Today running a business is not possible without software. Every company is using it, whether for simple research, handling emails or more complex activities such as employees time tracking, accounting or project management.

software over off the shelf main

Digital technology market provides a great variety of software already offering solutions to the most common needs.

There are, however, companies, whose profile is a little more complex and off-the-shelf software does not entirely fill their specific requirements.

In order to successfully run such businesses, they decide to build custom software and have a tailored solution that will never fail to fight the challenges.

Why should you also consider using bespoke software?

The difference between Bespoke and Off-the-Shelf Software

Before we answer the question though, we should set out the major differences between bespoke and off-the-shelf software.

The former is specifically tailored to every company’s individual needs, while the latter is produced for the mass market.

Businesses need to make a decision whether they require complex software or they will do well with the off-the-shelf one. There are various factors to be considered.

One of the most important ones is the cost. developing custom software is much more expensive than buying an already available solution.

However, it could be cost-efficient in the long run. While off-the-shelf software requires companies to pay a certain license fee, a bespoke solution is entirely yours, but the initial cost is nowhere near similar.

Another factor that may seem it speaks for a commercial product is the time. Obviously, buying off-the-shelf software is quick and simple.

You only need to decide on a certain option and you can start using it straight away.


The development process of a custom-built solution can take a couple of months depending on the complexity of your order.

But once it’s done, it can save you a lot of time in the long term again.

Finally, we have maintenance, which is usually neglected at the beginning but then very much appreciated for companies that opted for bespoke software.

Having a solution that can be fully customized means that any error or an issue that occurs is instantly fixed by the development team of IT professionals.

Customization is endless, unlike in the case of commercial software. But is it really a big mistake to use off-the-shelf products?

Why not Off-the-Shelf?

Nobody is underestimating the importance of commercial software. After all, it is much more affordable, available, and it does meet the most common expectations a company might have.

Exactly, only ‘the most common’ ones. This means any more specific, complex requirements will not be met. Period.

Canned solutions can be customized, but only to a certain point, so if your company suddenly grows or adjusts its profile to a slightly different target market, that amazing and inexpensive off-the-shelf software will fail to respond to such change says Buchanan, a managed it services provider.

software over off the shelf why not off the shelf

It seemed like an easy and obvious choice at the beginning, but you probably weren’t thinking much about the future back then.

That is why you will have to compromise with off-the-shelf software as it might not be completely fit for the purpose.

You might not find it functionality a match for your company, so you will probably use several commercial products to fill in the gaps. But missing features is not the only problem you can be facing.

Off-the-shelf software is loaded with functions your company might never use.

Too many features can slow your system down causing more problems than improving efficiency.

In most cases, such additional options cannot be turned off, therefore you will end up stuck with software that complicates the workflow.

Even though the initial cost of development is much lower than the price of bespoke software, over the years it will start to stack up making you pay much more.

Licenses have to be renewed every month, quarter or year, quick math and the total price for a commercial product with limited options will cost you much more.

Who would have thought an off-the-shelf product could be causing such nuisance?

Advantages of custom-built software

On the other hand, we have tailor-made software, which is constantly proving to be a better option for most companies.

You get exactly what you need in order to run your business successfully, nothing more and nothing less.

It might cost you a little fortune at the beginning but you will soon realize it was the most cost-efficient solution. Here’s how else you can benefit from building custom software.

The most perfect fit for your company

Deciding to build custom software gives you an enormous advantage over your competition.

software over off the shelf the most perfect fit for your company

You can be sure it will meet all your demands and improve efficiency at work.

PreciseIT emphasizes that custom-built software is scaled to meet your needs and anything is possible with a little effort, time and money. It will also support your company’s growth.

Higher becomes lower

It’s true that developing custom software requires some serious funds, but in the long run it will cost you much less as you won’t have to renew any license or subscription.

Additionally, a bespoke solution does not require a constant change to accommodate your company’s needs. It’s like an investment that will pay off in the near future.

Easy to implement changes

It’s so simple to make any adjustments to your custom-built software. If you ever happen to need to change something due to some new legislation or customer demands, you will get it done in no time.

Your software developer is able to implement tools you might find necessary at any point without causing your business to suffer.

Endless support

One of the major advantages of having bespoke software is the range of support you will be getting.

Some development companies offer help after the initial setup, so make sure you use the service of such providers.

A reliable support plan is crucial to running a business smoothly and successfully.

A team of expert technicians who developed your software will be able to fix any issues or adjust the solution much quicker and more efficiently.

Increased efficiency

Companies are usually forced to use a few software in order to operate. This causes poorer efficiency as the systems are not compatible with one another.

Not to mention it can be quite a hassle to maintain all of them at once.

That is not the case with custom solutions. Having one bespoke software allows businesses to tailor it to their own needs ensuring smooth and efficient operations.

What a great accuracy

Thanks to the automation process, human error is reduced to a minimum. Tasks are, therefore, completed much quicker and accurate compared to off-the-shelf software.

A lot of manual processes are dealt with an increased level of control which reduces the likelihood of errors.

Read More: Agile methods for modern software development

Topnotch cybersecurity

Nowadays, companies, as well as individuals, have to deal with various threats, one of them being cybertheft.

Commercial products can be purchased by anyone, and hackers might easily come up with ways to break into your system to steal some precious data.

Using a custom-built solution makes it much harder for cybercriminals to learn the ins and outs of your system, therefore launching an attack is unlikely to happen.

After all, you have unique software you choose to invest in, and you can be proud of yourself.

Limitless number of users

With off-the-shelf solutions, you are usually limited to a certain number of people allowed to use the software.

software over off the shelf limitless number of users

If you have a small company, this might not be such a big problem, but imagine businesses with over 100 employees or more.

Software cost can really hurt their budget. Yet, another reason to invest in a custom-built solution. Instead of making cuts, start looking for other ways to save your company’s money.

Custom software – Insights

When it comes to custom software, we can distinguish three major types in terms of their level of customization:

  • Full – customization – software is tailored in every aspect of the company’s needs
  • Semi – customization – using already existing software and adjusting it partially
  • Copied – customization – using software developed by another company of similar profile.

The level of customization is entirely up to you. You can choose a completely new solution or adjust the existing one to your own requirements.

Based on this, you will be able to automate several processes within your company such as invoicing, time tracking, purchasing solutions, efficiency booster tools, etc.

If you’re choosing custom software, you will also need to be prepared for a quite long and complicated development process.

The completion time depends on the level of complexity and your specific requirement, but it usually takes several months to finish. It might sound like forever, but patience will pay off.


Over the years software development companies have realized that bespoke software is much more efficient in the long run.

It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small business or a huge enterprise.

The demand for custom-built solutions is constantly growing causing the commercial products to fall far behind.

Maybe you’ve never thought about having your own unique software, and maybe it’s about time to acknowledge all the long term benefits it will entail.

Success might be hiding just around the corner. The choice is yours.


Krutika Khakhkhar

Krutika is an accomplished software project manager with years of experience leading complex software development projects from conception to delivery. They possess a unique combination of technical and project management skills, which enables them to successfully manage and motivate cross-functional teams to deliver high-quality software solutions.

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