Licensed vs bespoke database options. Which should you choose?

Which database should I use?  It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s rare we ever give the same answer.  

Whether a company who’s decided to invest in a new database or software product should buy an existing off-the-shelf package or have their own bespoke system developed depends on far too many things to be able to generalise. What it’s for? What data you have? How many legacy systems need to be integrated? How the data needs to be split? What features you need? How much money you have? How much time you have? How many users you have, and a host of factors besides, all impact your end decision.

Looking at one of the world’s most prolific off-the-shelf systems as a great example, most users only utilise 10% of Microsoft Word’s functionality. That’s not to say the other 90% of the capability in Word isn’t great, it’s just most people don’t need it.  Perhaps then you’d assume bespoke is the way forward, but wouldn’t you rather have Microsoft Word and not use 90% of it, than have to have your own equivalent built from scratch?

There’re pros and cons to any database

Ultimately you should always carefully consider both options before reaching a decision, so here’s our list of pros and cons for both options.

It really depends…

Remember, there is no right or wrong when choosing between off-the-shelf and bespoke systems.  Where the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ comes into play, is in the decision-making process.

And if you’re considering building bespoke, make sure you talk to previous clients your developer has built bespoke solutions for. Unfortunately, we have seen way too many companies out there who have spent over $300,000 on a bespoke platform that just DOESN’T WORK…

If you’ve done the proper due diligence, mapped out requirements, gained expert opinions and properly compared all the options, then whichever system you choose will be the right choice. The wrong choice only comes from failing to do the above.

Are you looking to implement a database? We can help answer some of your questions, just send us a message.

Michelle has been in marketing strategy for over 20 years. Michelle got involved in Engaging from Day 1 with the conviction of creating a business that ‘does great work with great people’, including clients, partners and staff. A born problem solver, she immerses herself in clients’ businesses and reconstructs their sales & marketing activities to ensure they operate to deliver directly on the business’ objectives. Michelle is passionate about maintaining a company and company culture that leaves the world a better place than we found it.

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