While many businesses and organisations use ‘off the shelf’ software for a multitude of activities including databases, accounting, general business admin and project management, many also use bespoke software; specifically developed for them based on their unique requirements and objectives.
Why Use Bespoke Software?
In many cases, an ‘off the shelf’ software application may not be able to meet the specific requirements of a business.
For example, a company may use several databases so requires an interface to ‘pull them under one roof,’ or has specific project management needs involving remote workers, certain reporting requirements and perhaps the running of several projects simultaneously.
Businesses may require their own portal to provide information – for example a package for an estate agent for marketing their properties.
Maybe a company wants to set up an internal platform for staff covering various functions such as booking time off, accessing training, reading company notice boards and more.
Often a company wishes to develop their own mobile or tablet app.
What Is Software Development?
It’s basically the function by which a bespoke software solution is designed and implemented from the ‘ground up’ to meet specific requirements, aims and objectives.
It usually means going beyond what is available ‘off the shelf’ and into the realms of bespoke software development where the skills of specialist software designers are deployed. Some businesses have in house designers while others use the services of a skilled contractor – perhaps a one person outfit or a software development company often using the popular .NET development design framework.
How To Choose Software Development Services Providers
An online search for bespoke software development or app development company would be a typical starting point. The key is in discussing your needs fully with them to ensure they could help you.
You may find a company with a fully-fledged software development team – which is ideal if you’re an organisation with specific needs requiring expert knowledge in technologies such as .NET development.
Your relationship with your software development company is very much a partnership in that the association doesn’t stop once the software application is designed, developed and implemented: ongoing support and maintenance of your system is vital to ensure you continue to derive maximum benefit from bespoke software development.
What Is The Process Of Software Development?
Software development is a five-step process:
• Understanding – you discuss your specific requirements with your software development services provider or in-house software designers
• Conceptual Design – a web framework is created based on the design specification so you can test things before full blown development starts
• Development – the software development team build the software based on an agreed timetable and technical specification as applicable.
• Testing – the software is ‘stress tested’ by way of producing a beta version that may be used by perhaps selected people or departments in your organisation to ensure it fulfils its brief and to iron out any issues before full implementation
• Launch, final handover – the software development team ‘deliver’ the final bespoke software; it then goes live throughout the business or organisation and a support agreement is implemented.
What Support Does A Software Development Company Provide?
This is an important aspect of using professional software development services. Swift and expert back up means your software application will continue to serve you:
• Updates – fast implementation of improvements to your software
• Support – any user issues, training and diagnostics can be dealt with
• Alterations and upgrades – your bespoke software is usually designed to adapt and grow with your needs, so changes in requirements can be met with alterations to your software
Support options provided by your software development company can be tailored to suit your needs – here are examples of choices open to you:
• Fixed monthly pricing for ironing out bugs and continued maintenance
• Pay as you go pricing for the above
• A monthly retainer paid to cover ongoing upgrades and alterations
• Regular reviews of your systems and requirements
What Are The Advantages Of Software Development?
Overall, bespoke software development enables you to precisely meet your requirements with a specific solution developed by software designers: you don’t have to compromise with an off the shelf package or rely on generalised vendor support that may not be comprehensive enough for your needs.
Using tech such as .NET development, your software can grow and adapt with you as opposed to your having to jettison an off the shelf package that you’ve outgrown and then being forced to start again with a new and unfamiliar set up.
Your bespoke software will be developed to continue meeting your business requirements in an organic fashion with usually minimal disruption to your day to day activities.
Why Is Software Development Important?
The more efficient you can work, the better your productivity will be.
Bespoke software development means your tech is working for you and fits your business hand in glove with no wastage of time and resources compared with generic software that may not entirely suit you so likely compromising your business efficiency.
Flexible support options are of key importance for the reasons discussed earlier: a good reason to use an experienced software development company.
How Much Does Software Development Cost?
Much will naturally depend on the scope of your software development services requirement, and thus the time it will take to design and implement your specific solution, and the level of support you require.
Your software development company can provide a costing based on your requirements, but a general guide for a bespoke software package would be in the £15,000 base price region.
Bespoke Software As An Investment
Your own custom designed and built software application is a sound business investment: as discussed above it will help you work more efficiently by meeting your business needs and improve your customer service, along with increasing your overall productivity and future proofing yourself against changing requirements.
The key is to work with a software development team who best meets your needs, so choose wisely.