Along our journey of building custom software, we hear some common questions about the process.
Whether you’re just starting to review your processes for improvement, or are ready to build something for your business to improve efficiencies and reduce manual labor, here are nine of our most common questions asked.
#1 How Could My Business Benefit from Custom Software?
A custom business software solution increases process efficiency through process automation. When business processes are properly automated, they minimize the waste in time and resources that the original processes contained.
Think of it this way: with software that already exist, you have to modify your process to meet software capabilities. With custom software, you can build a system around the existing processes you have in place. You took a lot of time to develop those processes, so why should you revamp your business?
#2 Why is Custom Software Such a Large Investment?
Building a custom web application is a time-consuming endeavor. It takes time to learn the processes of your business, to gather requirements, to flesh out your needs, and to build the software. Put simply, time is money.
While it’s a large investment, by investing in custom software, you’ll own the code instead of having a long-term licensing agreement with another software company.
#3 Why is Custom Software Development Often Behind Schedule and Over Budget?
Each custom software system is like it says on the tin: custom. Each project is the first one like it and budgeting for the unknown can be challenging. At Inverse-Square, we have a process in place that gets us as close as possible. We also have real-time transparency where you can see all of the communications between our team regarding your custom project at any given time.
#4 What is IP and How Important Is It that I Own It?
IP stands for Intellectual Property. When you deal with anything creative, you have to think about copyright and the intellectual property on that work and that includes the creation of software code.
This gets back to the question of buy vs. build. If there is an existing solution that can suit your needs just fine, then it makes sense to buy, but the software developer owns the code and you are basically licensing the software from there. However, if you need a specialized solution that is customized to your needs and decide to go the custom development route, then the question of who owns the code is an important one.
#5 How Do You Manage Our Project?
There are two types of methodologies that custom software developers usually rely on: Agile or Waterfall. In our young industry, there’s still a lot of debate over which one of the different project management styles are best. At AxiaTP, we choose to manage our projects using a combination of each in our own hybrid approach, preferring to focus on the pragmatic over the theoretical.
#6 What Does a Standard Contract Look Like?
There are different types of contracts to choose from when contracting custom web application development. A flexible developer will attempt to match the specific nature of the project with the contract, but a responsible developer will also advise you that the contract should share the burden fairly between both parties. Find out why in the suggested reading.
#7 I’m Thinking About Hiring Someone Offshore. What Should I Watch Out For?
In short, everything. Language barriers and lack of proximity lead to breakdowns in communication and quality. Do yourself a favor and stay local.
On a related note, if you’re thinking about hiring for the position internally, think about this: it takes around three people to complete a successful custom software project. If you hire someone internally, their salary might cost what it would take to build with us, and you get a whole team when you work with us. Plus, if your software developer decides to leave, they take their knowledge with them. If one of our team members leave, our whole team shares the knowledge so you’re not left in the dark.
#8 If Things Don’t Go Well, Am I Sunk?
We make communication and transparency our top priorities so this doesn’t happen. Right out of the gate we work hard to make sure that not only the project is a good fit, but the relationship with the client is as well.
Through each step of the process and the build, we keep you in the loop weekly so you know what to expect and what is happening, but a good development company should have places in their process/relationship where you can cleanly exit. Make sure you know what the process is for leaving and what those different ‘leaving’ options are.
If you have any questions that we haven’t covered here, or if you would like to discuss how we can help your organization save time and resources, increase process efficiency, or replace Excel with a custom web application, contact us today!