Today's businesses are becoming more and more competitive. With advances in technology, IT services are becoming less of an outside field and more of a necessity within each organization. The majority of businesses are finding pre-packaged software just isn't cutting it and they are seeking to expand the use of custom made software to save time and money and to take their businesses into a higher level of production than ever before. Why is this becoming the biggest trend in business development and what can custom software do to advance businesses? The benefits are many.
Why Pre-Packaged Software Hinders Business
Once pre-packaged software became readily available, business owners saw it as a less expensive, or commoditized way, to provide their employees with software that helps with data entry tasks, completes many regularly-performed activities and reduces time-consuming processes.
This functionality came with some disadvantages, however. These pre-packaged programs, being created to accommodate many different businesses, came with a lot of extra features that were useless to many users. In addition, each new software required unique training that required time away from business activities. In the end, the pre-packaged programs ended up costing money that was, in essence, wasted.
In addition to providing functions that were unnecessary, many of these pre-made programs came with limitations on number of users. This worked fine for smaller businesses, but often added up to a sizeable expenditure for larger corporations who needed to buy several copies to provide everyone in the organization access to the functions that were needed.
Updates became another source of expense. As the business grew, the need for more functions increased. This required buying additional software that, again, provided things that were unnecessary for this particular business. The decision-makers who consider pre-packaged software a money-saving solution started to realize that custom-made software was more practical, and actually less expensive in the long run.
Advantages of Custom-Created Software
Your business is unique. Even if there are a hundred others who are considered to be in the same business, none of them have the same needs, specialties or daily tasks. Think of two Accounting firms. While both work with financial documents, one may have more need for payroll software and the other spends more time on taxes. In addition, one may have only on-site employees and the other may have offices located throughout the country and overseas and employees who work from home. Two Accounting firms, but completely different needs. This leads to the first advantage of custom-created software.
*One of a Kind - The IT team analyzes your business needs. It takes into account what tasks are most performed and how they can be done quicker. The software is created to not only do exactly what needs to be done, but is also created to work the same way over every device used by employees. A person accessing the software from his desktop will be able to perform the same task exactly as the employee accessing the program from a tablet at home. The program will do only what it is intended to do. As it is being developed, feedback allows the developers to make changes that are necessary, work out any bugs and account for the various ways in which the software will be accessed. As the feedback comes from those who will be using the software, that leads to the second advantage.
*Easy to Learn - Employees already know what needs done by the software. They have helped develop the program by providing input on the use, how it should perform, and how to make it easier. By the time the software is ready to be used, most employees will already know how to use it. This eliminates the need for extra time to train them on new methods of doing a regular task and makes it easy to integrate any future updates without difficulty. This leads to the third advantage.
*Updates are Easy - As your business grows, the software can easily grow with you. Adding function or increasing capacity can be achieved by minor changes in coding. The entire program does not have to be rewritten, simply added to or changed slightly. This allows for quick, inexpensive updates that allow your business to continue to grow to its full potential. Not only can the software continue to grow with your company, it can provide greater security, which is the fourth advantage.
*Security is Enhanced - A software that is pre-packaged and utilized by many organizations has the disadvantage of being exposed to individuals who may want to do damage, steal personal information or simply cause problems. If you are the only one using a software program, it reduces the risk of outsiders gaining access to the software and any sensitive information it contains. Security measures can be built in that can make information accessible to only a few select individuals. This greatly increases security and insures sensitive information is not accessible by anyone outside your business.
A Team Player
One of the most frustrating things about pre-packaged software is that it does not always work well with the other system programs you are using. This is eliminated with custom-created programs.
These programs are created to seamlessly integrate with the current system your company is using. As bugs are being worked out, coding can be changed to make sure the new software has no compatibility issues. This eliminates frustration and makes the software truly productive.
In order to get an edge over the competition in this ever-changing technology-based world, custom-created software is a necessity. It saves time, money and frustration. In addition, it allow your employees the freedom to spend their time on activities that help advance your business by allowing them to fine-tune the activities that are taking up too much time and energy. As your business expands, the software will readily grow with it, giving you the opportunity to soar to heights never before conceivable with software that must be worked around rather than worked with. Software should be an extension of your business, taking the role of another employee, rather than a competitor. With custom made software, it is like getting several new employees for the mere cost of a software program.