Different businesses need different software to function efficiently. There is already a variety of software available in the market, each made for different purposes and different domains. Today, we will talk about Customer Software Success in detail.
However, some enterprises have more complex needs and thus, software off the shelf just doesn’t cut it.
For enterprises like these, the software has to be custom made to fit their particular requirements. Custom software, also known as tailor-made software or bespoke software, is specially developed for a particular organization or user.
Unlike existing free software or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, customer software is designed to deal with specific problems about specific businesses.
Benefits Of A Custom Software
Custom software development can be the ultimate solution for complex problems that are specific to businesses. Let us look at some of the reasons why you should consider custom made software:
With custom software, businesses can focus on the main aspects of their products and release them much earlier. This will help them improve their business outcomes considerably.
Once the product is released, insights from customer feedback can be used to focus on other features that will improve the software.
This helps businesses steer clear of unnecessary expenses by implementing redundant features. Companies can further save their time, money, as well as effort by integrating the custom software into existing systems.
A custom software success can take a lot of time to develop especially if optimum development models are not used. To get quicker results, businesses should try to follow good development models such as Waterfall and Agile.
The waterfall is a great choice for small projects where there are not many changes needed. Though it is very easy to use, making changes in the software can be tedious and quite frustrating in the waterfall developmental model.
On the other hand, with the Agile model businesses can easily implement any changes according to user feedback, at any stage of the project development process.
This is done with the help of an MVP or a Minimum Viable Product which releases an initial product with just the core features.
It is important to assure that the technology which your software is built on does not become outdated in just a few years.
Businesses should choose a software functionality that will be developed, supported, and available in the future. This will prevent companies from spending hefty amounts on updating the software completely in the future.
For Custom Software Success, reliable suppliers must be chosen who will provide all the necessary maintenance and support from the technical development team who are already familiar with the product’s developmental process.
Enterprises should also keep a check on the coding used in their custom software as poor quality code will make the process of testing tiresome.
A low-quality code will result in difficulty for new developers to add new functionalities. Before signing any contracts, business owners should keep in mind about the code quality as well as ownership of the said code.
Retaining ownership of the source code will save the new vendor (if you ever decide to change vendors) from starting over the development process.
Maintenance periods should be fixed at the time of making contracts. This is because software, on an average, becomes obsolete and needs upgrading within 10 years.
The vendor you choose must be ready to give necessary maintenance and support once any situation like this arises.
There are some ways that you can cut costs in custom software development. The easiest way to reduce costs is to plan the project duration and maintain it.
Choosing an adept developmental model will result in meeting project milestones while keeping the project flow short.
Detecting and fixing bugs at the early stages of the software developmental process is more cost-effective than doing it after finishing everything.
Outsourcing software development companies that are located offshore, such as India, which usually have lower rates will reduce the total expenditure as well.
Successful Software Projects need a good amount of investment. With stakes this high, you have to consider all possible risks that might interfere with the software development process. An important one is the lack of a fixed budget.
Funds should always be reserved in case of unforeseen expenses. Moreover, teams should be allotted fixed budgets that they will adhere to from the beginning of the project.
There are also a few technical risks that should be taken into account. Such as, redistribution of developers for tasks that they are not familiar with. This usually leads to errors in the code and overall low quality.
Another vulnerability of your project is the competence of the team developing it. If the developing team as well as the team managers are not competent enough to understand your requirements then you will get either low-quality codes or results that are not up to the mark.
To avoid this, you must set some weekly or monthly goals and milestones to monitor and track if the team is competent enough to meet them.
There should also be a stable communication between you and the development team, especially if your vendor is outsourced from an offshore country.
Maintaining a stable connection can help in the transparency of the project. You can ask for more frequent reports and schedule meetings timely. Reports on the project progress will help you understand the team’s overall performance.
Businesses with unique needs which cannot be solved by off-the-shelf software benefits greatly with custom software.
Custom software will be made particularly for the company’s requirements making it a perfect fit for that environment.
With a custom software meeting all the demands, the work efficiency of the company will impressively improve giving it an advantage over other competitors in the market.
Easy To Implement Changes
Software models like Agile make implementing changes in the software very easy and efficient.
Businesses can effortlessly make improvements and changes to their custom software according to customer demands.
You can make changes at any stage of the developmental process without affecting the product.
You should choose a vendor that will readily give support after the initial setup.
The vendor must be ready to provide you with a team of technicians that will help you with all the changes that might be necessary after the original code has been made.
Having a trustworthy supplier will also help you when it is time to upgrade your software if it ever beams obsolete.
Custom software rightfully called tailor-made software as it ensures that companies can tailor the software to their requirements. Usually, businesses have several software having different functionalities working at once.
Maintaining and operating all of them at once is quite painstaking and thus a decrement in the overall efficiency of the company.
Bespoke software will include all the various complex functions of a company which is much easier to manage and operate.
With custom software particularly made for them, companies can carry out their operations smoothly and methodically.
Cyber attacks are a growing nuisance in today’s digital world. Black hat hackers are familiar with almost all kinds of software, knowing how to get in and steal users’ data and get out.
A custom made software puts a stop to that as only users from the company and the developers know how to operate the software.
As a result, it is more difficult for attackers to learn how to get into your system and hence impedes the chances of a cyberattack.
Endless Number of Users
Off-the-shelf software might work for small companies as they have a limited number of users.
However, bigger companies with hundreds of employees find it more difficult to operate with just a few software.
A custom-built software programmed to support an endless number of users without any complications.
Types of Custom Software
Businesses can use custom software for specific (or all) requirements. Tailored software is beneficial to companies of almost every domain.
Different companies integrate bespoke software into their systems differently. Thus, it has a wide range of applications narrowed down to the following kinds:
- Desktop Applications
- Mobile Applications
- Big Data Applications
- Web Applications
From accounting, hospital management, and inventory control software to CRM, sales, and training management software, custom software can be found everywhere around us and there are numerous examples backing its success.
In the case of differentiating custom software based on their level of customization, there are three major types.
- Full customization, meaning that the custom software made from scratch and pertains to every need of the company. It is a stand-alone software on which the company runs.
- Semi customizations, which means that the custom software integrated into existing software. For instance, custom software that keeps track of transactions integrated with other software made for online payments.
- Copied customization, which means copying or using the same custom software previously developed by another company of the same domain or having the same requirements.
The level of customization required is up to the company and its requirements. The developmental process of custom software from scratch is quite long and complex. However, it provides a complete solution to all the necessities of the company.
On the other hand, integrating a semi-customized software into your existing one is a much quicker and simpler process.
However, it must be made sure that both of them are compatible and can work efficiently alongside each other.
Usually, the developmental process of custom software is very long and takes up to months or even years.
Tips To Increase Chances Of Custom Software Success
Don’t Hurry To Outsource The Project
Always do comprehensive research on the outsourcing company you plan to hire. Make sure that the technical abilities which they offer along with the support are sufficient for your requirements.
Even if you are in a hurry to achieve your target with the help of the software, take some time to find out if the vendor has adequate experience or not.
Do not base your choice on just the price factor. Even if the outsourcing vendor is well within your budget, they might not have suitable skills.
A good one-time investment will save you lots of small costs that will arise due to the low quality of the code.
Deal With Company That Has No Language Barrier
Custom software is a big investment and thus, you should keep all the probable risks in mind. One possible problem could be the language barrier between you and the outsourcing company you chose.
If you are not able to convey your requirements properly to the developers, you might not get the same results you had hoped for.
The best way to make sure that there are no barriers is to interview them over a video conference call.
You can schedule an interview with the team manager as well as the developers and comprehend if they can understand your language, dialect and accent and if you can understand theirs.
Time Difference Shouldn’t Be a Barrier
Smooth communication flow is necessary with your vendor to ensure efficient and high-quality software.
If you are planning to hire a vendor which is located in a different timezone, it might be difficult for you to communicate with them.
Before signing the deal, make sure there is a complete understanding between your company and your vendor about flexible work hours pertaining to your time zone.
Developers and team managers should be ready to hold meetings online according to your convenience.
Consider Relevant Experience
If you worry about the credibility of the outsourcing company, ask for references and testimonials from their previous clients.
You can judge the integrity of the company by examining their previous experiences and the domain of clients they have worked with.
For example, if you are from the healthcare department looking for a custom hospital management software, it will be easier to trust the vendor if they have had credible experience in making software for similar departments or similar uses.
Ensure That You Have A Great Project Manager
No matter how skilled the developers, not given the right manager then their collaboration strategy might collapse. Team managers are an essential component of the developmental team.
They have the task of communicating with the clients, understand and acknowledge their needs, handle work pressure, be transparent about the budget and the progress of the project, as well as, making sure that the project delivered on time.
Thus, having a great project manager who can do all of these efficiently is important if you want your custom software project to be successful.
Be sure to check the experience of project managers (as in how many years have they been a manager and what size of the team have they managed) before hiring one.
To ensure the competence of the team manager as well as the team developers, you can set sudden goals or milestones that they have to achieve.
Your project milestones might include factors like: starting of the project, completion of gathering of resources, completion of development, completion of testing, completion of product delivery.
You can control the whole team’s performance by setting a target date pertaining to each milestone. This will further decrease your project flow and reduce unnecessary costs adhering to it.
Ensure Estimates Are Realistic
A capable team manager will always state realistic delivery capabilities and estimated time periods rather than overstating them.
IT services providing companies often give overestimated promises of deliveries while underestimating the time that will take to deliver such results.
Steer clear of these companies and go for the ones that provide you with practical and believable estimates for your project.
Define Communication Channels
Communication is very important to maintain the transparency of the project, especially when you are working with an offshore outsourcing company where being physically present is not always possible.
For situations like this, communication channels discussed before the developmental process begins.
Not only the channel but also define the frequency of communication that you and the developing team will follow as well.
For example, fix how often your company and the vendor’s team will communicate, be it after every stage or on a weekly basis. This will prepare team managers to develop reports on time.
Video conferencing tools like Skype or Zoom can be ideal for holding meetings about updates on the project.
For even more comprehensive reports about the team’s performance and the developmental stages of the project, tools like Trello and Asana can provide you with in-depth reports.
Adopt Agile Methodologies
Agile methodologies promote faster delivery of products. It also eases the process of making changes in the code of the software as well as adopting them.
It is important that you choose an outsourcing vendor who is familiar with such methodologies. The impact it has on improving the efficiency of the whole project.
These were some of the tips that you should consider while hiring a vendor for your custom Software success.
Apart from these, you can also make sure that the outsourcing company includes the practice of continuous integration.
A CI practice will improve the transparency of a project and detect bugs early on the developmental cycle. Thus, it prevents major issues when it is delivery time.
Moreover, it is important to appreciate and motivate the team who is responsible for developing your custom software project.
A tailored software will increase the efficiency of your company giving you a massive advantage over other competitors.
Today many companies look for their niche custom software which would help them in boosting their business growth. Along with a perfect stack, they are also in a need to hire dedicated developer who can help them build or achieve a perfect custom software fulfilling all their expectations.
Companies are starting to realize that investing in one custom software is good. It’s for their requirements instead of several different ones is much more practical and beneficial.