Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the use of SaaS solutions has skyrocketed. This isn’t a surprise, considering the many conveniences that a subscription-based software service can offer. On top of that, SaaS had been popular (and very much a norm) well before social distancing protocols set in. But is it the only viable option that is available for satisfying any business’s software requirements?
This is a key question to ponder upon, especially since every business is dependent on SaaS solutions of some kind – even if it’s just one independent solution. Assuming this isn’t the case, they’re still highly prevalent on a personal level; on smartphones or tablets. Whether it’s a budgeting app or a game, these downloadable applications are still valid examples for SaaS, thereby making them highly prevalent and mainstream.
As the onset of the pandemic increased SaaS demands across every industry and business volume the world over, vendors were quick to respond. Many premium services were offered for free, and support systems were expanded to cater to requests on a round-the-clock basis. This made the proliferation of SaaS all the more intense as well as reliable, what with vendors being proactive and supportive during this difficult time.
Out of necessity (and even desperation), businesses were keen to make the shift in order to maintain operational continuity. This especially applied to brick-and-mortar establishments, as these businesses hustled to move their operations online. SaaS-based applications turned out to be a lifesaver – and they still continue to do so, even though lockdowns have eased. While SaaS has long since proven its capabilities by addressing the many setbacks associated with bespoke and off-the-shelf software, the same question once again is interesting to consider. As with every opinion, seldom is one absolute; and re-imagining the potential of SaaS (or inversely, of bespoke software) is insightful.
What’s more, the current economic climate has invited a lot of new variables, further tempting possible recalibrations. On a fairly stoic note, nothing more has made us realise the value of being self-sufficient, than this unprecedented phase. This is where the viability of bespoke applications can be broached, making the curious business visionary wonder whether it is an endeavour worth pursuing, after all. This can be mulled over when one is aware of the advantages that bespoke software development brings to the table – especially in contrast with its SaaS counterpart.
While SaaS has gained popularity and mainstream use for the correct reasons, bespoke software is still here to stay – also for some very right reasons. So what makes bespoke still withstand the test of SaaS, and make a comeback that’s stronger than before, especially during this particular time?
Albeit having long development times and upfront costs, bespoke software development can be a boon for your business. If executed correctly and at the right timing, it can provide ROI on what you set out to build in the first place. While a SaaS application can be conveniently scaled according to differing needs, bespoke software enables the very same – but on a much more customized level. In other words, you get to call the shots for your proprietary software as the product owner, without having a middle vendor in the picture.
As an agency that specialises in software development in Sri Lanka, tailor-made software has always been in vogue. In spite of readily available SaaS applications, bespoke software needs to be adopted at the right timing, and not just for its advantages. Add to this the current pandemic era, and you have a scenario that is a tad more intricate than before. While not an exhaustive list, and while also being subject to unique business scenarios, here are some general guidelines as to when it is best to go bespoke.
New to the whole idea of bespoke software development? If you’ve been relying on SaaS solutions up until now but have recently realised that company-owned, custom software may be a better fit for your business, starting off might feel overwhelming. No matter how complex your bespoke endeavour may seem, adhering to a few rules-of-thumb can deliver great results, minus the hassle. But before learning about the factors that differentiate competent software development agencies from the rest, it’s useful to know a little about the different software project management methodologies that are currently in use today.
As a result, the need to have a system that performed with lesser downtime while delivering working software led to the creation of Agile. In other words, the strengths of Waterfall were combined with what was essential (less downtime and working software) to build what is now known as Agile project management today.
While software development methodologies aren’t limited to the ones mentioned above, Agile is the most popular due to its high-performance qualities. Although a hybrid in itself (since it originates from Waterfall), Agile is still combined with other methodologies to create more leverage. For example, Agile and Scrum is a popular combination, since the sprint system in Scrum perfectly complements the need for a working product in Agile. Likewise, Agile is fused with Kanban to give all team members clarity on what is being done and how much is pending, at a glance.
In a nutshell, while there are multiple project management methodologies available to develop software, there isn’t a strict set of rules to follow, or a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your software development team, the level of complexity for your bespoke project, your business requirements and deadlines, the manner in which your project is handled can vary from one team to another.
Just like the endeavour to find any competent service provider for your business, sourcing the right software development agency is a task that needs to be carried out with many contenders in the picture. After conducting discussions, pick the one that is best attuned to your needs, and has quantified how they intend to address your unique software requirements. Here are some general guidelines on what you need to look out for.
Contrary to popular perception and use, bespoke software still has a place in today’s software environment – and for very good reasons, at that. In comparison to SaaS products, a bespoke piece of software will ensure sole proprietorship, while ensuring higher security for data stored in on-premise servers. But knowing when to develop bespoke software is key for any business, especially if you’re looking to transition from systems that are predominantly based on SaaS. Rapid expansions are one sign, but so is money lost in paying for features that are seldom used. With the right discussions and guidance, building your own proprietary software is a journey that will be lucrative in the long run, as well as sustainable.