News & Insights
Insights10th February 2020
Is Software Development a Good Fit for Your Business?
Every company is a software company
No matter what way you look at it, most companies these days are software companies. By this, we don’t mean they are software selling companies but that they are companies that benefit from some form of software integration.
Almost every company uses software systems to enhance a business process. It could be for customer service, payment transactions (such as PayPal or Stripe), document management (such as Office 365), accounting, messaging (such as Teams) or a CRM system. Software has become so ingrained in what we do, you mightn’t even have realised just how much you use.
Nowadays, companies that don’t use software are the outliers. So, the real question is why would an organisation choose to build its own software? In this article, we’ve outlined six common observations that would suggest that custom software development is a good fit for your business.
6 Ways Software Development is a Good Fit for Your Business
Your Company Has A Repeated Set of Tasks That You Execute On A Daily Basis.
Anywhere there is a repeated, consistent and predictable set of tasks within your company, there is scope for automation. Developing custom software in this case can drive efficiency and free up time for your employees to work on higher value tasks. Custom software development is required in this case as it is unlikely that you will find off-the-shelf solutions that are an exact fit for your individual business processes. At ActionPoint our advice is that business process automation should only be looked at for mature processes that have been running for an extended period of time, at a relatively stable state. You can learn more about how to approach BPA one step at a time here.
The Software You Are Currently Using Isn’t Designed for Scale.
Assuming that you are currently using some form of off-the-shelf solution, you might find that the software isn’t able to scale as your company expands. Oftentimes this can actually restrict your organisation’s ability to grow. When you have your own custom software, it is easily scalable as it’s specifically designed to fit your business. It might even be the case that you are using multiple products to accomplish the one thing. For example, you could be using sales, billing, shipping and customer support software. All of a sudden you are paying 4 license fees and jumping between products when you could create one custom solution that brings it all together.
You Have Two Existing Systems That You Want to Connect.
Following on from the last point, one relatively straightforward reason for requiring custom software is that you want to tie two existing solutions together. For example, you might have a CRM system and a shipping solution that you are pretty happy with. Developing custom software will allow the products to communicate with one another and work in a more harmonious way.
You Want Ownership.
We encourage all our clients not to look at software as costs but as tools that are increasing efficiency and thus impacting sales. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you are paying a licensing fee to the software provider. With custom software development, you own the product and the underlying code. This opens up opportunity to license it to other companies. In this way, the software solution becomes a tangible asset. Ownership also means that you aren’t opening yourself up to the hidden risks associated with off-the-shelf solutions.
The Software You Are Currently Using Is Too Old.
If the software you are currently using is outdated and coming to the end of its lifecycle, it might be time to upgrade. There could be security vulnerabilities or flaws that have developed over time. At time of writing, Microsoft has just announced that it is no longer supporting Windows 7. For many companies, this has led to a direct requirement to update complementary software systems. In cases where the software you are using is too old, you might consider application modernisation.
You Can’t Afford the Opportunity Cost of Not Developing Software.
For many, the realisation that custom software development is a good fit comes from simply understanding the opportunity cost of not doing it. Can your company afford to miss out on the ability to scale, improve employee effectiveness, strengthen internal processes or potentially become a software licenser? Is it really advisable to push forward with dated solutions or detached business processes?
Start Your Journey Today
At this point, you might think that custom software development might be a good fit for your company. If so, we encourage you to start your journey today by speaking with a member of our team. If you are still undecided on whether you want to choose off-the-shelf or custom software, why not check out David’s 6 Step Guide.