The decision to develop and integrate a custom software solution into a business is a big one. The cost in both dollars and work hours is not insubstantial, but the benefits of a well-developed system are immense.
Unfortunately, many business owners and managers hold beliefs about custom software that prevent them from moving forward with technological solutions that can reduce costs, improve employee efficiency, and increase profits. “Paralysis by analysis” within a business can be more damaging than any external threat.
So what’s a smart business owner to do? Below are five corrected misconceptions about custom business software that can take you from “how?” to “wow!”
1. Misconception: You, the CxO, should know exactly what kind of custom business software package you need before contacting a development company.
Reality: The job of those at any company’s helm is to bring a big picture perspective to all discussions, not to know every detail about the discussion. This fact also holds true in custom software development, where the CXO and his/her team work in concert with a Requirements Analyst to figure out the best way to integrate technology with the core mission that makes their company unique. Working together, company decision makers and the Requirements Analyst will translate business requirements into a design document that describes how the new software will improve the way the business works.
2. Misconception: Your custom software development company should know exactly what type of system you need before meeting with a software development team.
Reality: In fact, the best custom software development companies bring both experience and an open mind to your initial meetings. Anyone who tells you at your first meeting that they know the best solution for your business is more interested in “selling” than in discovering your unique business requirements.
3. Misconception: Management always knows the best way to integrate custom software into their business.
Reality: While upper- and mid-level managers bring an important perspective to the initial conversation of how to utilize custom software, the employees who will use the system on a daily basis also have critical knowledge to share. Every time they come to work, these employees come into direct contact with your customers, your products, or both. Additionally, they will often be the people who actually use your new system. Listening to your employees when designing your new system and getting them involved in hands-on use of early versions of your new application can result in a better final product and fewer change orders during the development phase.
4. Misconception: Custom business software will require me to change the character of my business and how it’s run.
Reality: Custom software is just that: custom! The unique character of your business is what allowed it to grow and thrive in the first place, and a good custom software system shouldn’t change that. As for changing how your business is run, as the design of each module is complete, bring in key employees for a final review before coding begins. When the final phase is coded and before training begins, bring in a bigger team to preview your new software before the official unveiling. Use the opportunity to rally your employees again around your company’s core values and mission, and show them how the new application will improve the daily operations of your company. It’s a win/win scenario.
5. Misconception: My business type isn’t right for custom software integration.
Reality: DragonPoint, Inc. has worked with clients in construction, manufacturing, education, transportation, and the service sector. In all of these cases, the companies we worked with were able to reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase profits, or all of the above! No matter what type of company you run, there is a place to integrate custom business software.
This short list of corrected misconceptions about custom business software is just the beginning. With the right team, you’ll be surprised with how many ideas you already have for decreasing costs, improving employee efficiency, and increasing profits with a custom software system. Best of all, Dragonpoint, Inc. offers a free, personalized software system analysis.
So what are you waiting for?