The cost as a barrier is always the first miss conception when considering a bespoke software solution and lets face it, even if it is not said it is usually the first thought and the assumption that it will cost more than the off the shelf product.
Bespoke or tailored software is not the prerequisite of large multi nationals with huge pockets. Depending on your choice of provider bespoke does not have to mean expensive, especially when you factor in the hidden costs of getting off-the-shelf software operational in your business. At Alinea we have undertaken projects over our 11 years of working with many different clients with prices ranging from £1,500 to £30k.
Having your own software solution especially tailored for you is that you can avoid inflated monthly subscription charges with user limits. Some providers (that includes us of course – Alinea) will offer a single development or instance price with smaller annual hosting charges and an annual unlimited user licences.
Support costs?Support costs can also be tailored to your needs. Make sure you know how you want to run your support solution, you can negotiate to save money by agreeing to run some support internally.
Choosing a provider that suits you – size is everything
Another factor in reviewing your development cost and affordability is the question of how you like to do business. As they say in a traditional burger restaurant, would you like to go large or supersize. The analogy is the same in software development. Size is everything when it comes to choosing your provider in regards to cost. The simple fact here is that the smaller the agency like Alinea the less overhead and layers you pay for, but that will reduce a lot of the comfort layers you can get by going larger.
To consider other factors other than cost when deciding on the size of agency you choose click here
Invest in how it looks
This is called developing a GUI. A Graphic User Interface is the way a user interacts with the software program and it can determine the outcome of how successful the solution becomes ie, how user friendly it is. This is not an aspect you will have influence over when buying off the shelf softare. Developing a GUI doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune. Many Alinea solutions are based on Open Source packages which come with a default GUI and it often just needs reducing in complexity to be most effective. Others require a custom graphic design process especially where multiple languages are involved. Make an allowance in your budget for this important area.
The cost of off the shelf software will always be initially the most attractive but the hidden costs of licensing, implementation, usability and compromise will often equate to the cost of developing a better fit solution from a bespoke or tailored provider.
Most bespoke providers will have an initial conversation for free (call us on 01908 363459) to explore your options and even suggest off the shelf if that is your best bet, so you won’t lose out and you can be sure you have explored all the avenues with a professional.