Checklist to evaluate if you are looking to develop custom software - Coffee with CIS - Latest News & Articles

Checklist to evaluate if you are looking to develop custom software

It is quite an established fact that the demand for business software solutions has increasingly become high.

If you are currently running any business, you must require a software system in order to improvise the productivity, decreasing the costs, and also increasing the process efficiencies and streamlining them. So, your business might essentially need custom software. In order to do so, you need to hire a custom software development company that understands your requirements and correspondingly develops robust custom software.

 Also, running any business consists of a multitude of aspects such as operations, customer relations, and support, supply chain, analytics and administration. Without the assistance of a technology to deal with all these aspects can certainly lead to gross mismanagement. Also, as your competitors are in a similar niche or domain make the decision to micromanage all of these particular aspects with a given technology, using custom software, then it certainly means that they have obtained a competitive edge which you should have too. For this, you have to take the assistance of software development partners to develop necessary custom software for your business.

Mostly, people are in certain dilemma of whether to purchase a ready-made off-the-shelf software or choose for custom software. One can easily choose ready-made software if you think that it completely fits your business requirements. Moreover, the cost incurred in such software is significantly less. But with such software, the business scalability, as well as its flexibility, comes under question. Even streamlined integration of such software with different other enterprise system requires additional development. As many businesses are using the same particular software in your own niche, then you certainly won’t have any sort of competitive advantage, whatsoever. 

So, let’s first check if you need to develop custom software and what situations demand it.

1. Over-the-top Complicated Manual Processes and Paperwork resulting in Decreased Efficiency

One of the essential objectives of any business is to increase its revenue significantly. Even the chances of easily increasing and achieving higher revenue certainly increase by multiple times whenever there is improved and higher business productivity. But, in most cases, the employees are struggling as well as pretty overwhelmed with a huge amount of manual work. Most of the time, they are busy collating and entering data into different spreadsheets that often result in more amount of time spent in completing the work and in turn, increases human error by a significant margin.

In this case, customer software developed according to your business requirements is certainly a best-suite solution. Also, collaboration software can easily provide you with a great environment for all employees with given permission to seamlessly plan and execute various workflows and also easily communicate along with wider access to them at any time, right from any particular place.

For instance, a real estate company can develop a custom software where the backend mobile app and software are built to massively inculcate automation of indoor as well as outdoor field inspections, even reducing the manual errors and finally bring down the entire delivery time in drastic proportion without actually compromising the quality as well as improving the reliability and efficiency of the process. 

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2. Sorting Recurring Problems of Daily Operations

One of the most common problems of startups and small businesses is recurring problems associated with daily operations. Generally, they often tend to manage more than a few clients at one time, just by themselves. This means an organization of email addresses as well as contact information, email sending, similar tasks assignment, sending vital notifications, scheduling meetings, developing invoices, etc. every day, all the time. So, an investment duly made in custom software certainly allows these businesses to automate all of the regular tasks often repeated multiple times, automatically, without any sort of hassles. They can also scale their own business in an error-free way. It even assists the businesses and their teams to achieve much better visibility as well as improvised business insights along with scalability, which is highly required. Hence, software and website development services should consider this aspect during custom software development.

3. Manual Data Tracking and Analysis

A lot of businesses spend the majority of time in data collection, monitoring along with analysis as well as reporting. However, most of such work is actually done on spreadsheets. Moreover, all the businesses run on spreadsheets. Also, it takes a huge amount of time just to enter the data manually, and it certainly takes much more time in maintaining it. Even it doesn’t even provide any sort of information immediately and swiftly, and we can’t say anything positive when it comes to analytics.

However, custom software is a perfect one-stop solution for all of these issues which have analytics that is integrated inbuilt. It allows a business to monitor all the necessary and essential metrics along with key performance indicators simply at one particular place and share certain specific details concerning the business with the members of the team and hence keep the confidentiality too.

Custom software with an inbuilt analytics tool, for instance, can easily collate the data of various link visits made all over the world. It can easily be collected as well as various decision-makers can easily gain valuable insights and even take informed actions backed by the provided data. So, you need a CMS development company to provide you with a similar solution that analyses the entire data. Even, the implementation of the latest technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, etc. assists in gaining insights from a huge volume of data. Also, a custom software which has these technologies embedded in it can certainly reduce the overall decision overload on the owners of the business and decision-makers and offer them valuable information along with precious insights that can easily improve their own decision making as well as allow them to address the main pain points of the customers and employees through the data gathered.

4. Hurdles in reaching out to customers and their management

In any business, customer relationships are highly important. However, in recent years, it certainly seems like that the businesses can’t even easily keep up with their own customer base which leads to a large number of customer complaints along with numerous escalation mail along with poor customer response in different companies surveys. It essentially means that it is time for a major technological switch and almost immediately.

If you have problems with keeping up with various social media channels where your customers are present at, then, in that case, a custom software can effectively and efficiently manage entire customer information as well as their project flow information and even team responsible for the project and even maintain consistent collaboration among clients and people which are involved in the project. Also, it can integrate email with customer support along with social media management tools that easily allow the businesses to look for the relevant information at a crisis moment. The best web development company should provide the necessary tools for the business to access this information.

5. Business Expansion

Growth, as well as expansion, constantly are always the priority for any business owner, right from starting the business. If your business is expanding on a consistent basis in terms of customers, employees, location, etc., you will certainly need process management software in place. Such software will help in the management of workflow that can be changed easily. It even helps in the integration of all the information that is accessible at all locations which allow the teams to easily work with the business customers along with other teams around the globe, irrespective of location and without any constraint, which yields increased efficiency and also saves costs. 

Now, once you have evaluated if your business requires custom software, its checklist on how to proceed with the development of custom software, let's move further.

Introduction of Custom Software Product Development

Talking of custom software development, most processes consist of different parts other than simply developing the software itself. When it comes to coding, it is simply a minute segment of development, so is the release of the custom software product. Also, administrative tasks, brainstorming, testing, etc. combinedly overtake the actual amount of total time spend on the design, development, and coding of the custom software product. 

In reality, the process of software development is multi-faceted. Most of the projects often differ in terms of complexity as well as size, but all of them certainly go through similar types of stages. 

It consists of the design of particular software for the typical end-user, or a specific group or an organization. Also, it isn’t packaged for reselling purposes. Often times, custom software is designed to address the specific requirements of a particular organization rather than more conventional and prevalent off-the-shelf software. Also, custom software is often developed by a custom software development company or a dedicated team of software developers of the business itself. 

Now, once you have understood the importance of custom software development, it is quite essential to know the different steps that you ought to take before pursuing it. The main steps are mentioned below:

Step 1 – Determining Company Goals

Among the essential questions, you need to ask whenever you are considering a custom development project is what is the purpose of the software which it has to accomplish for your company. 

  1. You need to ask whether it will expand the company’s productivity without hiring any new employee.
  2. You need to ask whether it will reduce or even eliminate errors in the different business processes through the implementation of automation.
  3. You need to ask whether it will streamline the entire business processes by getting rid of all the inefficiencies present in the company.
  4. You need to ask whether it will increase the entire sales figure or provide improvised customer relationships and satisfaction.

Before moving to the next step, you need to identify the top key priorities for the project first as well as the various metrics and KPIs which you would like to measure in order to determine the success of the entire project through achieving them.

Step 2- Mapping Different Business Processes

During the mapping of the business process, the key trick is to keep all the key players completely involved while avoiding crowding of the team. Also, you have to speak to relevant employees who know the business’s daily operations along with the pain points that your employees are actually facing.

By means of listening to varieties of issues along with suggestions, you will be able to propose a different solution such as custom integrations coupled with reports that can make the company employees better informed and increase their productivity. However, if you fail to understand the needs of the company, then it will certainly result in a particular custom software which isn’t actually useful to any of the company person.

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Step 3- Establishing Key and Additional Features

Although you can have numerous features in custom software, that doesn’t essentially mean that you have each one of them to be included in the custom software development project. Also, in case you have a distant vision of software, then still you have to remain realistic and also prioritize the features according to an actual value which those features bring to the company, irrespective of the fact whether they are customer-facing or simply internal.

The key features are those which directly benefit your company. For instance, the total reduction of errors along with improved output as well as cost savings is some of these key features. The additional features are ones that are desirable to you but are understandably optional, such as improved reporting features, aesthetically attractive user interface and much more.

Step 4- Reserve Space for Various Business-Specific Features

As you know your business better than any other person, so you have to consider the different industry laws along with regulations that you have to deal with. Custom software development company that you hire may be familiar with some of these particular standards and may have actually worked with separate businesses in your own industry, but they won’t certainly know the exact specific requirements as well as rules better than you. So, it is imperative that you let the development company know about all of these rules and regulations at the earliest. 

Also, various industry rules and regulations are designed to ensure that software that you use should be entirely updated and must be free from any type of security vulnerabilities. So, the development company has to perform a regular security check of the custom software at least once a year. Nowadays, hackers are becoming highly intrusive and capable, and you need to make sure that the security of the software to be breach-proof. Else, you risk losing a significant part of your valuable business along with precious customer data that can certainly be quite disastrous to the company.

Step 5- Finalize a Fixed Budget

One of the key aspects of custom software development is that it can fit all budgets and provide software of all sizes. Even the entire project scale, as well as the addition of various custom features such as integrations and reporting, can play a crucial role in the final price figure. So, before you decide on custom software development, and start taking quotes from software development services, you should create an estimate of the project budget. This will help the development company to understand what you are actually expecting from the money you are willing to pay. It will also allow you to easily introduce the key features and provide you with a manoeuvring space to add additional features in case the budget allows it. Also, it helps in deciding the most critical features since the cost of development often leads to the prioritization of required features that need to be developed. 

Conclusion

The most essential rule of any technology used in a particular business is certainly that complete automation is applied to an effective operation that will often lead to the magnification of efficiency. Even when the automation is applied to an inefficient operation will also lead to the magnification of inefficiency. 

Hence, custom software development for any business is quite a major step as it will certainly integrate all the major aspects and key characteristics of the functioning of any company. It also plays a crucial role in the company’s operations along with its success. It can easily boost productivity, increase efficiency and even increase revenues. 

So, if you follow the above-mentioned process and checklists, then you can easily know the requirement of your business for a technological boost. On the basis of due diligence, take a leap of faith, and ensure that you entirely understand the complete processes that you are considering to automate. After evaluating all the processes, make a list of company objectives, determine the requirements and hire any of the best software development partners that will help you to create your own custom software. It can provide you great ROI in terms of time-saving, risk reduction, cost-effectiveness through structured, scalable and extensively detailed custom software.