7 Common Pitfalls of Purchasing Software Solutions – and how to avoid them

by Andy Jones ,
February 6, 2021
Custom Software Developer, Software Development Company

The benefits of bespoke software solutions are well known.

A bespoke solution is fully customisable and matches the exact requirements of your business while providing long-term cost savings and a host of additional value-added advantages.

In this blog post, we investigate some of the common pitfalls of purchasing bespoke software solutions – and how you can avoid them.

What are bespoke software solutions?

Bespoke software is simply a software solution built to match the specific requirements of a business. It is built from the ground up, to your exact requirements.

Bespoke software is sometimes called custom software or tailored software. These are both fitting names – bespoke software is simply a custom made solution, tailored to your business. But what are the pitfalls of a bespoke software solution?

7 Common Pitfalls of Purchasing Software Solutions (and how to avoid them):

1. High initial costs

Cost is widely regarded as a major disadvantage. Because a bespoke solution is built from scratch to match your exact needs, it takes time and expertise to develop and code – and that costs.

However, the initial cost may not be as high as you expect. At Make IT Simple, we focus on finding cost savings wherever we can. There’s no point reinventing the wheel. If we can integrate third-party solutions to reduce costs and accelerate your development lifecycle – we do.

There are also long-term cost savings to consider. A bespoke software solution is highly scalable. It can grow as your business grows and adapt to your changing needs. It’s efficient and tailored to your needs – no piece of functionality is wasted.

Hosting costs are usually lower too. Plus, you can streamline a range of your business processes. You can also consolidate your data and reduce your data storage costs.

Then, there are the value-added benefits to consider. Your bespoke solution is tailored to your business and end-users. This provides a superior user experience and can help you streamline your processes – helping your business to stand out from the competition.

Quite simply, you can do what you do – but better – with a bespoke software solution.

2. Long development times

Time is another concern for many business. Yes, bespoke software solutions do take time to develop.

But, let’s be honest, it takes time to implement commercial software too. Most off-the-shelf solutions don’t just work straight out of the box. Compatibility issues often plague commercial software solutions.

Plus, you may struggle to get the same level of support as you would like a bespoke software solution.

However, there’s no denying that a bespoke software solution does take time to develop and test. At Make IT Simple, we’re conscious of finding the right balance between developing your software as quickly as possible, and testing it robustly to make sure it’s not just fit for purpose but also delights your end users.

Our super-agile way of working also means you get updates on development progress on an hourly basis. And you can provide feedback to us and see your ideas put into action thanks to our highly interactive approach.

3. Off-the-shelf has (more than) everything you need

You may think an off-the-shelf solution has everything you need. You may be right. But you may also be buying a lot of functionality that you don’t need.

You may also be buying an off-the-shelf solution that’s suitable for your business now – but has no ability to adapt and scale with your business. Again, interoperability issues may raise their ugly heads and you could waste valuable time and resources trying to get your commercial software to just work.

With a bespoke software solution, everything is tailored to your needs. Plus, you’ll get the support from a dedicated development team.

4. You’re stepping into the unknown

A commercial solution comes with user reviews and previous experiences. It’s easy to gauge what it’ll be like to use this software.

Bespoke software solutions can feel like a step into the unknown, where you’re not able to see the final product until you’ve spent a lot of money developing it.

In reality, a bespoke software development company will be with you every step of the way, from concept to design and hosting, launch and post-launch.

You’ll also get to see wireframes and mock-ups of your software in action. You’ll get plenty of updates and user insights into your software, when it’s launched.

But this is a fair point, and this is why it’s vital to find the right app developer for your business.

5. There are no user forums, and support doesn’t exist

If a web development company does not offer any post-launch support and help with your maintenance and hosting requirements, this is a massive red flag.

A professional software provider will be with you well after launch. They should be on hand to answer your queries and help you continue to develop your software and business for its continued success.

Plus, because they built your software, then they’ll understand your queries and provide you with answers quickly.

At Make IT Simple, we provide ongoing support to all our clients. We also work closely with our clients to identify and prevent any usability issues as quickly in the development process as possible, minimising the risk of issues and support queries before they can even happen.

6. Stakeholder buy-in is hard

Any investment in your tech needs buy-in from your stakeholders. The time and cost associated with a bespoke software solution is often difficult to justify to stakeholders.

However, if you find a development company with a strong reputation, they should have a portfolio of work. These examples will demonstrate how a bespoke software solution has helped their existing clients save money. They can also illustrate the wider value-added benefits of bespoke software.

This can help you to build a solid business case, explaining how a bespoke software solution can increase your customer base and help your business continue to grow.

7. Your IP could be compromised

When you work with a third-party development team, it’s important to get clear guidance on who owns your software’s IP – and what happens if you decide to stop working with that provider.

You don’t want to end up in a situation where you lose vital business functionality or information because your provider owns the IP and/or code associated with your software.

Make sure you find a provider who provides clear guidance on this matter – and puts this in writing in your contract. In short, the intellectual property for the product should belong to you. This gives you the independence to change providers and make the best business decisions, going forward.

In conclusion

At Make IT Simple, we work with businesses to help them develop a range of bespoke software solutions. From online shopping carts to full-blown web applications, no job is too big or too small or too technical.

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Let’s Talk

If you are looking for a bespoke software development company, please get in touch by phone by calling +44 (0) 1905 700 050 or filling out the form below.

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