When looking for a software solution to a business problem you traditionally have two choices. Should you licence a commercial product that may not meet all your requirements, or should you take the risk of building your own bespoke system for a potentially greater reward?

To Buy

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It is easy to see the benefits of an off the shelf solution, most of the hard work has been done for you and the system is ready to use straight away. It is often the cheapest solution and there is support readily available from the creators and other users. However, much like off the rack clothing, these systems have been built to fit the majority of use cases, not your particular process. In best case scenarios this could mean that it fits 90% of the way, and you can make it work for what you need it to do. In the not so great cases it could only be a 50-75% fit, and you find yourself having to choose something that doesn’t omit an important aspect, rather than one that includes all the features you need. This could also mean that you are paying over the odds for features you don’t need. Another issue with an off the shelf solution is that it might start out meeting 90% of your requirements, but as your business changes and develops, this percentage starts to drop and your system is no longer fit for purpose, and you are back to square one.

To Build

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If you have the internal resource or the budget to outsource, a bespoke system can seem like the perfect solution to the drawbacks of an off the shelf system. You can tailor the system to work exactly as you need it to and so it includes all the features you need now or think you will need in the future. One of the issues of a bespoke system is the time it takes from initial identification of need to deployment of the system. It is a lengthy process, before the build and development can even start, there needs to be a long discovery and analysis stage that includes multiple departments so that no information or requirement is missed. This is because that once the system has been built it is very time consuming and costly to make changes, which is another of the disadvantages. It can be changed, but not easily and not without often prohibitive time and cost implications. A bespoke system is also the most expensive, whether you hire someone internally or use an outside resource, which means for many smaller businesses it is not a plausible solution.

Another way

Low code platforms combine many of the benefits of off the shelf and bespoke systems, without the associated rigidity or costs. By utilising low code, you can rapidly build and deploy software solutions that can adapt and evolve as your business does. Minimising the risk of ending up with a system that is no longer fit for purpose.  A low code platform utilises pre-coded elements that can be linked together to align with your processes, because there are numerous functions and links nearly any process or outcome can be achieved. This also means that changes can be made quickly, easily and with minimal outlay.

Low code platforms either come as approximately 80% packaged solutions, with the main features already configured ready for your unique requirements to be added or as blank canvases ready to be built upon. Which is right for you will depend on your needs, requirements and resources.

LEAP is FLOvate’s low code platform, you can explore the features here, or why not look at our pre-packaged solutions? If you would like to see a demonstration or find out more, get in touch today.

Categories: Blog post