With the world moving at a million miles an hour, it is only natural that many have now resorted to using technology to make their world a lot easier to navigate. It is no different in the safety industry.
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In a previous post, I shared 3 ways we can use technology in safety – everyday tools, ready-made software of custom made. I also shared in another post, how I use the Gsuite family of apps to run my safety business and manage our processes.
For some, everyday tools like Gsuite apps may not be sufficient. That is where. more robust software with key functionalities comes in.
In this post, I will be sharing on 2 other ways you can start to digitalise safety management and their pros and cons, with the aim to help you decide the right solution for your organisation.
- Off-The-Shelf (also called Ready-to Use or SaaS – Software as a Service)
- Inhouse or Bespoke software
What’s the Difference?
The off-the-shelf software is also known as ready-to-use or readymade. They are generally available to a lot of people, for a fee. Some are free but most free things come with limitations.
While Bespoke, also known as custom-built, are generally more expensive as they are built and developed especially for an organisation.
Pros of Off-the-Shelf
- They come ready to use out of the box. Literally.
- Most premium software have a lot of features, often meeting the needs of their customers.
- Save money on hiring a technical or development team as you get updates and upgrades to the software.
- They often come swift training materials and how-to guides, saving you time and money on training.
- The owners and developers often get feedback from users and improve their products to meet the needs of their clients. If you are patient enough, the software can gradually become your desired solution
Cons of Off-the-Shelf
- Despite most having many features, some could prove unnecessary and unused by the user. This means they could be paying for something they do no need. However, some software allows you to choose only what you need.
- Despite having many features, some do not have features that a company may need. Hence some companies end up signing up for different software. It is important to understand and search the market for a truly all-in-one solution.
- No advantage over competitors especially if they are using the same or similar software.
- Some have been proven to cause more problems for the safety teams. There is the risk of choosing the wrong software.
Pros of Bespoke Software
- They are designed specially to meet the need of an organisation.
- You can have any feature you want and even add more as your needs change.
- Your own technical team who deal with issues, queries, and problems you may have.
- You stand out and have an edge over competitors
- You can earn more is you are a consultancy by using it to manage your clients’ projects, They pat for the added benefit of digitalisation and sometimes automation.
- They are usually easier to use as they have been built with your needs in mind, and you being a part of the planning and development stages.
Cons of Bespoke Software
- It takes time to build a bespoke system which can be very expensive. This is one of the reasons why many settle for off-the-shelf solutions,
- You need a team to manage bugs, updates, and upgrades and scaling, It can prove very expensive
How do you choose?
- You can explore what’s currently available in the market by identifying features you need in a system and identifying tech one that ticks all or most of your boxes.
- Fact is, there is hardly a ready-made solution that meets all your needs so you will need to prioritise and choose what’s most important to you – you can achieve this by requesting you view a demo of how a software really works. You may have to use more than 1 software.Fact is, there is hardly a ready-made solution that meets all your needs so you will need to prioritise and choose what's most important to you... Click To Tweet
- You can employ the services of a Technology Strategist or Consultant like me to:
- help you find the right solution for your organisation
- help with planning the development of your in-house solution if you choose to go this route and even help with training your teams
- work with your development team to ensure they create your desired solution.
This is where I come in. I can help you choose, find, and manage the search for the right software/solution for your organisation. I can also work with your IT department to create the right solution for you, or upgrade what you currently have. This will save you lots of time. Time is money, so you get to save money too.
I have been opportune to work with both off-the-shelf and bespoke software in different sectors, as a safety manager. During these times, I worked closely with IT teams to update and create solutions for managing safety in the business. I have also used various software and know their limitations, especially free software.
Feel free to send me a message to learn more about how I can help you.