BSPOKE Software | Digital Transformation Partners

Proprietary software: advantages and disadvantages

Most of us rely on proprietary software on a daily basis for our work. This software is obtained by purchasing a software license, so you don’t have the full rights to your software.  

When compared to bespoke software solutions, you’ll find there are both advantages and disadvantages of proprietary software.  

Today we’re going to share everything you need to know about this type of software and when it’s most appropriate for businesses to use it. 

What is proprietary software? 

When discussing proprietary software, we refer to any type of software that you must purchase with a software license or which you lease from the developer of the software. Therefore, you don’t own the rights to the software.  

For that reason, there’s less flexibility about what you can and can’t do with the software, and you can’t adjust it to the way in which you use it. 

The company that created the software still owns and retains the rights to the software. Most proprietary software is a secret when it comes to its coding, and the public isn’t offered access to this. In comparison to custom software, you’ll find it’s a more rigid solution that you can’t have developed to tailor to your needs. 

With so many different proprietary software options on the market, you’ll have no trouble finding a solution that fulfils some of your needs. Many companies create software purely for profit, whereas others might opt to design it for internal use. Whenever you buy this type of software, make sure you are aware of both the upfront and long-term costs of using it. 

Examples of proprietary software which you likely use on a daily basis include Microsoft Word, Apple iTunes, and Zoom. Some of these software solutions are free to use, whereas others require you to pay for the initial download.  

All of these pieces of software require you to accept their terms and conditions, and there are limitations with what you can do with the software. 

What are the advantages of proprietary software? 

As with any type of product, there are benefits and drawbacks to using proprietary software. These are some of the key benefits you’ll notice when using proprietary software in the future. 

It’s well designed and tested 

One of the biggest concerns when using open source software is a lack of testing. Developers are often in such a rush to launch a new piece of software, that they push products out before they are fully tested. With proprietary software, you can be sure this isn’t an issue. With thousands of people relying on a solution each day, it will undergo endless testing. You can be sure it will be a reliable solution for any type of business task. 

Around the clock support 

Many of the world’s top companies now offer 24/7 support for their software. If you’ve ever had an issue with your Apple or Microsoft products before, you know they have endless resources online to help you overcome any problem. When compared to open source software, you’ll find that this is one of the biggest advantages of propriety software. 

Online tutorials 

Proprietary software is generally used  by millions of people. With a tool such as Microsoft Word, you’ll have no trouble finding support for your work online. 

When you first download a new piece of software, head online to find articles and online tutorials to support you. If you run into any issues, there will be an abundance of resources on hand. 

What are the disadvantages of proprietary software? 

Of course, there are some restrictions when using proprietary software. These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when opting to use this solution. 

Users can’t modify the source code 

One of the biggest drawbacks of proprietary software is the lack of flexibility with this solution. You’ll likely find that you can’t make any changes to the source code, which can be an issue if you can’t complete all of the necessary tasks.  

The person or company that designed the proprietary software retains complete control over their work. For that reason, it might not meet all of the needs of your company, which can be problematic in the future. You might not find propriety software to be suitable for every business need, and in that case, you may want to look at custom software instead. 

Costs associated with proprietary software 

In most cases, proprietary software isn’t free to use. You’ll usually have to pay for the initial license and then may need to renew this each year. Keep in mind that support or updates may also not be free. When you first decide to start using a piece of software in your business, take the time to research all of the associated costs. If you don’t do this, you may find yourself in a tricky situation in the future. 

While you might think that custom software would be more expensive than proprietary software, you’ll want to look at the long-term costs. In many cases, custom software is actually cheaper. This is especially true if you need software to perform very specific functions.  

With so many advantages and disadvantages of proprietary software, you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of this solution to ensure it’s the right option for your business. This will help you decide which solution is best for your business needs. 

Consider Custom Software 

We recommend looking into custom software as well, as this can often be more cost-effective. BSPOKE Software will be happy to discuss anything about this topic with you. We’ll be here to help you find the right solution for your business and ensure you enjoy years of use from your new software.  

Contact us today with any questions or to discuss the right software solution for your business in 2022. We’ll be happy to support you in growing your business and becoming more productive over the upcoming months. 


BSPOKE Software - Photo showing a tablet with propriety software running on it.
BSPOKE Software - Photo showing a tablet with propriety software running on it.

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