09 March, 2015 · 3 minutes to read · written by Rob Gregory
Technology is where the greatest and fastest leaps forward are being made in business today. That's why it's no longer good enough to keep an eye on the competition, to really get ahead you need to be better than the competition.
In this post you'll discover the 5 signs your business should be thinking about custom software in terms of how it can transform your business and see it gain the kind competitive advantages that excite your customers and surprise your competitors.
Run by people businesses have their own personality and overtime they also develop a culture. It’s this essence of what a business is about that you need to keep hold of as your organisation grows - after all it’s partly this that attracted customers to you in the first place.
Custom software takes this into consideration by allowing your people and processes to shine through – personal touches and your way of doing things go a long way in the world of customer service.
Build dynamic workflows that capture exactly how you work and include the right people at the right time. Custom software fits your team and your way of working not the other way around.
Off the shelf software does the opposite, it requires all users to work in the same way which reduces innovation and can get in the way of team work.
Having great customers and keeping them happy is what makes any business successful. Retaining customers is about offering great customer service and over time adding extra value to your offering.
Think of custom software as an extra team member that knows about the inner workings of your business and everything there is to know about your customers. Use the data you have about your customers and the way you interact with them to continually find ways to make your relationships even better.
There are lots of off the shelf customer relationship tools but they tend to be prescriptive in the way that they define how users should interact with customers. Your business is unique and so is the way you work with your customers.
There are no signs of innovation slowing in the tech industry so we can be fairly confident that advances will continue - and they will continue at an accelerated pace in the future. With Custom Software you get to choose your own speed. For some businesses fast paced roll-outs of new technologies is a good thing but for others it may not be.
With a custom software solution, supported by a team of talented software developers, the opportunity to introduce new technologies is huge but also they'll offer advice on security and reliability. With off the shelf products you'll often have to wait for a major release or an entire refresh to see new technologies used.
The real issue is however that the decision is made for you, you are are at the whim of the company that writes the package.
When you build custom software you call the shots which means you can rely on the tools you create to do the job you ask them to do. This can be transformational - adding a new feature or tool to your custom software can completely change the way you work – this change can send shockwaves around your industry.
Your new feature might become a standard part of an off the shelf product later but for now you are the first which means you get all of the benefits of doing it first and of doing it the best way for your business. With off the shelf software a vendor can chose to stop supporting a feature or add new features at any time. Also any new feature is available to all users at the same so it’s likely to be disruptive or innovative.
With custom software when you want a new feature you get it. If you spot an opportunity to become more efficient or more productive there is no need to wait. If automating a process or generating a time consuming document will save you time or increase sales then you want that benefit now – build and launch the feature immediately and start enjoying the rewards now, not in the future when everyone else has the feature too.
As long as your development partner has the correct planning, development, testing and deployment processes in place, and a good working relationship with your IT team, new features can be added with ease and speed. That’s within days not weeks or months.
Imagine if you ran your business using an off the shelf package and knew that one killer new feature could transform the way your work. You might have to wait months if not years to get the feature, and when you do eventually get it so all your competitors.