This call-out is very important to me as a business leader who has led several agile projects implementing applications for all sizes of businesses. It’s critical to continuously hammer home the need to have custom software that is tailor-made with your business processes in mind.
Doing business in today’s digital era does not come as easy as most business executives believe. Conversely, it is rather demanding – with the main focus now shifting toward making the customer happy at all costs. Today’s customers are constantly changing their requirements, thanks to the ever-increasing choice of similar services or products attracting their attention.
Your organisation will need a very flexible infrastructure to accommodate the continuous changes that come with digital business. Custom business applications are made to meet your business operations; fitting exactly into the various functionalities within the organisation.
An off-the-shelf solution might not be flexible enough to suit your unique requirements, as they are made with generalisation of your industry in mind. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having custom business solutions that you will be involved in developing.
- They are tailor-made
Altering your work procedure, especially in large organisations, can be a very big challenge. It can take years, sometimes, getting end-users to fully appreciate the new working tool. Why would you want to go through so much just to add new software to an already existing infrastructure?
With custom applications, you get to make the necessary inputs that result in the final solution. When I manage software developments, the team ensures there is continuous fine-tuning to accommodate changes the client would want.
For me as a project manager, having the client involved in the whole development process caters for some of my headaches after the final delivery. I don’t need to worry about major changes coming from the bank or shipping company when they begin to use the software. I have also observed that training is simpler with custom applications than it is with deploying packaged ones.
- Relatively Reduced Cost
When it comes to cost, different schools of thought come into play. Some believe that there are cheaper off-the-shelf products organisations can go for. From where I sit, the long-time consideration on cost is very critical. There are examples of situations wherein people have to keep changing software – sometimes thrice in a single year. This is because after buying the packaged application they realised it did not fit their needs.
Most custom applications can be built by some smart start-ups, which usually do not overprice in most cases. I have had clients who told me they had to abandon applications they purchased some few months earlier before contacting me. You don’t want to go through a similar experience this year. Talk to a software company and see what they can do for you, so you can save some money at the long run.
- Unique protection against external threats
From the very beginning, your IT team together with the software partner agrees on the kind of security features expected in the final product. Another thing is that since your selection of security features might not be common, as in the case of commonly used applications, you avoid being an easy target for hackers.
Your security strategy may have some specific definitions that will be unique to your company, and hard for hackers out there to penetrate.
- Nominal Difficulties to Deal With
The advantage of going through continuous testing during development is that problems after the final product deployed are drastically minimised. This is mainly because as an end-user you get to point out most of the difficulties during development.
The very design of custom applications is such that they fit your inter-department interactions where necessary, so process-flow does not become a difficulty when you begin to use it. Most of the problems arise when users suddenly realise that the new software is not user-friendly.
- Varied Requirements
You cannot rely on typecast applications which your competitors are also using to necessarily stand out. In situations where the solution allows for customer interactions, you are better off with a custom solution to distinct yourself from the competition.
- Easy access to support
Most companies have underestimated the essential part of deploying software – which is after-sale support. Companies are continuously dumping solutions that were once working fine until suddenly developing a problem. They are unable to get it fixed, and so must abandon it for a new one.
The normal practice for me is to involve the IT team from the onset of developing the custom application. As a project manager, this has been very helpful when it comes to supporting clients. I usually insist that the company’s IT team assigns some technical persons to be with us as we develop the software for them.
The technical person is trained to become the first line of support during an escalation of issues. Another thing is the company has the advantage of full access to the actual technical brains behind the software.
Contact me on 0269001151 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how we can develop custom software that fit your business needs.
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