety of tools and features. While this extremely broad range of functions may prove useful, the one-size-fits-all approach can also mean that a business is left with a ton of tools it simply does not need— or worse— not enough to carry out its workflows.
Think of it this way: you’ve hired an outfit to wear to your best friend’s wedding, but it’s tight in all the wrong places and you spend the whole evening squirming in it. The next time you get invited to a wedding, you make an appointment at the tailors to ensure that this time, your outfit is perfectly tailored to match your shape, taste, and needs. Yes—you might have spent a bit more cash than you would have done if you’d just hired one out. But the bespoke outfit is yours to keep, you’ll wear it for years to come, and you won’t have to compromise your comfort ever again.
Much like hiring an outfit vs getting it tailored, bespoke software offers a better return on your investment, because you own your solution and don’t pay annual licensing fees. But unlike a really well-fabricated item of clothing, however, it doesn’t just fit better: a custom-built solution also adapts and evolves with your business.
Off-the-Shelf vs Bespoke Software Full Comparison
|Off-the-Shelf Software||Bespoke Software|
|Functionality||Commercial software has countless tools and features that enable functionality across a plethora of business models. However, there are functions that your business will never use and not enough tools for niche businesses.||Custom developed software is tailored to the specific needs and requirements of your business, which means it’s a better fit than any other software on the market. You also get to test, shape, and preview your bespoke software during the development phase to make sure it’s functioning the exact way you want it to.|
|Upgrades||Off-the-shelf software solutions are frequently upgraded and regularly maintained. However, the upgrades might consistently be irrelevant to you, as the vendor will not be developing its software with your specific business needs in mind. ||The fact that custom web apps grow with your business as you expand in new sectors or scale up in size is one of the main reasons why they have become a trend in the digital world. While you might have to pay extra for your developers to upgrade your bespoke software, you have total control of the features that need changing.|
|Security||The main issue with off-the-shelf software is that it is utilised by a multitude of businesses. Inevitably, this can make popular software solutions the target of cyber-attacks and other issues, leading to compromised security.||Bespoke software is developed for your business only, and isn’t used by any other company. By using custom developed software, you are safe from mass cyber attacks that target commonly used software.|
|Flexibility||Commercial software vendors roll out new features in their apps, but as a single user, you cannot request new functionalities and expect them to be implemented. Thus, you are left to work with the features available for everyone.||Bespoke software conforms to your business, instead of the other way around. If you need a new feature or want to modify an existing one, the bespoke software development that built your app can accommodate your requests.|
|Cost||The initial cost for off-the-shelf software is typically significantly lower than custom-built ones. However, annual licensing fees, requests for additional users, and upgrading tiers all rack up over the years. Plus—you might not even be using half the functions you’re paying for! ||Because developers build your bespoke software so it is tailored to your unique needs, the cost is initially higher. But the fact that custom-built solutions are designed to do exactly what you need them to results in increased operational efficiency, productivity, and morale—therefore saving you money in the long run. And last but not least, your software will be built so that it automatically scales alongside your company’s growth.|
Bespoke Software Advantages and Disadvantages
So…let’s recap. The advantages of bespoke software include:
- Better scalability and flexibility
- Simplifies repetitive, click-intensive tasks, saving your team hours of work every week
- Tailored to your business needs, which means bespoke software will always be a better fit for your requirements
- Offers the highest level of security due to the fact that it is less prone to mass malicious attacks
- Integrates your data to help you make quicker, insightful decisions in just a few clicks
- Better return on your investment, because you own your custom solution and don’t pay annual licensing fees
…But because we think you should have the full picture, here are a few disadvantages of bespoke software you may want to consider:
- Higher initial costs, as your business will have to pay for the solution to be developed from scratch
- Longer initial waiting times, as your software may take a few months to be fully developed depending on the size and requirements of your company.
Off-the-Shelf Software Advantages and Disadvantages
In order for your business to make a fully informed decision, let’s go through some of off-the-shelf software’s main advantages:
- Lower initial costs
- No waiting time – ready to use right away
- Upgrades are either included or sold for a discounted price
And of course, the disadvantages:
- You have no control over your features, meaning you might be using only half of the functions you’re paying for
- The tools you need might not be part of pre-packaged software solutions
- Can prove more expensive over time
- The broad spectrum of features can often mean the software is overly complicated and difficult to use
- You will probably have to compromise at least some of your business requirements, as off-the-shelf software is built with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality
- You business will have to adapt to the software, rather than the other way around.
5 Reasons Why You Might Need Bespoke Software
#1. You’re spending too much time on repetitive tasks
How many hours a week is your team wasting on time-consuming, click-intensive tasks? Wouldn’t it be great if these repetitive procedures could be automated so that you could spend more time focusing on strategizing? Bespoke software can do just that, by automating tasks using scripts.
It can also pull data from various sources, so you can gain unique insights and make quicker and smarter business decisions. Clean, processed data in just a few clicks—and you’ll barely have to lift a finger.
#2. You want to stand out from the competition
As technology advances and the digital world becomes increasingly automated, a bespoke software solution differentiates your agency from direct competitors. Stand out from the competition with unique, custom-built proprietary tech for your agency or business and show your clients and prospective customers that your approach to ‘data driven’ is cut from a different cloth.
#3. You’re using too many 3rd party apps because they lack features
Is your business constantly adding new software to its tech stack? Does your team struggle when trying to consolidate data from a variety of apps and sources? It’s probably time you invest in bespoke software.
Development companies can build the features and tools you need into your custom app, so you don’t have to expand your tech stack or use 3rd party plugins to enable new functionality. This allows your business to do more with just one app!
#4. Your agency is at a growth stage
If your agency is growing in size and scope, a bespoke solution can make that final step towards success a little bit easier. With a custom-built web app, compromise is a word you’ll never have to use again. You’ll have access to all the features and functions you could possibly desire, allowing for maximum efficiency and increased levels of performance.
#5. You’re ready for a digital transformation
Perhaps most importantly, a bespoke solution means that your existing and prospective clients will see you as a data innovator. Custom software enables the digital transformation your business needs to get up to speed with the latest developments in tech so that you stand out from the competition.
Bespoke Software Examples
To give you a better idea of what bespoke software can do for your agency, here are two real-life examples outlining some of the features and functionalities Acuto has developed for its clients.
Case Study #1: Multihub
Multihub is a digital marketing agency that specialises in multifamily property companies.
We developed a custom web app for them which allows companies to connect their property management software (like RealPage, Yardi, and Entrata), and import all their property details
It then allows them to connect and scrape data from other sources like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Google My Business, Google Search Console, Reputation.com, Apartments.com, and Google Analytics. The app generates custom reports that include data from all of the various sources, allowing for all properties to be managed from one central hub!
We also built Multihub a number of modules that automate tedious tasks so they have more time to focus on strategy. One example of these modules is a website builder that automatically develops templated websites for each property that connects with them, without the need for any user input. Amongst other modules, we also created a GraphQL API that makes it incredibly easy for companies to access all of this data in order to integrate it with their own systems.
Case Study #2: Breach Hunter
Breach Hunter is a leading cybersecurity company. At Acuto we knew that cybersecurity software has a notoriously long sales cycle and that it can be very expensive to purchase. We also knew that if a company suffers a security breach, they are much more likely to seek out cybersecurity software.
The web app we built Breach Hunter allowed every member of their sales team to upload a list of the prospective clients they were actively trying to engage with their cyber security product. Now, if any of those companies suffer a security breach, Breach Hunter is automatically alerted. That way, they are always the first on the scene to offer their solutions.
Bespoke Software Developed by Acuto
Add to the value of your agency with a single custom app from Acuto – a leading bespoke software development company – in order to truly stand out from the competition.
Forget one-size-fits-all! We can help you enhance your business processes and marketing techniques with a cost-effective, cutting-edge software solution developed with your agency’s requirements in mind.
Thanks to our extensive coding experience and passion for automation, our clients reap the benefits of custom apps such as property management software, creative analysis tools, and a wide-range of bespoke SaaS solutions. And we rely only on the most modern and reliable tools out there to make the magic happen.
Need a Custom Web App Developed?
Get in touch today to hear how our bespoke software development services can help your agency!
To sum up, bespoke software is designed for maximum efficiency and is the ideal solution for businesses that are looking to truly set themselves apart. A custom-built web app enables digital transformation, a more fluid workflow, and increased productivity.
- By investing in your own, bespoke software solution, you are waving goodbye to the constant frustration your team faces when dealing with repetitive, click-intensive procedures.
- Unlike off-the-shelf software, which is available on the mass market, a custom web app is yours and yours only. You own your source code, meaning your product will fit the demands of your business and its customers better than any commercial system out there.
- Bespoke solutions are developed to coexist with your current ways of working. They adapt to your preferences, rather than the other way around.
- A custom-built web app means infinite scalability, security, and flexibility. Every decision is yours to make.
- And last, but of course, not least— bespoke software comes with all the features and functionalities your business could possibly want, tailored to your exact specifications.