Andrew Sirianni

The debate for custom vs off-the-shelf solutions can often be a heated one. Many argue that if an off-the-shelf solution is available you would be better to use it as this will ensure that you are using a proven, supported and road-tested solution that is much more cost-effective. And while we agree with many of the recommendations for using an off-the-shelf alternative, sometimes only a bespoke (custom) solution can give you what you need to achieve your objectives.

An off-the-shelf solution is a solution that you purchase (often through an account and subscription) to use 'as-is' - or off-the-shelf. Sometimes these solutions offer you the ability to customise the approach and/or the look and feel; but on the whole, you simply take the system and make use of it out of the box. These solutions are often built to satisfy a larger client-base and you will often find that the deliverables/features are more generic.

Alternatively a bespoke solution (or custom solution) is one that is built specifically around the requirements of the project. Rather than adhering to a wider range of generic requirements; the bespoke solution focuses on the core deliverables the client requires and delivers on the specifics.

At DCODE, we work with both off-the-shelf solutions as well as bespoke solutions - there is often always a case for each alternative in every project. However, in some instances only a bespoke solution will do.

If your business is relying on the software to deliver a service/solution (and interact with a consumer); then a bespoke system can allow you to deliver that service with your own level of individuality - inline with the way you have differentiated yourself from the competition. Only a bespoke solution can offer this. If you choose to use an off-the-shelf solution, then often you are conforming to the same "standards"/"methodology" as others who use that solution. A bespoke solution can allow you to differentiate yourself and provide a point of difference by enforcing your differentiated strategy as part of your systems/processes.

Before developing your next solution, it is important that you evaluate alternatives on both sides of the development spectrum and chose the option that best suits the requirements of the system.

If you are looking to develop a system/solution for your business, contact us to find out how we can be of assistance. As IT Consultants, DCODE can assist you in identifying your system requirements and then determining the best alternatives available. We can help you to evaluate Cloud Apps and/or Custom Software solutions and chose the one that suits you. And with our in-house development team, we can either implement a Cloud App or develop and launch your Custom Software solution. If you're interested in rationalising your operations with technology,


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