Improving efficiency should be the main goal for both small and large companies. Businesses can adopt numerous methods and strategies to achieve this goal, but one of the best options is to create customised software that meets their needs, goals and mission. Not all companies need custom software, some of them find that standard systems perfectly fit their needs. But if your company needs something you cannot find on the market, then software customisation is your only solution.
Excluding some characteristics and including other features that will support your employees is a great decision if you are running a business looking to capitalise on growth. If you want to create this type of software for your business, then here is what you should do.
Asses your business’ needs
Before deciding who will develop your custom software, you should evaluate your company’s needs to understand what specific characteristics you need the system to come it.
You should create custom software if you are dealing with one of the following situations:
- The framework of standard software is too complex for your basic needs, and you want something that helps you avoid unnecessary expenses
- You want software that will bring your business a significant competitive advantage your opponents do not have because they use a traditional system
- If you are creating software products and services for subscription and license
- If you plan to design something unique
You should consult with your team to find out what functions they want the software to have. Features that will help them be more effective and will make their job easier. Once you have a list of the features you need, you should meet the software developer and share with them your requirements. They will make sure that they will translate your needs into a software solution.
Perform market research to find out if the software you want already exists
Sometimes you don’t have the needed time to wait for a developer to design from scratch a system. You could focus your efforts into improving other operational areas that can enhance your customers’ experience, like content management, customer care, or online marketing, instead of doing efforts to develop custom software. Before hiring a team of professionals to create the software, you should check the market to see if you can find something similar. You may be surprised to find out that many other companies need the same things as you do and a software developer has already built the system you need. It would be a lot easier to purchase software that can be customised according to your needs.
Do not overestimate how different your company is from its competitors, keep in mind a single aspect if you want to build something from scratch, it has to be something innovative. If you cannot find a solution that would work for your business then you should start looking for a company specialised in software development.
Survey your competitors
As a businessperson, you have to spy on the methods your competitors rely on their processes and identify the ones that work the best. For example, before developing custom software you should check if your competitors are using a similar one. If they are, then you should try to find out more about it, read the feedback the users offer to find out if it’s really effective and if it solves the problems your organisation is also experiencing. By studying the competitors’ software, you will make informed decisions and you will create a better product.
Do not limit your survey only to your direct competitors, broaden the search and try to find out what practices help other companies stay successful on the market.
Hire a software development team
It’s advisable not to rush the process of hiring a team of experts to design the software. You should thoroughly consider all your options and choose the one that meets the most criteria. If you don’t know where to start the search you should type on Google software companies near me and make a list with the names that have the best references
Check their portfolio; it will help you find out more about their past projects. It’s advisable to collaborate with a team of experts who have previously developed a product similar to the one you need. Ask them how long did it take them to deliver the system and if they experienced any unforeseen challenges.
It’s crucial to ensure that you are working with developers who are able to build the features you require and to deliver the software your business needs. And last but not least, do not let the price fool you, the cheapest solution will probably offer a cheap product.
Test the system appropriately
Do not launch the system before you test it. Do not hurry, both the development and testing phases require time to make sure that the delivered solution is the efficient one. During the testing stage, you have the opportunity to make changes and to check if the software was created as you expected. You should have a team of experts to test it first, and then ask the end users to check all its features and offer feedback. This stage will generate actionable findings, so you should make sure that you redesign it to perfectly meet your needs.
Once you launch it, you should get as many users as possible to try it and to offer feedback based on their experiences. Do not ignore the information they offer, even if it may get you angry because the product receives criticism. You should take criticism positively and improve your system. If the feedback is positive, you should thank people and encourage them to share their experience with other people. If your software is addressed to customers, it will make it popular and it will bring you free marketing.
Remember, software development is not a one-time thing; you will have to continually upgrade it and change it to accommodate the latest changes.