9 Ways Custom AI Solutions Outshine Off-the-Shelf Products

Mar 13, 2024 | Blog

The emergence of Generative AI (GenAI) has ignited excitement as a powerful tool for optimizing processes, accelerating your roadmap, gaining a competitive edge, and unlocking new business opportunities. As you begin exploring AI solutions, you should be considering custom-built, bespoke GenAI solutions that often prove to be a far superior investment compared to many new, readily available off-the-shelf AI products.

While the sudden onslaught of off-the-shelf AI solutions boast affordability and “immediate” implementation, their limitations can hinder their effectiveness in addressing complex business challenges. And let’s admit it, most of your business challenges are complex. If they weren’t, you’d have already solved them!


The top 9 ways custom GenAI solutions can be a more effective path forward:


1) Tailored to Address Unique Needs:

Off-the-shelf AI products are designed for broad applications, making them a one-size-fits-all solution. Or they are tools slapped on top of existing software in order to get to market quickly, and lack any real insight capabilities. They may be configurable, but they are not customizable.

Complex use cases within specific industries often involve intricate workflows, unique data structures, and specialized domain knowledge that a prepackaged GenAI model can’t understand. Bespoke GenAI solutions can be custom-built to address these specific needs, ensuring optimal performance and alignment with your unique business objectives.


2) Deeper Domain Expertise:

Off-the-shelf AI products usually lack the deep domain expertise required to effectively address complex industry-specific challenges. Building a bespoke GenAI solution allows you to leverage the knowledge and experience of domain experts, including your own subject matter experts, who can contribute their understanding of your industry’s nuances to the development process. This collaboration ensures the solution is purpose-built to address the specific challenges and opportunities within your industry. And as a part of your customized solution, your domain insights can be secured so they won’t feed back into the public AI models.


3) Superior Data Integration:

Most off-the-shelf AI solutions require adapting your existing data infrastructure to fit their specific format and requirements. This can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process, potentially leading to data integrity issues. Don’t risk data being lost or misclassified just to fit a generic, off-the-shelf format.

Bespoke GenAI solutions can be designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing data infrastructure, eliminating the need for major data manipulation (and the hours of meetings to debate the best way to do this), and ensuring smooth data flow for optimal performance.


4) Cost Savings:

This may seem counterintuitive, but working with an experienced partner to build a custom AI solution can be less expensive over time than off-the-shelf solutions. Off-the-shelf solutions are increasingly self-serve, and require a tremendous amount of time from high-value employees to learn and implement the solution, then to attempt to configure the solution and connect it to your current systems. This can be frustrating, especially when the AI you’ve purchased doesn’t live up to the promises it made.

Experienced development partners can build powerful, custom, secure AI solutions that produce superior results, often in less time that it takes to fully implement an off-the-shelf solution. And they can stay with you to adapt the underlying models as you learn and your needs change. 


5) Enhanced Model Explainability and Transparency:

Off-the-shelf AI products often operate as “black boxes,” making it difficult to understand how they arrive at their outputs. This lack of transparency can be a major concern, especially for regulated industries like finance, where explainability is crucial for building trust and ensuring compliance. Bespoke GenAI solutions offer the opportunity to build in explainability mechanisms from the ground up, allowing you to understand the reasoning behind the model’s outputs and fostering trust in its decision-making capabilities.


6) Scalability and Adaptability:

Off-the-shelf AI products may not be readily scalable to accommodate your future growth or evolving needs. Bespoke GenAI solutions are built to be flexible and adaptable, allowing you to easily scale up or down as your business needs change. Additionally, with a custom-built solution, you can easily incorporate new data or adapt the model to cater to changing market dynamics or business priorities.


7) Ownership and Control:

Off-the-shelf AI products often come with limitations on ownership and control. You may be restricted in terms of customizing the model or accessing its underlying code. Bespoke GenAI solutions provide you with complete ownership and control over the model, allowing you to tailor it to your specific needs, modify its behavior, and integrate it seamlessly into your existing systems.


8) Security and Compliance:

Off-the-shelf AI products may not necessarily meet the stringent security and compliance requirements of certain industries, especially those dealing with sensitive data. Building a bespoke GenAI solution allows you to implement security protocols and compliance measures from the very beginning, ensuring your solution adheres to all relevant regulations and safeguards your valuable data.


9) Competitive Advantage:

Do you want to be using the same off-the-shelf AI as your competitors, or do you want to have something custom built to give you an edge? . Off-the-shelf AI solutions offer generic functionalities, designed to meet broad needs of multiple industries and potentially limiting your ability to gain a competitive edge

Bespoke GenAI solutions, tailored to your unique business challenges and opportunities, empower you to create differentiated solutions that unlock new revenue streams, enhance customer experiences, and give you a clear advantage over your competitors.


The Road to GenAI Success:

Custom-built GenAI solutions offer numerous advantages, and it is crucial to acknowledge the associated investment of time, resources, and expertise required for development and implementation. To ensure a successful journey, consider partnering with a trusted AI development partner, like ClearObject, with a proven track record helping organizations solve pressing business problems with the assistance of AI. Look for a partner that possesses the technical expertise, data science capabilities, and industry knowledge to bring your vision to life.

For complex use cases, off-the-shelf AI products often fall short in addressing the specific needs, data landscapes, and security concerns of organizations in manufacturing, retail, and financial services. By opting for customized, bespoke GenAI solutions, you gain a powerful tool that is tailored to your unique challenges, leverages deep domain expertise, and seamlessly integrates with your existing infrastructure. This ensures superior performance, enhanced transparency, and the flexibility to adapt and scale alongside your growing business. While bespoke solutions require an investment, partnering with the right AI development partner can help you navigate the process and unlock the transformative potential of GenAI for a sustainable competitive advantage. 

By taking a bespoke approach to GenAI, you can unlock a future of increased efficiency, innovation, and growth within your organization.


Talk to ClearObject

At ClearObject we’ve developed a unique approach to building custom AI solutions that helps us create powerful, secure, insightful systems in less than half of the time of other providers. Our teams of data scientists and AI experts have experience across industries and will take the time to truly understand your business goals.