You’ve identified a challenge, and now you’re looking for a solution. Weighing your options, you consider custom software and think this might be the answer. While there may be many daunting questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge, investing in custom software doesn’t have to be scary. Below is a list of questions that we often ask prospects before diving into a new custom software development project.
1. Would an off-the-shelf option fit your needs?
There are countless off-the-shelf options that do a great job addressing many specific needs. For instance, we wouldn’t advise you to reinvent Quickbooks or Microsoft Excel. In some cases, we may think off-the-shelf is the better option and will help our clients find a solution that best fits their needs. Many companies, however, not only have their own unique differences, but in fact strive to be different than other companies – it’s part of what sets them apart. This is where seeing the benefit of having a custom software solution tailored to fit the uniqueness of your organization really stands out.
2. Will you have the same needs in the future?
Business challenges are dynamic and constantly evolving, careful planning is needed to identify how your needs will change and how the software you choose will be used in the future. Will you have 5 users at launch, but plan to have 5,000 users in 3 years? Do you have a base plan now, but want room for expansions in the future? We build all of our software starting with the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. From there, scaling is a simple next step and allows all of our clients the freedom to expand however they choose and create a strategy for the future.
3. How will this software create value for your clients or organization?
In many cases, our clients have seen the ROI from a custom software system within a year of completion. It’s the mission of many stakeholders to continually increase their value proposition to keep their organization in competitive positioning. Will you be able to eliminate slower processes that previously encumbered your clients or cut current overhead expenses? Uncovering this new value is why we do what we do – create smart, secure, scalable software.
4. How willing are you to be involved in development?
Custom software development in its very nature is a team effort, requiring time from developers and the client alike. What separates custom software from off-the-shelf options is it’s ability to be tailored to exactly what the client needs. Many custom software companies have adapted to the agile or iterative method. In a nutshell, this methodology is where the development team and client meet every two weeks to review the completion of a set of features previously agreed upon and confirm it’s meeting the client’s expectations. This way we can deliver a software platform that is exactly what the clients wants. For more information on our methodology, click here.
5. What is your timeline?
Do you need your solution today, or are you willing to invest a couple of months in development time? Between architecting, coding and testing, custom software development can take time. However, between onboarding, training and conversions, off-the-shelf options take time as well. We believe it’s worth taking the time to build a quality solution that thoroughly addresses your organization’s needs and maybe even a few wants (something you may not need but would sure make your job a little easier!). Plus, the time spent during the development process is time that you learn how to use the software and are ready to hit the ground running at completion of your product.
If you have questions about building a custom software solution for your organization, we’d love to talk. We geek out over scoping new solutions and always quote for free.