Custom written software is a totally different ball game to off-the-shelf. If your company requires custom written software then you’re probably quite a well-established business, or you are a startup whose commercial model is created around software.
If you fit into the first category then it has probably taken a while for you to get to the place where custom written software is an absolute necessity. It’s possible for companies to get along for many years without it, depending on the nature of the business. With a combination of spreadsheets, databases and off-the-shelf solutions you can make things work.
As the company grows, however, this method of using technology can become highly inefficient. You start to find that tasks are being duplicated, time is wasted and you have no way to understand how your business works. Your data is unmanageable and messy and you couldn’t even begin to use it to gain any business intelligence. This is the point at which you realise the investment into custom written software is no longer negotiable.
The story is very different for software startups, who know from the outset that their business cannot run without custom written software. Indeed that is the crux of their business model and the custom written software will be directly revenue generating. This can be an excellent basis for a business as the overheads can be relatively low, the potential for growth enormous. The company begins with a strong technical strategy and therefore doesn’t venture into the territory of disorganised data and outdated working practices.
For both types of business, custom written software is a breakthrough. It enables strong growth in very different ways. For those established businesses, once they have made the investment with a good custom software provider they see their margins increase steadily. Their staffs become more efficient and they are able to increase their turnover without needing to recruit.
The software startup will have a piece of software that makes them completely unique. This is why custom written software opens up blue ocean markets; in its nature it is software that hasn’t been used by anyone else before. The functionality is new and it does exactly what is required to support the end user that will be paying the way for the company’s continued success.
When you implement custom software based on a sound technical strategy and supported by a quality software company, you can be sure that you are giving your business the best chance for success.