Why should you consider custom software?
Custom software offers the potential of significant business advantages. Custom solutions may:
- Exploit opportunities and solve problems in order to gain a competitive advantage
- Integrate disparate software and/or databases to leverage your current investment and knowledge
- Add value to your business and build customer loyalty
- Incorporate industry-specific practices, requirements, and compliance not addressed in off-the-shelf products
- Take advantage of new technologies
- Make critical data available to remote users
- Reduce costs and eliminate errors by incorporating data interchange with CAD, scheduling applications, industrial machinery, and data collection devices
- Expand your business capabilities to support e-commerce and other network-based opportunities
Your decision to use custom software is an important decision that deserves careful consideration. Software development is seldom a simple task and normally requires some ongoing maintenance and support. Changing needs and technologies often mean unanticipated changes. All of these factors carry with them a level of responsibility that you do not need to consider when using off-the-shelf software. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you balance the costs and benefits of custom solutions against those of packaged software before undertaking to build your own. However, if no commercial software addresses your situation, custom software probably makes sense for you.
Success in developing custom software requires a disciplined approach. Experience has shown the following approach to be effect in achieving the desired results:
- Initial feasibility consultation to determine the viability of the proposed project
- Analysis of needs and the current situation in order to develop requirements and identify the best technologies unforeseen opportunities
- Draft specifications for the proposed solution
- Develop conceptual models to demonstrate and evaluate proposed solutions, user interface, and usability
- Draft detailed project specifications and schedule
- Develop the specified database and software, providing working releases at regular intervals in order for you to evaluate the product and to measure progress against the schedule. Experience shows that iterative development and review is invaluable for testing concepts and functionality and is instrumental in revising product specifications early in the process in order to achieve the best results and control costs. Additionally, iterative development can enable you to realize benefits from the project before completion.
- Develop testing plan for the completed project. While testing is minimized by the iterative development process, it must not be overlooked
- Create help documents and software documentation as required
- Develop installation system
- Implementation and training
- Ongoing support, maintenance, enhancements, and integration
The next step
The next step is yours. Request a consultation now.