Many companies are faced with the choice of using off-the-shelf software solutions or investing in bespoke development.

Here Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages to Help You Decide

15 Feb 2021
Pros and Cons of Bespoke Software Development

Pros and Cons of Bespoke Software Development

Many companies are faced with the choice of using off-the-shelf software solutions or investing in bespoke development. And it often boils down to budgetary and strategic considerations. The advantages of one over the other may not always be clear for decision-makers.

Moreover, in some cases even if the benefits of readily available software seem like the wise option, it may not bode well in the longer term. Thus, potentially sending the team into a whirlwind of continuous upgrades and additional costs that grind down productivity. And the opposite may also be true for some businesses.

Beyond the objective pros and cons, lay the goals of every company and their internal processes which make the choice a purely subjective one, based on what works for them. In order to somewhat facilitate this tenuous decision, we gathered a list of pros and cons of tailor-made software. Here are the major points to cover when assessing which option is the right one for your organization.

A Shortlist of the Cons

With undeniably high initial cost and long timeframes needed for bespoke software development, it is crucial to know exactly what to expect. And even more important is to choose the right partner. While your intention is to provide your business with a platform that fits its exact current needs as well as the potential to scale up, there are two downsides to keep in mind.

The Budget

The upfront budget investment is probably the biggest drawback to custom-built solutions. And this is due to the time, effort, and resources needed to create the specific software. And it’s not easy to give a range for the cost either. The final price is proportionate to the complexity of the product as well as every feature and functionality included. Smaller and mid-sized companies might find the investment cost of bespoke solutions to be a barrier.

The Timeframe

Tailor-made software solutions are exactly that. They are uniquely developed to meet the needs and fill the gaps of your business. In order to determine these needs, a considerable amount of time needs to be invested. Both from the developers’ side and the internal corporate team. Being built from scratch to address specific requirements, both teams will spend time together to discuss workflows, automation, user experience, and many other details. Surely, buying an off-the-shelf product will save you months of implementation and preparation. So, is your custom solution worth the wait? Only your organization’s decision-makers can answer this question, based on how complex and scalable the business is.

A Shortlist of the Pros

On the other hand, there are several advantages to having a program built around the exact framework and processes of your organization. In particular, if off-the-shelf products don’t answer those needs, or become a roadblock for productivity. Developers create tailored software to solve business problems and improve performance. Here are four main attractions and benefits:

Crafted for your business

The aim of bespoke solutions is simply to fit your organization’s parameters. And perfectly at that. Whereas ready-made products are created with the objective to fit everyone. A one size fits all if you will. Which often means you will need to make adjustments in your business to fit the product rather than the other way around. That’s where most of the effort goes when crafting a tailored-made software: identifying requirements and adapting the technology to match the business. When your team is working seamlessly with a tool that supports them, productivity increases and critical processes happen faster and efficiently. The molded end product would probably be worth the time and money – provided you have chosen the right technology partner.


Readily available software solutions products have one thing in common: they are available to everyone. And we mean, corporations with delicate data and ill-intentioned hackers alike. The latter would know all ins and outs of such programs. Therefore should an organization be targeted by a hacker, its data security is at risk. Whereas custom solutions are usually used solely by your business. Thus greatly reducing the likelihood of break-ins.


It’s important for a company to own a software solution that has the ability to expand its functionality as the business grows. Where an off-the-shelf product may become redundant and need replacing, a tailored software can be scaled-up as required. This advantage will help you avoid delays or internal blocks that may hinder your expansion efforts. Employees are already trained and familiar with the program, so they will be able to provide helpful input when adding new functionalities. The team becomes more aware of the benefits of the tool and how it can support their work.

Return on Investment

The cost of bespoke software may be high but the return on your investment will be quick – not to say immediate. If you have chosen the right technology partner for this development, and your product is well planned and built, you will reap many benefits:

  • A reduction in time-consuming activities
  • Smooth internal processes
  • Effective implementation of critical operations
  • Happier and more motivated human resources
  • Added value and competitive edge