Off-the-shelf software works great for tons of businesses, especially for those that are just starting up. Problem is, once a business grows, fundamental changes inevitably take place in the way the business does work. Not to mention, during this growth anything could happen from an irreplaceable employee walking out the door all the way to your off-the-shelf software subscription requirement being doubled.
If you haven’t taken a look around you recently, we recommend you ask yourself these questions:
- Are there changes to processes that need to be made now or in the foreseeable future?
- Are there processes that can be speed up with automation or by replacing outdated applications?
- Are there any processes that would be upgraded with increased flexibility?
- Are there departments that can be interconnected through an added capability?
- Is there any money being wasted on personnel to perform the same operations across offices?
- Am I creating a competitive advantage with smarter processes or am I doing the minimum?
- Am duck taping off-the-shelf software with some custom programming to make the software work?
If you answered “maybe” or “yes” to one or more of these, it’s time to start a conversation with professional developer. Because custom software applications can take a few months at a minimum to fully roll out create, starting this conversation sooner rather than later is highly advised.
If you want to dive deeper into whether or not your software is actually doing the job, the ncda provides this in-depth checklist to check out to either go through or just get ideas from.
What can custom software actually do though?
Developing new software is not limited to simply answering one of the questions listed above. Bringing a custom software application on board leads to added benefits that most people don’t consider like having a standardized platform to work on that is shared between all locations.
Custom software provides things that are way beyond the scope of what off-the-shelf software was created to provide, like extra security, database flexibility, or graphical capabilities. Because these different capabilities can be combined in a custom software, eliminating the need for multiple licenses and saving money in the long-run.
Using your current staff is made much more efficient with added capabilities and faster processes as all the confusion regarding who needs to do what with which program is removed. Having a single platform also removes the concern managers have about losing the one employee who know how to use a program more effectively than everyone else, and thus losing that capability as a business overall.
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