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Bespoke software development is an approach in which applications or other solutions are developed specifically for customer needs. Unlike off-the-shelf products, these applications aren’t for a wide audience. In terms of outsourcing, tailor-made production can be developed both by the in-house and third-party teams.

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The first question coming up here – is why’d not use the off-the-shelf solutions. There are many reasons for this. First, custom tools are anxiously developed to meet your requirements and needs. Off-the-shelf solutions provide the market with a commonly used range of features. Bespoke program development companies aim for the individual needs of the customer. Developed custom, it has no useless features which you can face, having commonly used applications. In terms of your business evolution and expansion – the bespoke software is the part that evolves as well. This kind of program is flexible to the product features and details. And that is the reason why companies of different branches, from private to government, are using tailor-made programs.

Unlike the common tools developed for the masses, custom development is accompanied by specialized support. This allows for stable work of the application and, in the case of issues – instant reaction to it. For you to have no more doubts, the bright examples of using bespoke software are given below.

Amazon, eBay, etc.

Two world’s largest e-commerce platforms, eBay and Amazon, are great examples of bespoke software. Instead of just selling a range of items using any of the ready-made e-commerce solutions, these companies have developed their own bespoke e-commerce platform, which exists for the sellers and buyers connection. Their beauty is in their simple-use experience.

Banking mobile apps and online web applications

Most of us have used the bank apps or at least are familiar with their work in general. This is a bright example of custom developed application on your device. No one bank allows itself to use side programming or share it with its competitors. Instead, they will try to fit their program functionality for the best client experience.

In summary, any application designed for one particular customer/business can be considered a bespoke software example.

However, every solution has advantages, so the pitfalls are as well. You should not be afraid of this fact. But being aware – means being ready.

Looking for some additional examples?

You can check the case studies with bespoke software delivered by Existek’s team for our clients from different domains.

Case studies


Wherever you look, any solution will have its good and not-so-good sides. The same is here: having huge profits as a result, the development process may be accompanied by some issues. However, bespoke software advantages and disadvantages are easily recognizable, and significant ones are given below.

Personalized solutions

That is a common situation when a business is provided with a license from its vendor, but later it is clear that this solution is not suitable for the business. Every company has different business requirements. The outcome of the cooperation with the custom development provider – a product that matches all your needs. Companies usually try to adapt to the programs they are using. Here you are doing the exactly opposite thing: you create the tool that will stand on the rails of your workflow. Custom program development will keep you competitive. Moreover, it has a significant influence on your work rate since its functionality is tailored to your needs. Having a solution like this will release you from “sharing” the tools with your opponents. With bespoke business solutions, you will be guaranteed that the software makes a significant adjustment for all your business needs.

Updates and support

Custom applications are welcomed for their scalability and adaptation to overall business changes. Obtaining a custom application does not depend on the provider’s development work plan. You are in charge of all the required updates and improvements upcoming. Working with an in-house team of developers is efficient in the case of close personalized support, as the team is aware of your individual requirements. As for the adaptation to the existing server environment, the tailor-made program does not need specific hosting. There is no more need to pay as much as twice to rent it because you will have one created specifically for you. In the case of off-the-shelf solutions, you never know if the company faces bankruptcy. If that happens, all your structure relying on third-party soft is also ruined. For that not to happen, the bespoke software lives alongside your business.

Security assurance

Using a common product is quite risky. If someone tries to hack the program, all of those who use it may be in danger, and their personal data is vulnerable. The bespoke software can be hacked only with the targeted attack. Your application may have extra security measures to ensure its safety. A custom service application development company may also enhance your solution’s integration with other tools. It makes your team’s work much more intuitive and easy. Tailor-made applications are commonly protected from external threats. The first reason of hacking attempts on commonly – used programs are successful – is that perpetrators are familiar with the code of that program. Custom tools are less affected by the hacking as it will need much more time and effort to breach it. Bespoke software is made especially for operating with your business and hardware. It is almost never the case that several common-used programs interact with each other perfectly and without any issues; licensing business programs that are not tailor-made for the software environment your business runs on can lead to your employees’ productivity dropping as they experience continual errors and cannot effectively complete their work.

Gradual production

Custom production can be produced step by step. This also will let you gradually advance in production and adjust your custom software during the development process according to the experience and user feedback received from the previous development stages. 

You should remember that in bespoke development 80/20 rule might also be applied. This rule states that 80% of users use 20% of the functionality. You aim to define this 20%, even if you create the program for internal needs and are short on time. Custom applications are more scalable and have the ability to grow alongside your business. With an off-the-shelf product, you typically run into the issue of the software either being inexpensive to purchase but not suitable for large businesses or software being able to support businesses on a large scale but very expensive to license.


Time and energy

People are seldom aware of the needs of their businesses. Sometimes it will need some time to do internal research to see that features. Customized tools make no sense if they do not match those features. Off-the-shelf solutions, in this case, are good because of their versatility. All you have to do is to purchase it, adapt, and keep on working. Because the software is being built from scratch, it can take significantly longer to develop than purchasing and implementing off-the-shelf software.

High upfront cost

It may seem that buying 100 licenses for a year is cheaper than developing your own solution. And it truly is. The upfront cost is relatively high, but what if you’ll have to extend the number of users, plus the support price, plus the price for, let’s say, three years, and you’ll see that the tailor-made program is much more attractive in the long-term perspective.

Want to learn more about bespoke software development rates?

Check our Global Custom Software Development Rates Report. You’ll find very detailed information about hourly rates for software development services in five most popular locations.

Our Global Custom Software Development Rates Report

Fewer possibilities

That is already stated that off-the-shelf programs are designed to cover the needs of the masses. In terms of developing business, it is a great opportunity. As for the small teams, it is very convenient to have a solution like this because sometimes ready-made products have features that may even surprise users. Off-the-shelf software is built with a general audience in mind. As a result, it often includes a wide range of features and functionality that may not be necessary for a particular organization. Bespoke software, on the other hand, is built specifically for one organization and, as a result, may not include all the features and functionality of off-the-shelf software.


When it comes to implementing new software for your business or organization, there are two main options to consider: bespoke software and off-the-shelf software. While they may seem similar on the surface, there are several key differences between the two that can have a significant impact on the success of your software implementation.

First, let’s define what we mean by these software types. Bespoke software is custom-made to fit the specific needs of a client. This means that a developer will work closely with the client to understand their unique requirements and build a tailored solution to meet those needs.

On the other hand, off-the-shelf software is pre-made and available to purchase or download. This type of software is typically designed to be general-purpose and can be used by a wide range of customers.

One of the main differences between bespoke and off-the-shelf software is the development process. Bespoke software is built from scratch to meet the specific needs of the client, which can take significantly longer and cost more than purchasing an off-the-shelf solution. However, the end result is a solution that is tailored to the exact requirements of the client, which can result in a more efficient and productive work process.

Another key difference between bespoke and off-the-shelf software is functionality. Bespoke software can be tailored to include all the desired features and capabilities, while off-the-shelf software may not have all the needed functionality. This can have a big impact on the efficiency and productivity of the software, as well as the overall success of the implementation.

In terms of maintenance and support, bespoke software may require ongoing maintenance and support from the developer, while off-the-shelf software may have a dedicated support team or community. This is an important consideration for businesses or organizations that are looking to implement new software, as it can affect the long-term scalability and flexibility of the solution.

In conclusion, while both bespoke and off-the-shelf software have their own advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to carefully consider your unique requirements and the goals of your software implementation before making a decision. Factors such as development time and cost, functionality, maintenance, and support should all be taken into account. Ultimately, the right choice will depend on the specific needs of your business or organization.

How to make the final decision on bespoke software vs off-the-shelf solutions?

Making the final decision on whether to use bespoke software or off-the-shelf software will depend on the specific needs of your business or organization. You can always contact our team of experts for further assistance.

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Common use cases for bespoke software development include creating custom applications for specific business processes, integrating with existing systems, developing unique features, beating off the market competition, etc. Let’s consider some of them:

  • Addressing a specific business need that cannot be met by off-the-shelf software. This is one of the most common reasons businesses opt for bespoke software development. Often, companies have unique processes or requirements that cannot be met by commercially available software. A bespoke software development team can work with the business to understand its specific needs and build a custom solution that addresses those needs perfectly.
  • Creating a unique user experience. Another common use case for bespoke software development is creating a unique and personalized user experience for the web or mobile apps. This might include custom design elements, unique functionality, or special features unavailable in commercially available software.
  • Developing specialized tools for a specific industry or field. Bespoke software development can also be used to create specialized tools for a specific industry or field. For example, a company in the healthcare industry might need a specialized electronic medical records system, while a company in the finance industry might need a bespoke trading platform.
  • Integrating multiple existing systems or platforms. Sometimes, a company may have multiple existing systems or platforms to be integrated. Bespoke software development can help to create a seamless integration between these systems, streamlining processes and making it easier for employees to access the information they need.
  • Validating business ideas. Startups and new business ventures often have limited resources and need to test their ideas quickly and inexpensively. Bespoke software development can be used to create an MVP (minimum viable product) that can be used to test the market, gather feedback, and iterate accordingly.

Overall, bespoke software development can be used for a wide variety of use cases, and its main advantage is that it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a business, which allows it to solve complex problems and improve efficiency.


Starting a bespoke software development project can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right approach and planning, it can also be a highly rewarding one. Here are the steps you can take to ensure a successful outcome:

Define the project scope and requirements

Clearly define the goals and objectives of the project, as well as the specific features and functionality that are needed. This can be done through a series of meetings with stakeholders, such as the product owner, end-users, and other members of the project team. Use this information to create a detailed project brief or requirements document.

Gather a team

Assemble a team of experienced software developers, designers, and project managers to work on the project. Consider factors such as their technical expertise, experience, and availability when selecting team members.

Choose a development methodology

Decide on a development methodology, like Agile, Scrum, or Waterfall, that best suits the project’s needs. Agile is a popular choice for bespoke software development, allowing flexibility and rapid iteration.

Create a project plan

Develop a detailed project plan that includes timelines, milestones, and deliverables. This should include a schedule for the entire project, as well as specific timelines for each stage of development.

Begin development

With the project scope, team, methodology, and plan in place begin the software development process. This may involve creating wireframes or mockups of the user interface, writing code, and running tests.

Test and iterate

Thoroughly test the software at various stages of development and make adjustments as needed to ensure that the final product meets the project requirements. This may include usability testing, load testing, and other types of testing to ensure that the software is reliable and performs well.

Launch and support

Once the software is complete and has been thoroughly tested, launch it and provide ongoing support to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of its users. This may include bug fixes, updates, and new features as required.

It is important to note that throughout the process of software development, it is important to communicate effectively with the stakeholders, the team, and customers to ensure that everything is going according to plan and any issues are addressed immediately. It is also important to have the plan to handle any potential risks. Having a clear understanding of the goals and requirements, as well as choosing the right development methodology, can help to ensure the success of a bespoke software development project.


Almost every successful business in its evolution way becomes at the stage when specific software is required for its further profitable existence. Most companies don’t bother too much and provide their staff, for example, with off-the-shelf tools. But as stated, it cannot be a 100% match. Sometimes it has a load of functionality that is never used. Sometimes it lacks it. You’ll never guess. But still, mostly it is chosen as the solution for one reason: affordable price. The second – is time. You simply buy it. At the same time, bespoke development will need some time and effort input. Bespoke software advantages and disadvantages aren’t limited to the list given above, of course.
But despite the disadvantages, the benefits are still supreme. The first and main fact about having bespoke software is that it will be tailored to your needs and requirements to function exactly as you need it to. The result of its functioning will not only deliver 100%, but it can be also extra useful. However, in that case, the experienced team for its development is required to embody your ideas. Of course, that is possible to let this task as your own application development to your in-house IT department. But as it occurs, the teams available are specialists in one sphere but aren’t ready for such steps as application development. That is a common situation, so for tailor-made software development, outsourcing is used frequently.

Looking for an experienced software development service provider?

We’ll gladly share our extensive experience as we have delivered custom software development services since 2012. We know how to turn your ideas into full-fledged products to withstand market competition.

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Frequently asked questions

What is bespoke software?

Bespoke software is custom-made software that is developed to meet the specific needs and requirements of a particular organization or individual. It is not a pre-packaged, off-the-shelf solution but rather is designed and built from scratch to fit a specific use case or set of requirements.

What is the difference between bespoke software and off-the-shelf solutions?

Bespoke software is custom-made software that is developed to meet the specific needs and requirements of a particular organization or individual, while ready-to-use solutions, also known as off-the-shelf software, are pre-existing software that is readily available for purchase or download.

What are bespoke software advantages?

There are several advantages of bespoke software, including personalized solutions, updates and support, security assurance, gradual production, etc.

What are the disadvantages of bespoke software development?

As for bespoke software disadvantages, we can mention time and energy, higher upfront cost and fewer possibilities if not properly addressed.

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