Most people take for granted the necessity to use software when running a business. Not so many use it consciously. The right software can leverage your company, reinvent its workflow, and become the key asset for growth and expansion. And the biggest hitters in today’s world are the ones who bet on custom software applications.
Don’t get the wrong impression: software isn’t magic. Some companies are 100% fine with generic solutions that they already have. Not every business is asking for a digital revolution. But those who do, often hire a software development company to design tailored solutions for narrow and specific purposes. This is called custom software development, as opposed to commercial off-the-shelf software.
Should you shake up things with custom software development?
Answer these 7 questions and find out!
1. Does my business have an urgent need for custom software?
You’ll know that it does if you see that your processes are too slow, and know that your desired goals are just out of your reach. Perhaps it’s because it takes too long to process an order, or because the data you need – and have! – is just spread out across many incompatible repositories. Or maybe the Custom Off-the-shelf Software you use doesn’t have functionality that would make your life so much better.
2. Should the software I use benefit multiple departments simultaneously?
There are some great task managers for design, or marketing, or customer support. The thing is, they don’t really mesh together. If you’d like to have a solution that answers an unusual cross-department need, then custom development services are for you.
3. Is my current software outdated or hard to use?
Believe it or not, we’ve seen organizations working with DOS-based systems in the 21st Century. Your situation might not be so dramatic, but still, – older software tends to be unintuitive, slow, or simply incompatible with modern solutions. Moreover, if it runs on an older operating system that’s no longer supported, or isn’t updated itself, it poses a serious security risk.
4. Does my business need to make itself stand out among the competition?
Notice that the companies that lead the world usually do things differently from the rest. Or at least were the first to do it this way. Bespoke applications can be a great marketing tool, especially if their functionality is also experienced by the user on the so-called front end.
5. How exactly can my business change if I were to adopt custom software?
It’s good to have well-specified expectations before commissioning work to a software development company. We will take time to understand your needs and draw a plan anyway, but it’s good to have some goals in mind, such as shortening the dispatch time or becoming able to combine data from different sources. Or maybe it would change the way your employees work, their schedules? Try to predict also the negative changes, like an extended adjustment period.
6. What type of software do I need?
Just so you know, the most commonly commissioned types of software are: word processing programs, billing & accounting software, payroll applications, database software, desktop publishing apps, and software for asset management. It’s okay if you can’t just pigeonhole what you need, but it’s going to be easier if you can at least determine the general direction and give your software house some references.
7. Do I have time and money?
Oh yes, perhaps the most important question. Tailor-made software isn’t as cheap as subscribing to a popular online service. At least at first. In the long run, you’ll see it’s a great investment that makes you independent of any external factors. Surprise changes to functionalities? An increase in the monthly fee? Or maybe lagging behind the competition? You can prevent it entirely.
However, the time factor also comes into play. It can take weeks, or even months before your software is ready for implementation. We’ll make sure to make the wait as short as possible, and deliver the MVP – Minimum Viable Product – so you can use it and develop it in the right direction.
Bespoke development creates opportunities worth at least considering.
Every time you consider purchasing off-the-shelf software, it’s a great moment to weigh it against custom software development services. Every widely available product is created with a wide user base in mind and tries to answer as many needs as possible. In as a universal way as possible. This makes it good enough, but at the same time imperfect for any specific user.
Thus, think about the big picture. About the difficulties, you will undoubtedly face with off-the-shelf solutions. About long-term implications. Choosing the right software is the key to speeding up, reducing the number of mistakes, and making the life of your employees much, much easier.
At fireup.pro we work with you to recognize, understand, and help you achieve your objectives. We create a feedback loop that enables us to improve quickly and effectively. We’re concerned about both the customer and employee sides of the applications you implement. For us, it’s the only way anyone can be successful in business.