What Is a Bespoke System?

A bespoke system is any unique system configuration designed to meet custom specifications. In computing, it often consists of hardware and/or software tailored to the individual needs of a customer. Computer companies such as Apple, HP or Dell provide bespoke options for their customers' systems.

One simple example of a bespoke single-user system is a computer that features more than the standard amount of RAM, allowing the computer to run multiple programs concurrently. Some users choose specialized input devices because their computers are primarily for gaming. Others may want to pursue video production, so they order a premium graphics card instead of the basic hardware.

Within a bespoke hardware system, companies often place bespoke software, which refers to applications tailored to meet a set purpose. While some companies can use off-the-shelf accounting packages, other companies may need to have software written for their specific business needs. Another term for this type of software is vertical market software.

The origin of the word "bespoke" is the tailoring industry in England, where its original meaning dealt with clothing designed specially for particular customers. Its use with information technology customization is a modern change, referring to a wide range of products and services.