There’s no doubt that the world of business is becoming increasingly dependent on software. Information is starting to become the only real thing that matters to companies’ bottom lines. In fact, we can already see this effect in the wider economy. Businesses, like Snapchat and Airbnb, prove that data is the resource that is driving the modern economy. Valuations for information based companies are reaching record levels. And that trend is continuing on an upward path.
But all those data aren’t much use to companies unless they have some tools to manipulate it. After all, data is only useful because of the knowledge it contains. Companies know this, and that’s why so many are opting for custom software development. They need software to manage the vast amount of information that they have to deal with daily.
There are many benefits of custom software. Here are just a few.
Canned Solutions Are Rigid
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll have hit a wall with one or more of your apps. You’ll have noticed that it doesn’t quite provide the functionality you need for your business. Suppose you want to use scheduling software for your business. You go and buy a scheduling app, thinking that it will be fit for purpose. But you later find out that it’s not actually good enough. Why? Suppose you are a business that goes out to meet clients at their homes. Obviously, you can’t see clients back to back. You have to drive between client houses. But what if the scheduling app assumes that you can? What if the app is designed for, say, a hair salon? In that case, there’s nothing to stop clients from making one booking after another. And this, ultimately, makes the app useless.
In business, you’ll find all sorts of situations like this. It happens because all businesses are different and have their own unique needs. Most companies make do by compromising on canned solutions. They live with the fact that their software doesn’t really do what they want it to do. And they never investigate how much better off they could be if they adopted a flexible solution.
Most economists believe that the progress we’ve seen over the last couple of decades has come from digital technology. Digital technology is the primary reason businesses are more productive than they were twenty years ago. And that means that it is important companies use all the digital technologies at their disposal.
Custom software is one such technology. But unlike its generic counterparts, it can take productivity in your business to the next level. Many businesses still use labor-intensive solutions. They have people doing operations by hand, like entering customer details. The business requires these operations. But they are expensive in terms of labor. Unfortunately, there aren’t any off-the-shelf apps that can do this for the business. It’s a process that only your company carries out.
This is where custom software can prove to be so useful. Custom software can marry two otherwise disparate processes and link them together as one. In turn, this reduces labor time and costs. And it means you can spend more time serving your customers.
Streamline Business Processes
The great thing about custom software is that it can be put to almost any use. One use is to streamline business processes. Crafting business processes that work seamlessly is the goal for any senior management team. But doing so when employees are scattered across many locations is difficult.
Ideally, your business would like a central location through which to process all its data. You’d like everybody to have access to the same platform and to be able to share information. But without custom software, this is only possible for a limited number of tasks. There’s no way to manage your businesses operations, data, and schedules into a single app. Unless, of course, you opt for a custom app.
Marketing on social media is all well and good. But custom apps offer a far more efficient way to market your product. The reason for this is that custom apps can be designed around your product. Rather than having a generic experience, customers have an app experience that makes sense in the context of your business. Plus, you also get to market directly to your audience. You can use your custom app to offer on-the-spot deals. And you can introduce new features and products as they are required.
You Can Build In The Latest Tech
Everybody knows that it is important for businesses to keep up with the latest in technology. But this can be hard if you’re using generic software. Custom software offers businesses more flexibility. Because it can be developed on an ongoing basis, it is potentially a lot more valuable. In other words, businesses can include new features and ideas to make their experience better.
One of the biggest problems facing a lot of older companies is legacy software. Companies become so reliant on legacy software that they find they can’t get rid of it. But, of course, being legacy software, it no longer has support or updates. Custom software helps companies to avoid this kind of lock-in. Flexibility is built into the platform itself, meaning it is easier to adapt to changes.
Right now we’re seeing some exciting changes in the world of automation. Thanks to deep learning, automated systems are becoming more robust. Now they’re able to operate in unstructured environments. And this is proving to be a massive boon for business.
Businesses can now automate all sorts of tasks, using custom software, which they couldn’t before. Things, like recognizing photos, or categorizing documents, can now all be done by machines. Companies are even looking at ways of using the content of emails to automatically fill out calendars.
Most companies have some kind of process that they could very easily automate. And custom software is the only way to achieve this on a case-by-case basis.