Nowadays, given the advancements of the IT sphere, custom software is one of the main moving forces for almost any business niche. Such software can add the necessary level of automation to all your business operations, which will allow you to horizontally scale your business very quickly and efficiently with minimal involvement of new budget. Below we will talk about moving your business forward with the introduction of custom software solutions.
Custom software development services tend to be quite expensive, since pricing is influenced by the presence of features unique for a particular type of business. On the other hand, custom software creates a solid foundation for your business and contributes to its further development.
As to how fast the price will pay off, it depends. For example, it’s one thing if your software is aimed to help in the production of your product or in the implementation of the supply chain. In this situation, you can count on the solution to pay off quickly (for example, you will immediately notice the benefits of optimizing product delivery routes, i.e. reducing fuel costs and reducing the number of hours for employees of the shipping department). It is quite another thing when you plan to create something like a CRM. In this case, the increase in the profit will become noticeable no sooner than a couple of months after software implementation, because customers tend to respond slowly to improvements in the quality of service.
Optimization of Existing and Introduction of New Business Processes: The Role of Custom Software Development
So, how can custom software bring innovation to your business processes? First of all, it has to meet a number of unspoken requirements, which we will discuss below.
Remember that it is difficult to find a niche with no competitors; therefore, always focus on the quality of your service. One way or another, your future software should take care of the most important task for any kind of business: providing high quality service. Think about how the transition from manual to automated work can improve the interaction with your customers. Perhaps you will add only a couple of additional features, but it will have a positive effect on customer satisfaction. For example, if we are talking about a CRM for an online store, even such an easy-to-implement feature as tracking the viewed products and generating an individual discount offer will increase the sum of the average order.
Create two versions of your software: desktop and mobile. Nowadays, business is growing ever tougher, and sometimes every minute counts. In order for all your employees to stay in touch even when they are out of the office, be sure to provide a mobile version of your product. This will ensure the continuity and synchronization of business processes.
Aim for versatile software. Pay special attention to how customizable this specific software is going to be. Due to the constantly changing demands and trends of the market, it is very difficult to foresee all the functions that your business software needs to have. On the other hand, if you insist on a modular architecture, adding a number of new features won’t be difficult for developers, and you, in turn, will minimize your expenses.
Use modern development technologies. One of the main reasons for developing custom software is the need to implement very specific features. For this purpose, you will most likely need the most advanced technology: from cloud computing and blockchain to artificial intelligence. Just remember that this approach requires a certain skill level from the members of the development team.
Think ahead: create a scalable product right from the start. As your business expands, you will have to improve your software. Think about it at the very beginning and immediately choose an architecture that is suitable for both horizontal and vertical scaling. Yes, it is possible that the initial development costs will increase somewhat, but in the future you will feel the benefits of this solution.
Aim for end-to-end automation of business processes. When implementing custom software, don’t stop at automating one of your company’s business processes: focus on comprehensive, end-to-end automation. This will help your company to form an image of the leader in your business niche (for example, introducing the blockchain into custom solutions for supply chains of products is more about the quality of the products themselves than about accelerating their delivery to the end user).
Do not underestimate the importance of security. Since your software is likely to operate corporate information, it is very important to take care of the proper security level in a timely manner. We are talking not only about using the most advanced security protocols, but also about dividing access rights. As practice shows, employees of the customer care department do not need to know how things are going in the accounting department and vice versa. This will reduce the risks of industrial espionage.
Remember that the created software should be easy to manage and configure. Since it is highly probable that your staff will be expanding, it is very important that even a person with very basic PC skills can figure out your software. Therefore, pay special attention to usability testing – otherwise, your software solution will bring more problems and losses than business benefits.
Provide integration with third-party solutions. The most convenient and secure way to connect third-party web services is through an API. Therefore, instead of asking the development team to rework the ready solution in the future, we recommend immediately taking care of integration with third-party software.
Choose reliable developers. In the development of custom software, it is very important to not only find experienced and highly skilled developers, but also to make sure that they will be ready to cooperate with you for years. It is for this reason that getting involved with freelancers is not preferable, even though they can offer you very attractive rates. It is better to entrust the implementation of your project to a dedicated – in this case, you will not have to worry about being left without technical support one day.
Despite the fact that you will have to invest quite a bit for the sake of the future automation of your business, the right approach to developing custom software will make it possible to speed up business processes in the long run, reduce the risk of errors, and fundamentally improve the quality of service for your customers. The only trick here is to choose the right development team. In the case of custom software development, their focus on long-term cooperation is more important than ever.