If you are running a startup or small business, one of the best strategies for supporting long-term growth is investing in a custom software application.
Six Reasons You Need a Custom Software Application for Your Small Business
As compared to generic or off-the-shelf business software, customized applications are like bespoke suits. You want software that fits your business, not the other way around.
Sure, off-the-shelf software might be tried and true, but it cannot solve all business and user concerns. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business application, and that’s where customization gives you a natural edge both internally and in the market.
Additionally, software quality management professionals can test your customized or even generic application to weed out bugs and hold it to a higher standard. Custom applications from professional software testing companies like these are even better.
If you quality tests your custom application, you can even sell it to other businesses for a tailored product that pays for itself.
Here are six reasons why you need a custom software application for your business.
If your enterprise is going to gain a competitive advantage, it must run efficiently enough to save time and money. When designed and optimized around the existing business functions, custom software applications make the operations run smoothly, increasing productivity.
According to this article, one of the strategies that can improve sales productivity is to embrace tools like sales enablement software.
Such an application helps automate essential tasks that are repetitive or unproductive, and this frees up more time for employees to work on more profit-driving projects.
Sales teams can spend up to 79% of their time working on administrative tasks, leaving very little time to engage with clients.
Instead of manual data entry, custom software applications can automate data collection for analysis, which is necessary for tracking sales and generating trending reports.
Therefore, such an investment is not only an asset to your business, but it also benefits your employees by reducing their workload and affording them more time to work on what matters.
Software should suit your business operations, not the other way around. Generic business applications are not customizable enough to mold to the steps and procedures taking place in your enterprise.
Therefore, your employees are the ones doing the adapting, which means you’ll use valuable time and resources training them on how to use the new software.
Tailored applications, just like a tailored suit, base themselves around your unique business flow. The designers and developers study the operations, then transfer these as optimized procedures in the software.
When you’re in the development driver’s seat, you can emphasize ease of use as a priority. That way, it will take very little time to learn how the system works, leading to a much faster integration.
Additionally, such personalized solutions help to promote brand uniqueness while also simplifying scalability. As your business grows, it is easier to expand a custom application by incorporating new features and processes into the existing modules.
In-house apps can also be updated as you need, without having to download patches from parent companies.
Simple and Streamlined Integration
When you get to the point of requiring specialized software to support your business, you’ll have already installed some platforms and applications, such as email or HR systems. You may even have in-house hardware such as servers to keep things running.
Even though off-the-shelf solutions are typically built for compatibility, it is impossible to integrate them fully with all of your resources. As such, the business can experience lower productivity and less efficiency as you fight to make your software get along.
For instance, the system might have an accounting module that is not compatible with your current system. Therefore, employees might have to log in to the new application to record local purchase orders, then log in to the old system to do the same.
These redundancies can add up to significant losses when they pull your employees away from more critical tasks.
However, personalized software integrates seamlessly to existing systems because developers build most of the modules from the ground up. Developers tailor-make the platform to fit every aspect of the business, leaving you with a one-stop-shop for all of your operations.
Cybersecurity is a big issue today due to the ever-increasing cases of hacking and phishing attacks. The most common victims are businesses that use off-the-shelf software, and this is for two reasons.
First, these applications are widely available, meaning hackers can access them to learn about their vulnerabilities. Once hackers discover any loopholes, they can disrupt and severely affect your operations.
Secondly, there’s a bigger payoff in-store when hackers can target multiple businesses in a single attack.
In the Kaseya attack, major ransomware targeted the software vendor’s products, including the VSA, a remote management application.
The attack affected governments and businesses, who were left at the mercy of hackers demanding $70 million (in bitcoin) in exchange for the decryption tool.
Custom software isn’t immune to cyberattacks, but its eclectic design ensures it won’t be compromised in case of a large-scale outage.
Reduction in Costs
Due to the personalization of the software, it will be expensive to acquire custom applications in the short term compared to off-the-shelf solutions. Additionally, it will take time to develop and implement the system.
However, custom software has a higher return on investment than you might think. Optimization of the business processes can increase productivity and profitability.
Since you plan to remain in business for a long time, investing in the right tools makes sense as you navigate your future as a competitor.
Scaling costs of custom software applications are cheaper because you can add new functionalities at will rather than paying for expensive upgrades or additional software from generic solutions.
Lastly, spending on your own software now can help you save millions in averted cyberattacks later. As the adage says, cheap is almost always expensive.
Reliable Support and Maintenance
Even though vendors promise reliable support and assistance, there is always some form of bias when dealing with multiple complaints.
Vendors tend to handle their biggest clients first because of the money involved, leaving you in a David and Goliath situation any time you have a software glitch.
While your businesses can wait, some customers cannot, which will lead to losses in revenue, time wasted, reduced productivity, and possibly a damaged reputation.
However, when working with custom software developers, it is in their best interest to sort out every customer because you are the premier client. Additionally, it is almost impossible to have a widespread issue or attack on multiple business applications since each is unique.
Off-the-shelf software providers can also discontinue support abruptly for some applications that are still crucial for your business operations. It is all about what makes profits for them, not what works for you, especially as a small business owner.
When it comes to maintenance, you might have to engage third-party vendors to install updates when using an off-the-shelf application.
These are not as reliable as the original developers of the program.
That’s why a software solution that’s in-house from start to finish is a no-brainer.
You need to integrate technology into your business to grow and gain an edge in the current market. Enterprise software can contribute immensely to achieving this growth, and having a customized version gives you a unique solution that is both safe and highly efficient.
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