Does Your Business Need Custom Software?
Posted by Buffy the Bison | July 16, 2020
These days, it seems as though everyone is having custom software developed for their company, but do you actually need it?
Many companies are already taking advantage of the benefits (not needing to pay for expensive licencing fees) and efficiencies (software perfectly suited to their processes) gained from bespoke software.
But, while enjoying these outcomes seems ideal, it’s the process with which your organization arrives at determining whether or not custom software is for you, that really matters.
To help streamline the decision process, we’ve come up with four critical questions you should ask yourself and your team in an effort to help determine if your company could benefit from a custom software solution.
Let’s take a look.
Do you need a tailored solution?
If you happen to be a small business or start up, an off-the-shelf software product might be the most efficient and effective way to get your business up and running. However, it’s also important to remember that no two businesses are alike and company size should not dictate your software.
For example, a small accounting firm might not need a custom accounting package, but it could be very helpful to have all their data automatically transformed into a monthly report – possibly something that they were already doing manually.
Essentially, custom software is not necessarily synonymous with complex software.
Do you plan on scaling?
Many businesses begin with a dream to grow into something more. If that happens to be your vision as well, will your software be able to follow suit?
Regardless of whether you choose an off-the-shelf solution or you go the tailor-made route, you need to be cognizant of what your business objectives are, as well as where you and your team are headed.
Even though developing a custom solution might seem like a slightly more daunting path, especially for a brand new business, having the growth of your business limited by software can be a far more bitter pill to swallow down the line.
What is your budget?
Like briefly mentioned above, an off-the-shelf software can come with rolling costs such as the software license, or even additional hardware to ensure the software’s effectiveness.
Although many businesses intelligently bake in these costs as factors that contribute to their ultimate decision, many one-off experiences and obstacles will arise. These seemingly random roadblocks can potentially snowball, leading to a much larger bill than initially expected.
For some companies, the ability to design and develop a custom solution for their business is truly the perfect answer. They save money in the long-term, and get a product which is designed with them in mind.
How important is independence to your team?
Purchasing an off-the-shelf solution can mean your company is dependent on the software designers/developers behind the software. Are you and your team okay with being tethered to someone else’s timeframe, priorities, and skill sets?
Of course, it’s hard for a business to identify where and when custom software is necessary, and whether it’s an appropriate solution. Our rule of thumb is that when you find yourself either slowed down by the existing software you use, or when you have to bend your workflow to fit into what off-the-shelf software does, then it’s time to consider creating software that fits your specific needs.
Here at Primitive, we love helping clients work out where custom software can fit into their business, and how it can improve their work.
The best part is that you don’t even need to replace everything in one go. Often you can start with just one small area to improve and take it from there. This is a great way to see if custom software is right for you, and without consuming too much of, or even going over, your company’s budget.
If this sounds like something of interest to you, contact us today and we can work together on improving your unique business goals.