Management25 August 2023by Wakett

Open-source vs Bespoke Enterprise Financial Software: Which One Should You Choose and Why?

When it comes to software, financial companies are often faced with a dilemma: should they go for open-source software or bespoke enterprise software? To help you make this decision and figure out the winner in the open-source vs bespoke enterprise financial software battle, our experts explain the four main things to keep in mind.


Open-source vs Bespoke Enterprise Software

Let’s start by defining what we mean by all the terminology that’s mentioned above, shall we?

  • Enterprise software is a type of software that’s used to satisfy the needs of an entire organisation rather than an individual.
  • Open-source software is a type of software that can be modified and updated by anyone with the code. This means that while everyone receives the same software code, the final product can range from user to user – or, in the case of enterprise software, from company to company.
  • Bespoke software is software that is built specifically around the needs of the user or company.

With that in mind, let’s look at the four main things you should ask yourself before making your decision.


How much will it cost me?

Python and R are the programming languages most often used in the financial industry. While these are free and open-source, you obviously need the knowledge and skills to fix and maintain it to your needs. So, while the initial investment in the software may be smaller, the long-term costs even before you’ve actually gone live can be huge. Bespoke software, on the other hand, costs more at the beginning but tends to come with an outsourced team of experts. This means that you don’t have to employ full-time developers to keep it going. Moreover, bespoke software such as that created by us comes with several modules that are ready to go, which make it both cheaper and faster to finalise!


How much training is needed?

Open-source software is rarely easy to use to fit your needs. So, on top of investing in your employees’ training to ensure they can use it, you also have to invest in their training to program it and keep it running. You could, of course, employ someone with the right skills straight away, but that would also result in a long-term expense (think employment benefits, leave, sick leave…) It’s also good to keep in mind that should any of your employees part ways with the company, you may be left with a skill deficiency… This doesn’t happen with bespoke software that comes with licence fees, as those fees, which are almost always smaller than a monthly paycheque to an employee, ensure that an expert that is external to the company is always on hand. 


What are the software’s limitations and what does it need to run smoothly?

Every software comes with its own limitations and requires different tools to run. For a start, you will have to think about the server where it will be hosted, which could come at a fixed cost per user or server, or else proportional to the hardware resources it requires. Moreover, software developed in R or Python has limited capabilities when it comes to running complex applications with high, 24/7 availability, multiple connections, and high volumes of data. These costs increase when it comes to scalability: whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, things won’t come cheap. Bespoke software, however, often comes with fewer expenses and better scalability, saving you money and headaches in the process


How do I maintain and update the software?

Software requires continuous care to work at optimum efficiency, so you’ll need someone in house who can make those updates and fix any issues that crop up – and believe us, they do crop up! Alternatively, bespoke software tends to come with the aforementioned licence fee that ensures the software is always up-to-date without you having to do much.


Open-source vs Bespoke Enterprise Financial Software: Which One’s The Winner?

Which type of software you go for depends on your needs and budget. Moreover, while choosing the right financial software developers is a must for everyone, our experience has shown that financial SMEs do better opting for bespoke software as the overall running costs are smaller and there is less need for in-house experts. 

So, if you are part of such an SME and would like to find out more about how Wakett’s bespoke enterprise financial software, created in partnership with TIBCO®, could help you, get in touch with us!