A large part of our work is creating bespoke solutions for our clients coded in php or C# that perform some specific task to meet our partners business needs. That isn’t always the case. Often we will talk to a business who need on online solution and there will be an off-the-shelf solution available that will meet most of, but not all of, their requirements. We always look at that option, even when it means there is no need for our services.

So, when is it right to use off-the-shelf or bespoke or a hybrid of the two?

The simple answer is that this is a purely business decision. Is there a strong enough business case to go for the extra expense of a bespoke package if an off-the-shelf solution can provide 75% (or even 90%) of the requirements? How important or critical is that extra 25% when compared to the cost? Those are the questions facing a business and whilst we can advise it is down to the decision makers in that business to make a judgement call.

A hybrid solution is another option whereby off-the-shelf solutions can be added to, where licenses and APIs allow, to create the additional functions required but at a lower cost than a full solution. Again this is something we always point out to clients.

We are always happy to discuss the options with any organisation who are looking to improve productivity, streamline process, add new online offerings or simply discuss what could be possible to automate their business.