Many businesses find it hard to decide between commercial and bespoke software solutions. Both types of system have their own advantages and disadvantages for long or short-term usage, which is why it is important to evaluate where your business stands and what it needs at the moment and when it progresses to be able to find the most appropriate solution that will accommodate its current state and its future growth. The following are lists of the pros and cons of bespoke and commercial programs that you can use as you evaluate your own business needs:
Pros of Commercial Software
• Commercial programs are relatively cheap because development costs are spread across all users.
• You get a sophisticated set of features because revenues from a large pool of users afford more resources that can be applied to development.
• Support and literature is widely available through other users that use the same software.
• File sharing is easier when using a common program.
• Development process is eliminated.
Cons of Commercial Software
• The software may be too complex and include large sections that your business will never have use for.
• Commercial options are often a compromise because they are designed to meet the needs of different types of users with different requirements.
• It takes a long time to learn and master.
• You may need to alter work processes to fit the design of the software.
• They may lack specific features crucial to your business development.
• You may end up with a system that is used by every other competitor, making it harder to gain competitive advantage over them.
Pros of Custom Software
• Custom programs are specifically designed to meet your specific requirements and to work in the way that your business wishes to operate.
• Bespoke software can be customised to interface with your existing software, fully integrating all IT infrastructure across your organisation.
• Custom developers offer better and more personalised support and are more accessible than commercial developers when it comes to the upgrades and improvements you need to accommodate business growth.
Cons of Custom Software
• If you don't have the source code for your software, you become dangerously exposed and entirely depended upon your developer's goodwill and continuing existence. To avoid this, choose a developer that provides you with the system's source code.
• Choose a wrong developer and you will end up with an unstable, unreliable software that is full of bugs. Find a developer that employs best practices to avoid these kinds of problems.