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Dedicated vs off-the-shelf solutions. What are the decision points?

In today's world, it is hard to imagine a successful business without IT tools. With the ongoing digital transformation, these tools have enhanced almost every aspect of organisational operations.

Every company has unique software requirements, but there are general categories of support that remain consistent. Sector, company size and business objectives are the basic determinants in choosing appropriate IT tools. Going digital involves deciding between pre-made systems or custom applications developed through IT outsourcing.

What is dedicated software?

Dedicated software is developed as a response to the individual needs of a business. By starting from scratch, you can be sure that all of your business goals and requirements are taken into account.

The created tool can be adjusted to your unique needs through pre-implementation analysis​.

The collaborative effort between our Development Team and your company ensures that we understand the nuances of your industry, gain insights into company operations, and align with the business objectives.

This ensures that the tool is customised to perfection, delivering the best possible results for our Clients. The analysis is a crucial stage in the software development process, allowing us to better control the project and prevent issues during implementation.

Through this analysis, we gain a complete understanding of your expectations and how to meet them. Sometimes, we find out that existing solutions can fulfil your needs, which shortens the implementation process and reduces costs.

The rules, procedures and document workflow often involve purchasing multiple ready-made products.

Although the process of creating a comprehensive, dedicated system can take several months, it is a guarantee that it fully responds to the needs of the Client. What is important, this solution allows for a more accessible extension of the platform in the future.

Custom software has numerous advantages over the out-of-the-box (OOTB) system. Clients can plan and test all the functionalities, omit unnecessary elements, and add critical features unique to the business. Ready-made products can only meet the company's specificity to a limited extent.

Are there diverse types of dedicated solutions?

Professional Software House is able to develop any customised system or application. Through the extensive experience, we have identified several popular categories of systems that our Clients often request.

  • CMS (Content Management System) – to manage website or web portal content.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – to manage contacts with beneficiaries, for example, improving contact between the representative and the end recipient.
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning System) – for managing assets and processes in all company areas.
  • Loyalty programmes – programs personalised for the needs of the Client’s campaign
  • B2B/B2C platforms
  • Mobile apps
  • WMS – warehouse application enabling numerous integrations with ERP systems
  • DAM – to support the management of digital resources and cooperation with business partners, e.g., for business purposes
  • PIM – for innovative management of the product base.
  • Numerous integrations

Take a look at our LOTTO Mobile App implementations - play online.

What is the process for the development of a dedicated solution?

As mentioned above, it is vital to ensure a pre-implementation analysis. The development team collaborates with the Client to discuss project assumptions and create a functional design that encompasses all essential functionalities and elements in a dedicated system.

We follow the Agile Methodology, enabling the Client to prioritise and phase the creation of individual components for testing. This work organisation system allows for close collaboration with the Client, ensuring that each element meets their expectations. Effective communication is critical.

The bespoke solution allows for reflecting the processes within a company by integrating with external programmes that already exist within the Client's organisation. Integration is an integral part of working with Software House, which means that the Client does not need any IT background.

Which integrations do we most often implement?

  • product catalogue integrations (PIM – Product Information Management)
  • logistics – with suppliers, payment systems or instalment systems
  • communication – this type of integration allows you to contact Internet users in real-time, informing them about the status of the order,
  • warehouse – integrations with the product base
  • sales support – integrations with marketplace systems, price comparison engines, etc.
  • business – with integration with CMS systems

Off-the-shelf solutions

These include the WordPress blog engine and shopping engines like Magento and Prestashop. But what actually is an out-of-the-box solution?

These are ready-to-use systems that you can purchase as a subscription or one-off package, allowing you to start using them right away. Installing and configuring the tool immediately after purchase is undoubtedly a great advantage.

However, while we can expect regular upgrades, they may not always be included in the purchase/subscription price. It often happens that it is additionally paid.

When choosing an out-of-the-box solution, you can select from multiple packages according to price and functionality. For companies just starting their e-Business journey, basic functionalities may be sufficient at a more attractive price.

On the other hand, more advanced features may require higher packages or the purchase of plug-ins to extend the software's capabilities.

While these solutions have many advantages, there are also less attractive features. One major concern is vulnerability to hacker attacks, especially for solutions where the software has not been updated. Failing to update plug-ins or software is like leaving a door open to hackers who may want to tarnish your company's image.

Overall, out-of-the-box solutions can be a perfect starting point for companies needing a tool to function in the network and begin their business.

When is it better to have a dedicated application rather than a boxed solution?

Determining when a dedicated application is more suitable than a boxed solution is a matter of individual preference. Factors such as a company's expectations and target audience may influence the choice of software functionalities and capabilities. However, there are specific trends; for instance, ERP class systems are often chosen as ready-made solutions. This is during the use when Clients understand that such software does not fully meet their needs.

What is the difference between an off-the-shelf and a bespoke solution?

When selecting software, it is crucial to determine your budget and identify the essential functionalities necessary for achieving your business objectives.

First difference – the price

While dedicated software may require a higher initial investment, it can often be more economical in the long run as it comes with tailored support and technological background not available in ready-made software. It often happens that out-of-the-box solutions have paid licences depending on the position and development of the company.

Moreover, off-the-shelf solutions may initially seem less expensive due to their low initial cost. However, additional license fees, like higher website traffic or more users, may appear over time.


Dedicated solutions allow for customised functionality tailored to a company's specific needs. In contrast, off-the-shelf solutions offer basic functionality designed to meet the needs of many companies within an industry. This can result in a lack of functionality and limited use for medium or large companies.

Third difference is in the support and technological background

Dedicated solutions always come with guaranteed support from the provider, and support rules are usually agreed upon individually with Clients. Off-the-shelf solutions offer a certain level of support dependent on the package purchased - the higher the package, the greater the availability of the IT team.


Off-the-shelf solutions come with guaranteed compatibility. This, however, may not appear to be true with older systems that are in use in your company. Dedicated solutions are designed with integration in mind, allowing for seamless integration with a client's systems both during the design and in the future.

Competitive advantage

OOTB provides the same functionality to many companies in a given industry, making it popular and well-known. It does not offer the uniqueness of an e-business. By choosing a dedicated solution, a company can adjust the software to its needs, streamlining the execution of various processes and introducing innovative solutions that appeal to its customers.

Understanding the fundamental distinctions between off-the-shelf and bespoke software solutions, it becomes evident that the former is best suited for managing basic business operations. On the other hand, the latter presents a more versatile option that can be tailored to meet the evolving needs of e-business clients over time.

Here are some tips to help you choose between solutions

The OOTB solution is going to work:

  • when your company is just starting out,
  • when many free or relatively low-cost solutions meet your business needs,
  • when the budget of your company is limited,
  • and when time is crucial, and you want to get to market with the tool as soon as possible.

A dedicated solution should be considered:

  • if your business is doing well, but you want to improve certain activities or expand the scope of your business,
  • if your business is doing well, but you want to improve certain activities or expand the scope of your business,
  • when you have the time and budget for a comprehensive tool directly impacting your business and its development.

We will analyse your company's functioning before the implemntation in order to find essential functions for your success. Contact us. 


Companies benefit from diverse types of software. Smaller ones seeking basic functionality typically use off-the-shelf systems to establish themselves in their industry.

Meanwhile, larger enterprises with more specific needs often opt for dedicated solutions, as off-the-shelf options may be too limited and not customisable enough for a larger group of recipients. The dedicated solution supports:

  • automation of customer service
  • in case of too many requests compared to employee availability
  • computerised recruitment process
  • if you run multiple recruitments and you need a tool that will collect all information and documents in one place,
  • e-learning

Check how the e-learning platforms we implement affect the development of employees' competencies.

  •  or another tool that will support the management of a large number of orders.

Before deciding on a dedicated solution, ask yourself, "Will I find an off-the-shelf solution that meets my expectations and needs?”

To answer this question, it is worth taking part in a pre-implementation analysis that will help you choose the solution that best meets your company's expectations.

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