24 Jan

What is bespoke software?

Nowadays, the expression "bespoke software" is widely reproduced. But what does it mean? What is Bespoke Software?
Bernardo Borges
min read

Long gone are the days where solutions without any degree of personalisation were deemed acceptable by companies. Most of the off-the-shelf applications already give some freedom to the user so they can shape the solution to meet their requirements. But some companies need something more. They need bespoke software.

What is bespoke software?

In today’s competitive world, where data is the mainstream currency for modern businesses, impersonal options, built to satisfy hundreds of thousands of customers, aren’t going to cut it for several companies.

That’s why bespoke software exists.

Bespoke Software, often called custom software, is specifically developed for a particular organisation or user. It is tailored to meet specific needs and requirements, as opposed to being a generic, off-the-shelf solution.

These personalised solutions target a precisely defined set of requirements, matched closely to the client’s business rules, processes, on-the-ground realities and UX/UI Design specifications, with its development aiming at designing, creating, deploying and maintaining software that is exactly what the end-user needs.

With this level of customisation, the development team can interweave and prioritise data inputs and outputs throughout the system, maintaining a granular level of security and an all important level of compliance. By building to suit the real needs rather than the generic needs the system can also avoid bottlenecks and performance degradations by optimising for actual rather than imagined usage.

Think of this as a real-world piece of clothing. If you go to a tailor, there’s a high chance you will not leave the shop with your piece of clothing in one hand and the receipt in the other. You might have to wait weeks, and it may cost more money than what you would normally expect. Why is that? Why would someone want to invest more time and money in something that could be bought somewhere else?

Because they know that that specific piece of clothing will fit their bodies with such precision that they will stroll down the sidewalk everyday wearing the biggest smile in the world.

That’s bespoke software for you.

Man tailoring a suit, an analogy for bespoke software development

What are the benefits of bespoke software?

We have all been there, at some point in our lives.

Every so often, entire teams face complex issues around the solutions they currently have, which aren’t solving their problems and addressing needs. More importantly, the lack of flexibility around the software they currently have is letting data literally slip through their fingers, leading to fewer insights and uninformed decision-making.

Bespoke software development gets the upper hand here. In simple terms, It allows for fulfilling specific needs at a cost comparable to buying, maintaining, and modifying off-the-shelf software. How?

  • Adaptability: A solid business is ever changing and growing. Constantly evolving processes to deliver a more optimised service or product. Therefore, solutions need to scale according to the business’s operations. An “off-the-shelf” solution can’t deliver that due to its broad set of requirements. But a custom one can.
  • Integration: Ensuring that the solution is completely tailor-made can result in compatibility with old systems. Using a standardised solution, made to work with thousands of different systems, may lead to unforeseen issues and errors that can negatively impact productivity. Additionally, it may prevent the ability to adapt the solution seamlessly aligning with data sources, or unnecessary reinvention of those data sources to fit a generic model.
  • Made to fit: The development team works closely to understand pain points, goals, and processes, and then designs and builds software that addresses those needs in the most efficient and effective way possible. This results in software that is not only more functional, but also more user-friendly, and ultimately more valuable to the specific team it’s built for. It also allows utilisation of existing assets and integrations in a way that off-the-shelf software doesn’t.
  • Adaptable to the organisation data: By incorporating data from every corner of the company, a custom solution is tailored to needs, and also backed by real-world data. By using data to inform the development process, bespoke software can be built in a way that will continue to deliver value over time, as it can adapt to changing needs and requirements, and be targeted to deliver at the point of need.
  • Secure: bespoke software can be managed to a granular level with your organisation, mapping permission, roles and activities in order to deliver data at the point of need also restricts and controls who has access to what. Likewise, an ongoing update process through our support desk allows us to roll out specific patches for any new vulnerabilities in a timely fashion not always possible for generic software locked into quarterly release cycles. More custom, less vulnerable.
  • User Experience: With an off-the-shelf solution, the personalisation options available may be too short for some companies. Having a streamlined image and user experience between legacy systems and new solutions may be a requirement hard to achieve with a generic application. A bespoke software solution may be the answer. With an application built from scratch, there’s no UX and UI requirement that may be too hard to develop. You can develop exactly what you want, how you want and how you perceive your users should experience it. At The Virtual Forge, we can alongside you create the exact innovative and attractive experience you envision for your software.
Custom Software Development running in a computer

A perpetual progress

Building bespoke software is a combination of art and science and is based on a partnership between the client and the development team. The fact that it needs to be completely personalised to a defined set of requirements leads to a deep understanding of your business and a more refined approach. Just like any other process across every industry, there are many ways to achieve the same outcomes.

At The Virtual Forge, we value methodology and processes. That gives us the necessary capability to use the methodology that best suits our client’s needs. With over a decade of experience across various industries, we possess a vast knowledge in utilizing both agile and waterfall methodologies.

The needs and requirements of a business are constantly changing, technology is evolving, new trends and standards are emerging, and bugs and issues may arise. To stay competitive and provide value, the software must be continuously updated and adapted to meet these changing needs, and we manage this through our support desk process which allows you peace of mind and the product longevity.

Our data-driven approach for bespoke software

At The Virtual Forge, we view data as a dynamic and constantly evolving entity that permeates every aspect of the organization. Recognising that data is a fluid and constantly changing entity is the key foundation for achieving a truly successful outcome.

In this modern era, tailor-made solutions needs to be data-driven. Every solution needs to fully grasp the entire data structure of an organisation, to be able to filter and deliver the constant insights and information that are able to lead a business to success.

Every solution we create is led by data. This means that data is used to inform the development process, rather than being a mere afterthought.

Our team of experts, with decades of combined experience, recognise the significance of progress, delivery, accountability, and governance. Using our accumulated knowledge from user experience development, application development, and cloud architecture, we provide a unique and creative approach to comprehending, managing, and delivering data-driven solutions within your organisation.

How can The Virtual Forge help you?

When you work with The Virtual Forge, you work with a global team of experts that is dedicated to helping you hit your business objectives.

Our team works with a wide range of clients and across varying industries to deliver bespoke software solutions across the board. With over a decade of experience in industries such as automotive, pharmaceutical, retail, finance, and more, our team understands the complexities of each sector and how to navigate them.

Building on our expertise, we are always learning and staying up to date with current certifications, trends, and requirements within the industry - always reaching out to provide the highest quality services to our clients.

If you are looking for a team of experts to develop bespoke software for your business, consult our bespoke development experts who have the potential to build your next custom solution.

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