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Is Bespoke Software Right for You?

Far Reach blog Bespoke software

“Is bespoke software right for my business?” is usually the first question we get during discovery calls. It may surprise you to hear that we actually encourage this question, even though bespoke software is our bread and butter.

We’ve been building custom software for clients in many different industries, and one thing we’ve learned is that this isn’t the right path for everyone. 

And when it isn’t, we’ll tell you. Sometimes, out-of-the-box software actually makes more sense financially and operationally. So we’ve been known to say “no” to “is bespoke software right for me?”.

If you’re wondering the same thing, let’s figure it out together.

Is bespoke software right for your organization?

Learn the signs to look for.


Is Bespoke Software Right for Your Business?

There’s no single answer that fits every business, just like there is no single type of software that fits every business. Still, our decades of experience in this field have taught us that there are a few questions you can ask yourself to reach your own conclusion.

When Do You Need the Software?

If your answer is “now” or “next month,” bespoke software is not the way to go. It could be down the road, but if your business needs software for mission-critical operations right now, you’re better off with a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for the time being.

In a custom software project, having all the features you need can take months or even years to develop. Of course, you’ll start with an MVP–a minimum-viable product–that has the necessary few features that offer enough value for customers to want to use it. 

This is the Agile/Scrum development approach, which we use at Far Reach. This helps us get our clients up and running in the least amount of time possible and builds on that foundation iteratively. But, even so, it’s never as fast as signing up for a SaaS solution.

Do You Have Bespoke Needs?

If you already have an existing solution but you’ve outgrown it, or if it doesn’t meet enough of your needs, then bespoke software could be right for you.

Custom software can support your business goals in ways that a SaaS solution never could. The latter is created to answer the needs of as many organizations as possible, which often means it’s bloated with features you’ll never use but still have to pay for. 

On the other hand, when you build your own software, you decide what to add and what to forego. It’s like buffet-style versus fine dining—plates filled to the brim with everything the restaurant has on display versus perfectly balanced plates with all you need and nothing more.

What Is Your Initial Budget for Bespoke Software Development?

Bespoke software usually requires a higher initial investment than SaaS platforms. Naturally, the exact number varies from project to project—you can check out a more detailed look at budgeting for custom software development here

You can expect to pay five figures, even more sometimes, depending on the complexity, size, and the duration of the project. We also recommend adding a budget contingency for unforeseen circumstances. 

In the long run, however, the ROI potential for bespoke software is much higher when compared to that of SaaS solutions. Custom software is a competitive advantage in every meaning of the phrase.

Better yet, you will never outgrow your software. When your business grows, your software can grow with it, adding more capabilities as needed—something that’s not usually an option with SaaS solutions.

Yet, if your budget isn’t big enough to handle the initial investment, a contingency, and ongoing maintenance and enhancements, then it could be best to wait.

The Bottom Line

How is it looking so far? Do you feel confident that your timeline matches the requirements for bespoke development? Are your organization’s needs a good fit for a bespoke solution? Do you see the value in making a larger initial investment in return for scalability and ROI potential? 

If you answered “yes” to at least two of the three questions above, bespoke software might be right for you. This investment can set you on a path to success for years to come.

Want to discuss your bespoke software project with experienced developers? Reach out.