Today, as businesses struggle to stay afloat, they try to attract customers with everything they have. Having the best tools for managing your work inside the company is also a huge benefit. Custom-made software can give you an edge over your competitors and improve your position on the market!
Of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands, options for pre-made programs that can do their job just fine. When money is tight and there isn’t enough time to create something from scratch, out-of-the-box software can serve its purpose. It’s a quick, easy, and cheap solution. At the same time, pre-made software is only a temporary fix.
Investing in bespoke software can be a difficult step for many business owners. First of all, you have to understand that this is not a one-day or even one-month job. So, make sure you find the best company for your bespoke software development needs with lots of experience! This is a long and scary process with lots to consider.
What Is Bespoke Software?
To avoid any confusion further in this article, let’s define the main terms here. The word “bespoke” means tailored and adjusted to your every need. In this case, companies employ teams of developers that create a product from scratch. You would need to explain your specific vision and expectations to the engineers to achieve maximum results.
Do You Really Need It?
Well, it depends on the peculiarities of the organization. Mass-market software can be a fine substitution for something very basic that doesn’t require a lot of adjustments. If you feel like you need to change your free programs a lot, it’s time to think about ordering some tailor-made products.
The most common spheres that use bespoke software development services are retail, healthcare, education, and, strangely enough, construction. They have to concentrate on the users, billing, and many custom projects. For example, in healthcare, managers need to communicate with their patients, store information about them, and create payment bills.
Some say that going with a bespoke system is much more expensive as compared to pre-made products. Of course, it might look like it in the beginning. But what happens when your out-of-the-box programs are no longer able to handle your growing business? Also, having something unique and convenient is definitely one of the advantages of bespoke software.
For developers, creating a tailored project means doing something new. This is a nice opportunity to test your limits and work with new people. Perhaps, you can even get an international contract! Or maybe your future project will change the world for the better. In any case, it’s always more fun to create a product from scratch, even if it’s more challenging.
What Are the Main Models of Software Development?
Just like with any aspect of information technologies, software development also has some structure to it. Before even considering hiring a bespoke software development agency, you should know about three basic models of creating an application or an operating system/
- The Waterfall approach. This is basically a step-by-step process when one phase is completed and another one begins.
- The Spiral approach. Here, you split the projects into separate parts that interact with each other. For example, you plan a new phase while still working on a previous one, resolving some bugs, and improving it.
- The Agile approach. In general, this is a combination of the previous two models. Developers work on a specific part of the project in a given timeframe, immediately going to the next one after completion. This is the most effective strategy for large-scale projects.
What Are the Steps of Creating Bespoke Software?
So, the question of what is bespoke software development is solved. Now, let’s take a closer look at some steps of this complicated process.
It’s hard to correctly estimate the amount of work that needs to be done in custom system development. This is the job for the engineers and business owners who have a certain budget and possible deadlines. At the same time, the procedure for creating a tailor-made product is usually the same for all companies.
Step 1. Gathering all requirements for your future project. In other words, this is the very beginning of your collaboration with the team of outsourced IT specialists. Managers or owners should explain their vision for the product, their goals for short-term and long-term partnerships, possible budget restrictions, and so on.
Step 2. Creating a Software Requirement Specification document. After agreeing on all possible requirements and expectations, it’s time to start planning the technical side of developing your system. At this stage of the process, the engineers take the lead and propose an agreement document with all technical specifics. This has to be signed by both sides.
Step 3. Agreeing upon the design and some technical parameters. Here, the developers already know what the product is, how much time they have, and its purpose. So, now they can start creating the architecture and external features of the project. This phase can also be considered as an addition to the Software Requirement Specification document.
Step 4. Developing the product. This stage is the most challenging of all during the whole system development process. In general, this is where the magic happens, and the project is born from nothing! What is interesting is that in a case when all possible conflicts were resolved in previous steps, no problems should occur during actual development.
Step 5. Quality assurance. Of course, some testing has to be done during Step 4. Small pieces of code are constantly checked by the quality assurance department. But this phase is more complex because it includes functional and non-functional testing of the whole project. For example, core application functions have to be tested on different systems and machines.
Step 6. Release of the project and further upkeep. This is the moment that you have been waiting for! Your software is ready to be presented to the public. But don’t be mistaken; the work is not done yet. Engineers will provide maintenance, fix bugs, and release updates if needed. In other words, this is the phase where everything should be running smoothly in the future.
What Should You Look Out for in This Process?
Bespoke business software development is very rewarding both for the companies and developers. Still, there are some drawbacks to be taken into account. Most of these issues are gone when you find your perfect outsourced group of workers. Let’s take a closer look at the possible risks.
In a case when an employer has a very complex design, it might drive the price way up! Developers can think that the project is very elaborate and ask for more time. You would need to pay them salaries until the product is completed and ready for release. Anyway, these aspects are discussed during the initial stages of development.
To Sum Up
Understandably, business owners can have their concerns about developing brand-new software specifically for their firm. But even though there are some risks, pre-made projects can never meet all your expectations. In any case, the most important thing is to find a perfect bespoke software development company that will execute your vision to perfection!