Implementing a system to streamline your processes can help your business become more efficient as you can automate complex or tedious work that requires a large time investment. In the discovery process, you may come across a range of services, from off-the-shelf (or SaaS) options to bespoke options. Business needs are different, thus evaluating which type of MAR software to buy can be a complex choice.
In this article we’ll discuss the differences between bespoke and off-the-shelf compliance software options, and help you decide which one makes sense for your business.
What is off-the-shelf MAR software?
Off-the-shelf software is created to meet a more generic need that has been identified in the market. It will be a ready to use solution that will often have a short lead time from decision to implementation.
Off-the-shelf compliance software will include everything you would expect to comply with Market Abuse Regulations:
- Tools to manage permanent, PDMR, and project insiders,
- MAR reporting,
- Audit trails in line with MAR requirements,
- Closed period notifications,
- Communications with insiders.
Benefits of an off-the-shelf MAR solution
- Guaranteed standard of use
An advantage of selecting an off-the-shelf solution is a relatively guaranteed standard of use. As the solution is made to be able to suit many businesses, the system will offer a high level of functionality which meets market issues. If your business requirements match, or closely resemble, what is offered by the service, off-the-shelf software may be the most suited to your organisation. If this is the case, the comparative reduced cost and fast deployment provided by off-the-shelf options are even further advantageous.
- Reduced time to implementation
Reduced time to implementation is an additional benefit you gain from a pre-existing system. Your organisation can almost immediately begin use of the system and see changes in your processes quickly.
- Cost efficiency
If cost is a forefront consideration for you in looking for software, off-the-shelf will likely be the optimal choice for your organisation. While the features available to you may not be extensive, the system can offer you good value for your money. As some off-the-shelf systems may offer tiered pricing structures, you can opt for a more limited, lower cost version, or choose to add functionality with a higher tier option. This can provide flexibility as you grow, to a certain extent, or an adjustment in response to reduced need.
Considering all the factors above, off-the-shelf MAR software makes sense for businesses that see the benefit of managing insiders using an automated solution but don’t require the additional functionality offered by a bespoke solution. If your goal is to get something low cost quickly implemented, an off-the-shelf solution will help you move away from a fully manual task to reach some degree of automation. If this sounds like what your organisation is looking for, please contact us.
What is bespoke MAR software?
Bespoke software, on the other hand, is a system tailored to your business needs and processes. A bespoke system will strive to meet your exact processes to become a seamless part of your organisation.
Features of a bespoke system vary and can be difficult to state upfront, as it is designed to your specifications. In the case of MAR compliance software there is baseline functionality provided by off-the-shelf solutions to ensure that the goal of the software, to aid in compliance tracking, is achieved. A bespoke solution will offer what an off-the-shelf system does and more. This may look like expanded versions of the off-the-shelf service’s offerings, and/or a selection of additional functionality to create a fuller, more complete process. The features offered in a bespoke solution will be determined in discussions between you and your provider, creating a system that fulfils your unique needs.
Benefits of bespoke MAR software
Some of the benefits outside of the functionality of the system that are available to your organisation are unique branding, security, and service.
- Brand the system to match your organisation
A bespoke system, as it’s built to be yours, can be branded in line with your organisation. This will encapsulate colours and logos, down to brand aligned tone of voice, language and wording.
- Robust security
One of the most important parts of a bespoke system is the level of security it can offer. For some businesses, a bespoke system is required to meet the security requirements laid out by their internal teams. These specifications may include specific password controls, limiting access to your network, or integrating with your internal intranet, and more. A bespoke solution offers your business control over your data and privacy that is unavailable in an off-the-shelf solution as you sacrifice hosting ability and full control of the application.
- Dedicated service and account management
As you are one user of many with off-the-shelf software, the service that is available with a bespoke system is going to be far more extensive and personalised. This may be something you discuss when developing the system – how much service you want and how involved you want the provider to be in day-to-day working. A bespoke package could include a dedicated account manager who provides consistent service whether it be for further development, adjustments, or training.
If cost and time are not a hindrance in your procurement, a bespoke solution will give you a best fit system. As the bespoke solution is built for you and your needs, the initial set up will require development resource and a time commitment from your team. If you have the resources available to commit to a bespoke MAR solution, we recommend it as the return on investment from a bespoke system can be immense. Tailored to you, the time and effort saving in the long run may be worth the initial time commitment and the increased price.
Deciding what is best for you
At the end of the day making this decision is down to your unique business goals. There is no objective right or wrong answer.
With all these factors in mind, HWC has sought to offer solutions for both off-the-shelf and bespoke MAR compliance software that gives our customers options from one end of the spectrum to the other. Originally specialising in bespoke software development, HWC recognised the need for products that suit different businesses with different needs.
If you are interested in finding out more about what our compliance software offers you can view our MARFlow page or reach out to us for a discussion about how we can help you reach your goals.