Do you want to streamline your company’s processes? Are you expanding your organization? These are some of the reasons you might find it sensible to customize a software program for your company. In custom software designing and development, you choose to come up with a tailor-made solution that suits the specific needs of your organization.
Custom software programs benefit your business by offering functionalities that you might not find from solutions off the shelf. While there are many custom software solutions available in the market, it can be a major roadblock for your company if you’re not careful. Here are three vital tips to consider before going forward:
Determine Your Current and Future Needs
At the start of every project, whether software or not, it’s important that you determine your current needs, development process, and future needs. You should also outline your expectations from the project. Defining these is a crucial part of the software customizing process too. Some software development life cycles (SDLC) even give this process its own phase.
Why do you want to customize your software program? Why do you want to make changes in your current program? Answering these questions will help you understand the feasibility of the project. Don’t make any assumptions.
Also, consider any future upgrades or continuous improvements to the software. If your organization is large, and you use complex software, who’ll do the upgrades and maintenance? Will your team be able to fix any bugs or future issues?
Continuous upgrades and improvements give you a competitive edge over your business rivals. These will help in your future business growth and scaling. Remember, the market keeps changing, and it’s a competitive world out there.
Determine the Budget
This step will help you know much funding you’ll need from the beginning of the project to the end. You don’t want to abandon the project halfway because you’re running out of cash. A custom software budget is usually flexible, depending on the tools being used and the complexity of the project.
Note that some custom features, such as reporting and integrating with other programs, may add more costs to the budget. You should consult your development team while creating your budget.
Various online articles talking about software budgets may create more confusion on the issue. However, you can primarily multiply the cost per hour with the number of hours required to complete the project.
The cost per hour varies, depending on the location of the development team and the developer’s specialty. For example, developers in the US are costlier than their counterparts in Asia. Also, iOS developers charge more compared with Android developers.
The number of hours it will take to complete the project also depends on the complexity of your custom program. Complexity is determined by the functionalities you want the program to have, its design, and the platforms you want it to run on.
You should know that some technologies and APIs are non-free. You’ll have to pay an initial or subscription fee to use them on your software.
Choose Your Team
You’ll need to select an appropriate development team for your custom software program. You primarily have two main options when it comes to the development team:
- In-house- It’s usually advisable to hire an in-house team when your project is large and will need continuous upgrades and maintenance. If an issue occurs in the office, your team can attend to it immediately. Also, you can appoint a professional in your company to be in charge of the whole team. This person will be the point of contact between the management and the team. It helps avoid any form of miscommunication. You may find it cheaper to hire an in-house development team.
- Outsourcing- If your custom software project is on a smaller-scale and doesn’t require upgrades and maintenance, you can outsource it to a software development company like Navigator Systems. It helps you save your time, resources, and money. All the development functions will be delegated to the company where the team manager will oversee the running of the project.
You can also hire professionals on a contractual basis until the project is done. You can do this if you find it impractical to pull your current team from their daily tasks. Also, your current team may not be up-to-date with the technology required to develop the custom software.
Again, the option you decide to go with will be determined by the complexity of the project.
Custom software programs offer solutions that suit your specific business needs. You need to be careful when you decide to pursue a custom software project. Firstly, determine your current and future business needs. Secondly, determine how much the project will cost from the beginning to the end. Lastly, ascertain whether to use your in-house team for the project or to outsource to a professional software development company.