How much do you know about custom software development? Or a
better question might be: how much do you care
about custom software development?
In truth, most business owners and executives don’t give it a
lot of thought… until they learn that specialized programming can help them to
automate data entry, streamline order processing and fulfillment, customize
marketing, assist with scheduling, and help with dozens of other tasks that are
critical to any company. In other words, having someone program an app
specifically for your company can make or save you huge amounts of money.
Of course, that’s the one thing you really need to know
about custom software development. Once you get past the basic reason why
businesses invest in programming, though, there are a lot of other little
things to consider. That’s because they can help you focus your thinking and
get your project off the ground.
Today, we want to share with you nine things you might not
have known about custom software development but probably should…
#1 Custom Programming
is More Common Than You Think
Custom programming isn’t just for huge companies, or firms
with big technical resources. In fact, we have worked on software builds and
tweaks for very small enterprises and brand-new upstarts.
You don’t have to have huge budgets to benefit from software
development. In fact, the smaller and more specific your company is, the easier
it is to separate yourself from the competition with the right app or resource.
So, if you haven’t thought about custom programming in the past because you
imagined it was too complex or intensive for your operations, think again. No
matter where you look, businesses like yours are using apps to accomplish more
and spend less.
#2 It Doesn’t Have to
Cost a Fortune
Not only can custom software development save you tons of
time and money every week by making it easier for you to run your company, but
it probably costs a lot less than you might imagine.
New clients are routinely surprised at how affordable it is
to work with a team of experienced programmers. Unless your vision is
extraordinarily complex, there isn’t any reason you have to break the bank to
bring it to life. The same goes for scheduling. You probably won’t be waiting
nearly as long as you would imagine to get finished software you can use.
#3 You Don’t Have to
Start an App or Program from Scratch
In some cases, it makes sense to start from scratch when
building a new piece of software. Very often, though, we can tweak an existing
application, create a plug-in that piggybacks off another piece of software, or
work from a template that’s already been created.
The benefits of working from existing software are that it
speeds the process up, costs less money, and gives you a conceptual head start.
It also restricts your imagination a little bit, but if you aren’t looking to
reinvent the wheel – and just want to make it turn a little bit faster – know
that your goal is probably well within reach.
Development Can be a Productivity Booster
As we’ve already mentioned, there are dozens or hundreds of
potential uses for custom software development. However, automating repetitive
work tends to be one of the most impactful ways to use a new app or program.
If you have a part of your business that currently takes
more hours than it should, or regularly produces costly and time-consuming
errors, then a new custom app might be just what you need. The more time you
can spend actually running your company (and having your employees handle the
most important aspects of their jobs), the higher your productivity is going to
#5 There are Three Important
Parts to Software Development
When business people think of “custom software development,”
they usually imagine coders knocking out line after line until a piece of
software is finished. In reality, there are really three important steps that
have to be followed.
First, you and your creative team get together to discuss
the concept. Then, they’ll create flowcharts and mockups of the interface so
you can get a visual sense of the way your program will look and feel. And then
finally, after that wireframe or static has been approved, they’ll start
actually putting the pieces of code together.
Beware any programming team that only emphasizes aesthetics,
for example, or functionality. Each of these steps is critically important, and
you can’t afford to rush through any of them.
#6 It’s Important for
Your Software to be Tested
Even the smallest pieces of custom software need to be
tested extensively. This doesn’t take a lot of time, but it’s something you
want to be sure is being handled.
There are couple of reasons for this. Naturally, you’ll want
to ensure your app or program works the way it’s supposed to. At the same time,
custom software should work well across any platform (for instance, desktop
computers versus smartphones) it’s made to function on. And finally, you have
to be sure your software doesn’t contain any security flaws that could leave it
vulnerable to hackers.
This is an area where a lot of newer and inexpensive firms
will cut corners. However, your business and credibility are on the line, so
make sure testing is a priority.
#7 Your App or
Program Might Change During Development
No matter how crystal-clear your vision of your finished
program is, there is a chance that your idea might need to be changed or
tweaked along the way.
When this happens, it’s usually because the client realizes
a key feature is missing, or they discover users might like some functionality
during beta testing. However, it’s also possible that your ideas will be
amended because your original concept isn’t quite feasible, or could work more
cleanly with a twist.
The more flexible you are during the software development
process, the more likely you are to end up with something you and your
customers or employees can actually use.
#8 Most Custom
Software Needs Updates
Even the best pieces of custom software are never really
“finished,” they just have to be released eventually. You should approach the
launch of your app with the idea that it may need to be upgraded or revised
One reason for an upgrade or improvement traces back to the
notion that you might decide to add new features. And, it’s possible your
customers or users will ask for something more than what you give them
initially. Even if those things don’t happen, though, you might need to
eventually update your software to match changes to the operating systems it
A good custom software development team is going to prepare
you for this eventuality early in the process and factor it into their quote.
Once again, you should take it as a red flag if your programmer doesn’t bring
up future updates and revisions with you.
#9 The Right
Programming Team Can Make or Break Your Project
As you might imagine, choosing the right vendor is
critically important to the success of your software development project.
An experienced team can guide you through each step and
decision that comes up along the way; a bargain-basement vendor might simply
take a feature list from you and then deliver work that meets the specs but
doesn’t really fit the vision you had in mind. Then, you might be left with the
dilemma of spending more time and money to get it right or using software that
doesn’t really do the job you intended.
Experience, technical expertise, and reputation should be
important guiding principles as you develop your app, so don’t sacrifice them
to save a few dollars in your IT development budget.
Want to Learn More
about Custom Software Development?
Do you have an idea for an app or program that could help
your company grow? Or, do you simply want to learn a little bit more and figure
out whether it’s something your business could profit from?
In either case, your next step is clear. Talk to the custom
software development experts at Kinetik IT today. We have served businesses,
nonprofits, and institutions across Arizona for years, helping them to find,
imagine, and build the resources they need.
In one brief consultation, we can help you to think about
software programming in a new way. Better yet, we'll give you the answers you
need to tweak your idea or move it forward. Contact us now to get started!