Businesses have many needs, not the least of which is technology. Whether the organization is trying to satisfy internal business user requirements, senior executive requirements, internal IT requirements, customer technology requirements or requirements related to collaboration and communication among suppliers, partners or stakeholders, there are many opportunities to optimize performance and productivity and there are many out-of-the-box software products from which to choose.
But, there are times when the business either wishes to develop a software product to release for customer use, and times when best-of-breed or out-of-the-box solutions do not meet the requirements of the business to manage workflow, provide business users with reporting tools, collaborative tools or industry-specific functionality and features.
‘Custom software development and cross-platform development expertise delivered by expert IT consultants will enable the business to design and build a solution to meet all of its requirements and to allow the agility and flexibility to upgrade in the future without delays or extreme effort.’
When an enterprise considers a custom software product or a custom software application, it is important to understand the benefits and how these benefits offset the cost and effort to create and support these solutions. In this article, we focus on three primary benefits of custom ERP and custom software development.
Here are three benefits and advantages of creating a custom ERP application:
Addressing Business Needs – Even the best out-of-the-box or best-of-breed solutions can only address SOME of your needs. When a business has a vision for a customer or business user ERP product or software application, it is common to give up on achieving all of its goals in favor of what it believes is the ‘best option’ – an option that satisfies some or most of the needs but falls short of what it really needs. The cost and time required to review, select and implement these solutions can be high and there is a temptation to ask the vendor to customize the solution so, at the end of the day, the business is spending more than it needs to spend and the implementation will take longer. If there is a significant customization effort, the business will be out of sync with upgrades provided by the out-of-the-box solution or it will have to constantly update customization to accommodate new versions. By taking the time to create detailed requirements and to select a vendor with custom software development services, and cross-platform development expertise, the business can design and build a solution to meet all of its requirements and to allow the agility and flexibility to upgrade in the future without delays or extreme effort.
Balancing Value-Add Against Cost and Effort – When presenting a custom enterprise application, a mobile application development project or a prospective partnership with an offshore development partner, the organization must consider the value of the software product or application and compare it to the cost and effort. While many businesses believe that it will be too expensive and time consuming to engage a partner to build a content management system (CMS), eCommerce solution, smart watch or business software solution (or any number of other potential solutions), the value of the resulting software application or product for the market or to address business user needs is undeniable when compared to the cost and time investment. This balance of cost and effort vs. value-add must be weighed with the expertise and skill of the IT consulting partner in mind. Selecting the right partner means you can control costs and timelines and produce results quickly and efficiently for low TCO and rapid ROI.
Optimizing Resources and Productivity – When considering internal IT resources to satisfy custom ERP application needs, the business must weigh the use of these resources and how this project will affect other projects, ongoing maintenance and support, reporting and database initiatives to support the business, network, hardware and other obligations. It must also take a hard look at its inhouse IT skill set to determine whether it has the skills required for programming languages, reports, database creation and/or management, or other industry, market or domain-specific skills to accommodate the project for the initial project timeline and for ongoing support, maintenance and upgrade. By engaging the services of an IT consulting partner, the business can assure that the appropriate, specific skills will be available as needed, that delivery models will suit their needs and that service level agreements (SLAs) will document expectations and keep the project on track so that the organization can optimize its resources and ensure that productivity metrics will be addressed.
‘There are times when the business either wishes to develop a software product to release for customer use, and times when best-of-breed or out-of-the-box solutions do not meet the requirements of the business.’
Find out how Custom ERP and Custom Enterprise Application Development can help your business, its users and its customers. Read our related article, ‘Three Reasons to Engage a Partner for Custom ERP and Custom Enterprise App Development.’