The Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Custom Development
Over the years, we have seen shifts in the technology world that have kept industries on their toes. More and more businesses are embracing the practice of storing data in the cloud, properly allocating the update of software and systems into annual budgets – a sign in itself that they recognize how important maintaining more relevant resources can be – and educating employees on newer and better ways to accomplish the same old tasks.
With all of this change, it can be easy for companies to become overwhelmed and assume that the technology they are investing in is, in fact, the end-all. That is, it will be a one-size solution that fits every need, every team, and every project. The reality is…well, that this is not the reality. While the software you employ may help with one part of what you need, you are likely to find that it does not offer support for another. Even worse – you may find that it does address your needs, but it cannot be used alongside your existing applications and infrastructure.
This is where targeted, or custom, software development comes in. Custom development allows companies to get exactly what they need the first time around. This service is uniquely designed to address business needs for workflows, infrastructure, and integration that many off-the-shelf applications fail to do.
Let’s explore a few advantages – and yes, even disadvantages – of introducing custom development services to everyday business operations.
1. Get the Perfect Fit
Easily the most important benefit of custom development lies in the word custom. Prior to any code being written, you decide what it is you need.
What does this application need to do? What workflows will it address? Will this completely replace a business process or simply supplement it?
The use cases for which this solution will be created can be addressed in totality rather than having to find software that only handles a selection.
While the service developing the software has the power to make it look and perform the way you want, you have the power to define the rules. That is not a perk most companies get from everyday off-the-shelf solutions.
2. Expertise Without the Price Tag
Whether your company is interested in a single custom application or a whole team of them, the process of developing and maintaining an application can be challenging. From the start, the person or group constructing it must have the expertise in the programming language, system, and/or platform on which this will be developed. Once it has been rolled out across an organization, it must still be maintained, any bugs or discrepancies addressed, and regularly checked to ensure it is compatible as integrated applications and operating systems are updated.
In light of this, it is not feasible for most companies to hire dedicated staff for this purpose. The level of expertise and the wealth of the knowledge-base required can become costly quickly. Custom development services can help your team get the solutions you need, minimizing operating costs and allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business – like coming up with your next big idea.
3. Gain A New Perspective
Being able to see a problem with fresh eyes is an asset in itself. When working with off-the-shelf software that just does not fit, it is easy for us to see what needs to be changed. Unfortunately, these realizations often come with inherent biases or grudges that could drag down the overall vision of what will work best long-term. They often come with their own hurdles when you are able to recognize what is wrong but are lost when it comes to how to fix it.
By outsourcing development, these trivial details can be re-evaluated to gain a fresh look at what your business is trying to accomplish, the tools you need to get you there, and the ways you can realize these ambitions.
4. Protect Business Practices in Flux
Even though this may be one of the most overlooked advantages to custom development, it does not slight its importance. The nature of business is that employees will come and go, whether they are simply changing roles within the company or continuing their career elsewhere. This process involves a period of knowledge transfer where those filling these roles must become accustomed to – and then skilled at – the workflows that exist as part of this job. By promoting software targeted to handle these processes, passing the baton becomes easier for all involved.
5. Encourage Reflection on Other Business Needs
We promised a disadvantage of custom development, and this is as close as we will get. The efficiency and success that comes from solutions customized to address a particular business need help to spark further reflection in companies.
What other processes can we improve? Are there other ways to integrate these solutions for bigger impact? Where is our company due for a change?
Developing an application that frees up time and resources will leave you wanting to find new ways to apply this across the board. When ensuring your operation is running smoothly, this trek into identifying ways to improve productivity is a problem worth having.
Discover the ways Integrated Informatics Inc can assist your team by developing one-of-a-kind desktop and mobile applications and much more by exploring the Services and Solutions our teams provide across the United States and Canada.