Bespoke Software vs Off the Shelf | Green Duck Blog

Bespoke Software vs Off the Shelf

By Benny Mansfield

Bespoke Software vs Off-The-Shelf

When looking for a software solution for your organisation, you’ll find two main options available to you… You can buy an off-the-shelf software package or have a bespoke solution developed.

Your initial thoughts when considering these may be that one is a lot more expensive than the other. But it’s important to think about the total cost – including ongoing subscriptions, configuration, training and upgrades. You might be surprised by the outcome!

Below, I’ve outlined the key differences as well as the pros and cons of both options to help you make the best fit for your business.


Off-The-ShelfOff-the-shelf software is ready-made and available to the masses. You may need to pay a license fee to use it, much like Microsoft Office.

Immediately available – As the development work has already been done, all you’ll need to do is set up the software and start using it.

Compromise – You’ll probably need to compromise on your requirements as it’s unlikely you’ll find a ready-made solution that does everything you want. It also might cost more to have the software configured and connected to your existing systems.

Community support – If the software is popular, there may be books, articles and forums offering support and advice to users.



bespoke softwareBespoke software is built by a team of developers exclusively for your organisation.

Tailored to you – The software is developed and built to meet your specific requirements, ensuring that it works exactly how you need it to.

It’s all yours – your competitors won’t have the same software, which could give you a competitive advantage. It could also help you become more efficient and productive, therefore improving performance and profitability.

More flexible – A bespoke solution can evolve over time to meet your changing needs.

Timeframe – Depending on the size and complexity of the software, it may take time to develop so it’ll be important to factor this into your planning,


Before you make your choice, I’d always recommend you do your research beforehand. If you decide on a bespoke solution, make sure you select a development team who have the vision and ability to realise your ideas, and who follows best practice standards.

If you’d like to find out more about how bespoke software can benefit your own organisation, please feel free to call me on 01284 333451 or email



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