In this article, we will explain exactly what bespoke development is and we’ll explore the different uses and benefits of implementing it within your next project.
Software is an essential element of your business, whether it’s for a website, mobile app, or internal systems. If you find yourself requiring a digital product or asset that goes beyond the limitations of basic software, you may need to consider a bespoke development project.
In this article, we’ll explain what bespoke development is, provide examples of how it works and what it can be used for, and highlight the benefits your business could gain from taking this approach.
Modern Customers Demand Excellence
These days, so much of our daily lives happens online, both at home and at work. Your customers want access to your products or services with the same convenience they have when scrolling through Instagram or ordering something from Amazon.
Almost every business today needs to use software development to build a website, mobile apps, or some form of digital channel to connect with customers online. This is why developing the right software products is so essential for your success.
Employees Need Efficiency And Ease-of-Use
Of course, these trends also apply to your employees. Since the COVID-19 pandemic made remote working a global trend, people in desk-based roles now do most of their work at home, on their personal devices. Consequently, they expect the same speed and performance as they get from the apps and services they use as consumers.
In industries like construction and utilities, employees must now also use digital tools out in the field to accompany their work, moving away from time-consuming paper-based processes of the past. However, if those tools aren’t simple and intuitive, the workforce won’t adopt them, and your overall productivity will suffer.
Keeping Up With Current Expectations
As a business, you must adapt to this shift, ensuring your customers and employees can easily access your products and services online, from almost anywhere. And with the current advanced state of technology, they also expect that access to be seamless, regardless of which digital channels they’re using.
For large enterprises with big budgets, this isn’t so much of a challenge. For small and medium-sized businesses, however, it’s difficult to keep up with these trends and deliver the software products your employees and customers are demanding.
Still, whether you’re a construction firm, an independent healthcare provider, or a FinTech company, you do need to meet those demands if you hope to remain competitive and grow your business.
Finding the right software development solution can be a daunting challenge, especially if you lacks technical skills within your IT team. To help you build a quality website, intuitive mobile app, or even internal systems to improve your employees’ productivity, let’s first explore your options for software development.
“Off the Shelf” or “Out the Box”
The most common option is to use a digital product or asset that is pre-made, like a website with a content management system like WordPress, or a pre-built CRM platform. These will be equally applicable to lots of different companies and use cases. You’d simply purchase it, set it up, and get it running.
You could also hire a developer, or someone with development experience, to work in-house. This would give you someone always on hand to get your digital assets up and running for you, and maintain everything as well.
This could possibly involve purchasing something off the shelf, then adding layers of customisation or more advanced features if necessary. For example, Salesforce has a range of basic software products like CRMs and mobile apps, but it’s common to have these customised in certain ways.
With bespoke development, you build something completely unique, tailored to deliver on your specific requirements or to meet a need for a certain type of process, function, or service.
Usually, the most cost-effective and efficient way to have this done is to work with a specialist partner who has expertise in custom software development.
It’s also helpful to gain a partner’s strategic guidance with bespoke development, to ensure you get the ideal solution to meet your needs. A partner will also help you deploy your product, help you achieve adoption, maintain it for you, and optimise the software for ongoing long-term success.
If someone has a bad experience when interacting with your brand online, they won’t have the patience to wait around, and they probably won’t come back. This becomes even more of a concern when you look at the sheer volume of alternative options available to customers in virtually every category and industry right now. And with trends like personalisation also set to become increasingly popular, people’s tolerance for poor websites and mobile apps will rapidly decrease.
This is making it even more necessary for small and medium-sized businesses to match the needs of users, both internally and externally. With that in mind, it’s well worth considering the option of using bespoke development to build custom digital assets if you need anything more than basic functionality. This could relate to websites and mobile apps for customers, as well as internal systems like CRMs and staff training portals.
Bespoke development is the process of designing and building software that is completely custom, tailored to your business, to fulfil a specific function for a specific set of users.
Rather than buy a software product that can be used out-the-box, bespoke development is designed to meet a very precise set of requirements for your users that you won’t find available pre-made.
As we’ve discussed on our website before, bespoke development is an ideal option to choose when there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to match your needs. When you want to facilitate a certain digital process or service that’s unique to your organisation, bespoke development allows you to create something completely original to achieve that.
Agile vs Waterfall
In software development, there are different methodologies that can be used to build your products, some of which are more efficient and beneficial than others.
Software development projects are organised into phases, such as the design phase and the testing phase. A waterfall approach is a linear completion of each phase in a set order, without much collaboration or flexibility during each phase.
Agile development, on the other hand, allows the different phases to be worked on iteratively, allowing for more fluidity in the process, and reducing the negative impact if anything needs to change unexpectedly.
Here at Filter, we’d almost always recommend taking an agile approach to any software development project. This method involves a high number of frequent product releases, allowing you, as a client, to provide feedback that can be quickly and easily incorporated into the product.
It also allows more freedom to explore new ideas and faster iterations than a waterfall project, providing you with a far better final product overall.
The difference with the waterfall approach is that each phase is completed one at a time, without any product to show for until the very end, working in a rigid fashion towards one big release date. This means you’ll be waiting far longer to see a software product that’s also likely to need even more work before it meets your requirements.
Because bespoke software is entirely customisable by nature, the possibilities for what it can be used to build are almost unlimited. However, it wouldn’t be efficient or worthwhile to build a custom website if all you need is basic functionality.
Some of the more common examples of custom-built digital solutions include:
As an example, we recently developed a great bespoke solution to process customer reminders using a microservice in Microsoft Azure for a leading veterinary company.
Read the full story of that exciting project here: Medivet Customer Reminders Platform.
Bespoke development has a wealth of advantages over more basic software products. Custom software products can deliver a wealth of benefits to your business if you decide to take this approach.
Depending on what you actually develop, you’ll also see different outcomes and strategic advantages gained in areas specific to your target users.
A bespoke development project could have a transformational impact on your business if it’s delivered with a strategic approach, leveraging the necessary expertise.
That’s why it’s always a smart investment to work with an experienced specialist partner who can ensure you gain exactly what you need in the most efficient way possible.
If you’re interested in learning how a bespoke development project could add a whole new dimension to your own business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and a member of our team will be happy to help.
If you’d like to read more about application development, this handy guide from Design Rush may be useful.