What solution is right for you?

By Michael Baxter on 19 February 2014 with tags Bespoke programming, Innovation

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Whenever a business is looking for a web enabled solution to a business process there are two main routes they can go down - buy an off-the-shelf package, or have it custom-written.

Here we look at the pros and cons of each.

Off-the-shelf solution

Off-the-shelf solutions are ready-made, available to lots of people, and you usually pay a license fee to use them. For websites this can include things like Xero or a special image management tool for your website.

The advantages are:

  • It is cheaper, due to economies of scale
  • Faster to get set up, as the development work has already been done
  • Books and online help are usually available
  • It often has more functionality than bespoke software

The disadvantages are:

  • You may have to compromise on your requirements
  • The solution could be complex and bloated for your needs
  • As a single user amongst many, you may struggle to be heard by the creators
  • As your needs change, the software may not be able to change to keep up

Custom-written (Bespoke)

Bespoke solutions are written specifically for you, to meet your specific business requirements.

Advantages of this are:

  • The software more closely meets your requirements, as it is developed especially for you
  • It can be more easily integrated with existing systems
  • It can evolve over time to match your changing requirements
  • You only pay for the features you need
  • You own the solution
  • It may give you a competitive advantage

The disadvantages are:

  • There is a higher initial cost, as you have to pay the development cost
  • It takes longer to get the system set up, as you have to wait for it to be developed

At Utopia we work with clients to assess their needs and find or build a solution that is right for them. If you have a client who is going over the above options have them contact us today.