What is Bespoke Software Development?

Bespoke software development is a custom solution that provides companies with the flexibility to make adjustments that suit their needs. With control over their own products, they’re able to improve efficiency, maintain their software, and increase security. Find out if bespoke software development is a feasible solution for your business by weighing the benefits and costs outlined in this article.

Bespoke software development is the act of building a custom software solution. By developing original code and programming, software development teams are able to build a completely unique software product. 

Unlike off-the-shelf software, which is a prepackaged solution that follows a one-size-fits-all approach, bespoke software is tailored to meet a client’s specific needs. 

Companies often decide to build a custom solution rather than buying off the shelf when they can’t find an existing solution that meets their needs or want to stand out in the market. 

By creating bespoke software, companies can ensure that their platform has all of the functionality that they want without the hassle of adding integrations or workarounds. As a result, they get exactly what they need. 

7 Benefits of Bespoke Software Development

  1. Scalability and flexibility
  2. Ownership
  3. Easy Integration
  4. Security
  5. Unique
  6. Improved efficiency
  7. Maintenance

1. Scalability and flexibility

Off-the-shelf software is often limited because companies opt to buy smaller packages to save money when they initially purchase a product. Otherwise, they may overpay for a subscription that supports more users than they need. 

Additionally, companies with off-the-shelf software are required to pay license fees based on the number of users on the platform. Therefore, the price to maintain the software increases exponentially as the company grows.

In contrast, companies that build their own software on the platform are able to avoid those additional costs because they own the software. 

As their business changes and grows, they can add new features and expand the platform to meet their evolving business objectives. 

Whether they have 100 or 1 thousand users, a custom solution can help companies manage their costs and keep their products running efficiently. 

2. Ownership 

Owning their own software provides endless advantages for businesses. In addition to being able to add new features or scale as needed, companies have more control over the product and the partners they work with. 

For example, if they’re unhappy with the software development team they’re working with, companies with a bespoke solution can bring their software to another development company that can meet their needs. 

Having control over their own software ensures that companies are paying for exactly what they want and gives companies leverage when negotiating with partners.

3. Easy Integration

The best part about developing a bespoke software system is that companies can tailor it to fit their business needs. With their existing business processes in mind, they can add necessary integrations and use existing hardware systems to ensure the functionality that they need. 

Additionally, they’re able to add new integrations if their business processes change or they need additional functionality. 

Without the limitations associated with off-the-shelf software, companies have many options to determine what the best solution is for their company. 

4. Security 

Bespoke software is generally more secure than off-the-shelf products because companies have more control over it. As the only users of the software, companies find that it’s less likely that a hacker will be able to find and exploit vulnerabilities. 

For companies that need to prioritize security, building their own software is the best way to decrease the risk of hacking. 

With additional security, companies appear more trustworthy to customers and are able to foster brand loyalty. 

5. Unique 

Developing a unique software product can set a company apart from the competition. 

While some companies develop software to use internally, those who sell their software as a product will find that customers are drawn to their original solutions. This signals that the company has thought about their client’s needs and has created a solution that will address all of their needs. 

Those who use their software internally can also highlight how it impacts their company’s performance and allows them to provide better service to their clients. 

6. Improved efficiency 

Because bespoke software is built to meet specific needs, they help streamline business processes and improve efficiency. 

For example, companies can add communication tools to improve collaboration and boost productivity. 

Additionally, creating a software solution can simplify time-consuming or manual tasks such as data entry and filing. By saving time spent on manual processes, teams will be able to focus on more complex tasks that impact the bottom line. 

7. Maintenance 

Finally, bespoke software is easier to maintain because companies can take over maintenance internally or work with development teams that have the time and resources to fix bugs as needed. 

Off-the-shelf solutions, however, are monitored and maintained by vendors. Because they have to support many different clients and their needs, fixing these issues can take more time than necessary. 

If something were to go wrong, companies want to be able to address the issue as soon as possible to ensure that their business continues to run optimally. 

How Much Does Custom Software Development Cost? 

Custom software development usually costs between $50,000–$250,000. 
While the price of developing bespoke software is initially much higher than off-the-shelf solutions, companies save on licensing and subscription costs as well as set up and customization. 

Additionally, companies can save money by outsourcing their development work rather than supporting an in-house team. Hiring and managing an in-house dev team requires resources that a lot of small companies don’t have. On top of that, they have to pay for infrastructure needed to develop the software they’re looking for. 

Still, the price of custom software development varies depending on: 

  • Scope 
  • Complexity 
  • Type of software 
  • Design 
  • Integrations 
  • Migrations of existing data 
  • Location of your dev team 

Additional Reading, ‘Custom Software Development Costs: How to Estimate Your Budget in 2021.

Scope 

As expected, the larger the project, the more it will cost. This is usually based on the number of screens or pages included in the software. 

Software programs with 10–25 screens are considered small, whereas programs with 25–40 screens are medium-sized, and anything more robust than that is large.

Basic MVPs or products with only a few essential features should only take about 800 hours to develop. At an average rate of $50/ hour, a simple project should only cost between $30,000–$45,000. 

More robust solutions, such as a scalable automation platform may take more time (about 2000 hours to make) and will cost between $70,000–$100,000. 

Additionally, software that performs millions of operations and needs to support thousands of people can take more than 6 months to develop. As a result, they can cost more than $100,000 and can be as expensive as $500,000. 

Complexity 

Software is considered complex when various elements need to be interconnected. Custom software programs that have a lot of scoring, analysis, and nuances are usually considered complex. 

To operate properly, the code needs to interact with other pieces of code without creating problems.  

As a result, complicated software required additional code and testing. This requires more development time and will increase costs. 

How complex your software is will be determined during the discovery phase. After outlining your project, the development team will have a better idea of how complex the project will be and will be able to provide a more accurate cost estimate. 

Type of software

The price of a custom software package also varies depending on the purpose. Here are some popular types of software and their average costs: 

  • CMS: $20,000–$50,000
  • Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP): $100,000–$500,000
  • eCommerce CMS: $20,000–$70,000
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM):  $100,000–$300,000
  • SaaS: $25,000–$100,000

Understanding the market price for specific types of software can help companies create a realistic budget and assess potential partners. 

Design 

UI/UX design is an essential part of developing a great software system. By making their software easier to navigate and use, companies can improve user retention, increase sales, and streamline their internal processes. 

This includes designing buttons, icons, and other features that can improve both the functionality and accessibility of the platform. Therefore, it shouldn’t be ignored. 

The average price of UX design costs $25–$75 per hour. More creative or appealing designs that follow brand values may be more expensive. Even choosing different fonts and colors could drive up the price. 

Integrations 

Integrations complicate the development process and can increase the price. Some functions or features require API programming, database integrations, or the integration of legacy programs, which can be challenging for developers.  

The best way to keep your costs low is to prioritize features so you know what to cut if you go over budget.

Migrations of existing data 

Companies with existing programs will need to migrate their data to their new software. While this usually is a straightforward process, it does require a custom script that will transfer data to the new program. 

This process also requires dev teams to create translation rules and conduct a series of tests to ensure that the migration runs smoothly. Their additional effort can increase the cost of the project. 

Location of your dev team 

Finally, the cost of the project can vary depending on where the team is located. Companies that decide to outsource may lower their costs significantly by interviewing off-shore or near-shore teams. 

Big benefit of offshore software development

Offshore software development teams offer the same services as US-based development teams for a lower price. For example, eastern Europe has invested in tech education in order to create a growing IT industry. That, combined with an exchange rate that favors the US dollar over currency in eastern European states like Ukraine, keeps prices low. 

Average hourly price for software development based on region

Software Development Prices Based on Region

Source: Softermii

Working with an offshore software development team can be difficult because of time differences and language barriers that make communication challenging. Still, the right partner will ensure seamless collaboration. 

Additional reading, ‘Offshore Development: When Should You Do it?'

Software Development Companies Based on Region

Is Bespoke Software Development Right for Your Business? 

Although bespoke software development can be expensive, it is a good option for companies that cannot find an off-the-shelf solution that meets their business needs. 

By building their own software and maintaining the ownership of their platform, companies can stand out in the market, increase security, and become more efficient. On top of that, custom solutions are flexible and can be changed to meet evolving business needs. 

As a result, they’re able to add new features or scale to accommodate growing demand. 

Despite the price, companies will save money by avoiding pesky integrations and licensing fees. They can also save by outsourcing the project. With this in mind, companies should consider building bespoke software solutions.  

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