Bespoke or Off the Shelf?

When looking for a digital solution to any set of requirements, a major decision is often whether to develop a bespoke solution or to use an existing ‘off-the-shelf’ solution.

There are many considerations to take into account, but the two major factors are suitability and economies of scale.

Small businesses and organisations are often better placed to deploy off-the-shelf software and services, as they can grow their own processes and procedures around these solutions, whereas larger organisations that already have well-developed processes and ways of working, find it much harder to deploy these solutions, as they are less able to adapt. As a result, there can be considerable frustration in trying to bend either the services, or the organisational processes, to work in the required manor.

With regard to economies of scale, the cost of using off-the-shelf services is generally based on the level of service required and the number of users. For a small company, it makes sense to use them as the costs are low and will grow with the business. Costs will certainly be far less than the small company developing their own systems. With larger organisations however, the cost of some services can run into thousands of pounds per month, whilst the cost of developing their own bespoke systems does not increase by the same proportions, often making it more economical to develop and maintain their own systems rather than to buy them in.

Even when developing a bespoke solution, there is often the opportunity to include some off-the-shelf functionality or to use some existing third-party services. This situation is a little different, where the main factor becomes the likely burden on ongoing maintenance – is the bought-in solution going to be maintained and updated in the future – and are there any ongoing costs for those considerations?

Needless to say, Accent can help with these decisions!

Get in touch

Call or email us to start a discussion about your requirements.

type characters to search...