SaaS products have come to define how many of us work day-to-day.  A SaaS product is often easy to get started with, familiar to many and  with minimal barriers to adoption. 

But wait … what is a SaaS product? That’s a fair question, especially since here at our Coventry web app design company we have a jargon box instead of a swear box. The truth is, though, that a “SaaS” app is something we’re all familiar with, even if we don’t know the term.

SaaS stands for “Software as a Service”: that is, software such as Adobe tools for which we pay a monthly or annual subscription, and access for as long as we keep paying.  We simply log in, do what we need, and use the tools they provide.  For a business looking for a quick, out-of-the-box solution they make huge sense.

The Problem with SaaS

SaaS tools can be hugely convenient. They can cover a range of functions – from HR functionality to asset management, health & safety to project management and communication. In fact, they’re so great that at ImagePlus we’ve built SaaS products for clients in Coventry, Warwickshire and far beyond.

The reason they can be adopted so rapidly, though, is of course because they are designed for a very broad market: they exist to sort-of-fit as many companies as possible. Their financial model is to attract many clients, each of whom pay a lower (initial) price than it would have cost that business to build an app from scratch.

But we see more and more clients coming to us because they need their SaaS product to do something that it’s not designed to do. That is, the one-size-fits-all approach is not quite fitting them correctly. They need something a little more bespoke.

What Is A Bespoke Web App

Every business is different. Often, SaaS apps will do the job well enough. Like an off-the-rack suit, a SaaS app is designed to fit the average business averagely well. But a tailored suit will always fit a specific business better.

A bespoke web app is required when the little things that a SaaS app can’t do begin to become a real problem. If the way your business works is starting to be shaped by your app rather than the other way around, it might be time to start looking at building a web app of your own.

It would still be hosted on the web and be available anywhere. But you’d be in control and you could get it updated and add new functionality whenever you needed.  And, most importantly, its tools would be perfectly designed for the work you do. No more “making do” – a bespoke web app is a solution to having to cut corners.

Benefits of Bespoke Web Apps

Custom web app design comes into its own when you have specific requirements that go beyond what is available off the shelf. When SaaS ceases to cut it, bespoke web apps come into their own – because they can do whatever you need, built from the ground up.

  • Web apps are accessible – just like SaaS products, they’re accessible anywhere from a web browser so you don’t have to compromise on convenience. 
  • A bespoke web app will be more intuitive. Because it has been designed – here in Coventry by our web app design team  – with your exact business in mind.  It will work as your team works. That means it will make instant sense to your staff. No more figuring things out as you go.
  • That unique fit to your processes and systems extends right through to individual user needs: whoever you have on staff, and whatever they need to do their work, a bespoke web app can be designed with them and their workflows in mind. From capturing the correct data to meeting user experience needs, a bespoke web app should always fit like a glove.
  • Not only that, but a bespoke web app can actually help improve your business processes. By tailoring your software, you have an opportunity to streamline and rationalise the way you work.   Unlike a SaaS app, a bespoke web app can refine your processes, rather than force you to adapt ones that don’t quite do the job. 
  • If there is software you already use – such as CRM software or account packages – a bespoke web app can also be designed to integrate seamlessly with tools you’re going to keep on using. Just like streamlining processes, this element of bespoke web app design can really save the time and energy of your teams.

In other words, with a bespoke web app, you have full ownership and control. Not only will you no longer have to pay those recurring subscription fees – the software will work better, and can continue to grow and evolve with your business over time.

Developing Your Bespoke App Over Time

With a SaaS app, you’re stuck waiting – maybe hoping – for new updates. With your own bespoke web app, you’re able to make changes as and when you need them. As your business develops, so can your app – the two can go in tandem, rather than one holding back the other.

Perhaps you add new products or services or change the way you do something: your web app can shift with you. New technology or functionality can be added as it becomes available, rather than when your SaaS provider decides to roll it out. And your staff’s feedback can actively achieve change: what they like or don’t like can make a difference, rather than become a daily irritation for them.

Of course, bespoke development and ongoing coding has a cost attached. But you’re not paying those subscription fees … and you’re building something for the long-term, that can genuinely unlock energy and efficiency in your business over time. That can give you a real competitive advantage in your marketplace, add measurable and material value to your business … and even provide a revenue stream, should other companies want to jump onboard.

From our Coventry web app development HQ, we’ve developed apps that have done just this for clients like Jaguar Land Rover and Diamond. This software has brought huge benefits to the business and continues to help them deliver their services efficiently and effectively. 

Leave SaaS Behind: Take The Bespoke Web App Plunge

If your business is unique (and it is), and SaaS products have started to seem like more of a pain than a convenience, you should think about bespoke web app development. Our web app development team here in Coventry can help: we can listen to your needs, make recommendations, and suggest next steps. And we provide free consultations, so do get in touch.

We’ll take a look at your existing solutions and suggest where you might benefit from alternatives. We not only design and develop bespoke apps but we support our clients post-launch – so you’ll always have peace of mind and support on hand should you need it.

Drop us a call today. There might be more to life – and to your business – than SaaS.

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