February 19, 2021 Ready-made and Custom-made

Kazuhito Kidachi
Corporate Director (CTO)

The months and days have passed quickly, and we’re now approaching this year’s company briefing sessions. At Mitsue-Links, while we have ongoing recruitment and welcome applications continuously regardless of graduation year, our company information sessions are customarily held in March and April - and this year follows a similar schedule (in Japanese).

Due to the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, our information sessions will again be held online - as they were last year. While it's disappointing that we’re unable to speak directly with the soon-to-graduate students, unlike last year when we implemented sessions on a trial and error basis, this year we’re leveraging our acquired know-how to deliver fully-prepared online sessions.

Thinking back to past events, in this Column, I’d like to briefly share a discussion that I had a few years ago when we were holding a company information session at our head office. During the Q&A session, one of the participating students asked a question about the future of the web industry with particular consideration for companies like ours – i.e. companies that are commissioned to build and operate websites. I don't remember the exact wording; however, I remember thinking that it was an incisive question.

Nowadays, there are so many useful services and tools available that it’s possible to build and operate websites without having any specialist web expertise. Conceivably this is part of the reason why companies are increasingly producing their websites in-house. This tendency perhaps indicates to students that the commercial prospects of website development companies could be at risk.

In a nutshell, my answer to the student’s question was that there’s a difference between ready-made and custom-made website needs. Just like with suits, it’s difficult to meet all buyer’s needs with ready-made, mass-produced outfits as there are a certain number of people who want custom-made suits that incorporate their preferred fit, design, and fabric.

I believe the same applies to websites. It's true that the barriers to creating a great looking website are much lower than they were. Furthermore, there are many useful frameworks and libraries that are available free of charge, so there are many situations where a ready-made website will suffice. However, if organizations want to achieve a certain level of customization and quality, specialist know-how and experience is required.

While a ready-made website may look just as good as a custom-made site, it may be inferior in terms of accessibility, display performance and other qualities that are difficult to identify immediately. Furthermore, the procedures required to update a readymade website may not be compatible with your organization or internal processes. Such situations undoubtedly call for a bespoke website, and this is where a production company, with its wealth of web knowledge and up-to-date information, comes in.

Of course, we shouldn’t believe that the future is secure just because some organization have needs that differ. In recent years, we’ve seen news of the application of AI technology to coding. If we don't continually update our knowledge and skills to ensure that we can continue to offer the emotive and functional value of a bespoke website at a reasonable price, we’ll soon lose out to services and tools that offer ready-made websites.

This is the motive for our continued focus on enhancing our technological skills and quality.

For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.