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Business network concept. SaaS(Software as a Service).

End of off-the shelf: Three-quarters of businesses want custom-built software

New whitepaper research finds businesses see bespoke software as key to success, but many still battling reluctant boards

Three-quarters of UK businesses believe custom-built software is the key to success, heralding the death of off-the-shelf solutions- according to new research. There is a need for organisations to embrace custom solutions that solve specific business problems in a world transformed by the pandemic where business growth will be critical.

Technology consultancy 6point6 worked with YouGov to survey 500 IT decision-makers across the public and private sectors to explore their views and plans on technology. Their new whitepaper ‘Going bespoke: build vs buy in 2020’ collates these findings and provides insight into how to address the issues commonly faced around software-building.

The research reveals a clear appetite for custom software; 98% of business leaders are already building or customising software, and one in two said that custom software is the only way to get the features they need. Nearly half want to use custom software to solve legacy problems, while 75% need it for a specific problem.

However, over half (51%) are still mostly buying off the shelf solutions to tweak them, rather than building from scratch. Six in ten (61%) businesses are building less than half of their own applications.

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For many, the prospect of building custom software involves numerous unknowns that can seem too daunting, with fears that costs and timings will get out of control. The most common barrier to building software cited was convincing the board of the benefit to the wider business and/or clients (69%). 61% said boards needed full project costings to convince them, while four in ten (41%) were concerned about lack of available in-house talent to build the software.

Going bespoke: build vs buy in 2020 outlines solutions to these issues, providing a guide to successful delivery management and advice on budget transparency in order to help business leaders push back against resistance when proposing custom solutions within their company.

Chris Porter, MD of Digital Transformation at 6point6, commented on the findings: “In a world upended by Covid-19, digital products have taken on a new and central role providing remote access to services. There is more need than ever before for bespoke technology that matches a business’ specific needs and ambitions and can flex according to their unique timescales.

“With many businesses seeing bespoke software as the best way forward, there is still an enduring belief that custom applications are risky and difficult, but they are carrying on with imperfect solutions.

“Now is the time for change. Decision-makers must push back against reluctant or fearful boards and demonstrate the myriad of wider benefits of a custom-built solution in order to transition towards being a technology-first company building a firm foundation for future innovation.”

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