Does your business need to invest in custom software

By in Creating Assets, September 26th, 2018

Firstly, we always recommend any new business to work with off-the-shelf software before spending any money on custom software. If you are starting a new business, we are happy to consult with you to set up a solution that will get you set up, with minimal costs, so that you can decide whether the market you are aiming for exists, identify problems you have had with an off-the-shelf product and work with you to create a solution that increases efficiency, removes friction and is scalable with your growing business.

We do this because we have heard too many stories of people investing hundreds of thousands of dollars building new websites and software, that simply did not deliver any return on investment. Creating custom built software is not the key to a successful business. If you think your business needs custom software to be successful, you should consider being a software startup and hire accordingly.

In the majority of digital businesses, efficiency and profitability go hand-in-hand. The quick and correct performance of repetitive tasks, can make all the difference between breaking even and clearing a profit. Fine-tuning a business to eliminate inefficiency is a constant goal and should be done by reinvesting profits into the business. For some businesses, this can mean ditching off-the-shelf software in favour of creating custom software, either as a modification of existing software or something completely new, built for your exact needs.

When to explore a Custom Software solution

But what criteria determine when a customised versus an off-the-shelf solution, is the right choice for your business? If you find yourself asking the following questions about your business, it may be a sign to start looking into the possibility of custom software.

  • Am I currently using off-the-shelf software with some amount of custom programming to make it work for my business?
  • Am I using multiple pieces of software or data points to accomplish single tasks?
  • Am I doing repetitive tasks manually and have processes that should be simple, but are not?
  • Am I creating manual workarounds or using lots of unnecessary paper?
  • Am I required to meet compliance standards and retain key information?
  • Am I finding it difficult to train new users or have a poor adoption rate?
  • Am I looking for flexibility in a process that is scalable?
  • Am I looking for a unique or new competitive edge for my business?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these, you owe it to your business to talk to professionals about developing custom software.

What to look for when getting custom software

You want to look for a company with experienced and skilled developers. Working with unqualified, or under qualified programmers may be cheaper but can cause headaches later on. The Uber app was originally built in Spanish and future developers had to translate it back to English to work on it.

You need programmers who understand the importance of the back end functionality, and not just what works on the front end of an application looks and feels like. Further, look for a company that develops in a methodical manner.

  • A company should assign a project manager to meet with you and completely define the scope of the project.
  • From definition comes the design. The design should be unique to your business needs and goals.
  • Development should include best practices and milestone reports.
  • Quality assurance testing should be conducted to assure bug-free software.
  • At deployment, affected employees should receive training on the new software. The application should be monitored to make sure it is working properly in the new environment.
  • Help Desk Support should be offered as an ongoing option for the new application.

Ask questions when you meet with potential custom software development companies to determine who will best design to your needs. True professionals will welcome your questions and will work with you on a solution that fits your business objectives. Taking time to define your project is integral to the outcome of the finished application and programmers should only work to your specifications.

To ensure that you get a quality, functional application, the team you work with should sit down and discuss how your business currently runs and not try to sell you a one-size fits all solution.

Here at MyNext we have years of experience creating a range of custom software and have been working with people just like you, with defined business goals to create the perfect solution. Feel free to contact us if you want anymore information or think we may be the team to work with you.

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About the Author

Josh Tucker

Josh Tucker

I am a software engineer and digital engagement strategist, focusing on automation and boutique builds for clients that no longer need off the shelf solutions. Having spent more than 15 years developing numerous websites/platforms, integrations and audiences for a range of clients in the local and international markets, I can combine development skills with extensive digital marketing and engagement experience, providing an overall digital strategy that can be executed efficiently and cost effectively.
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