Custom software for internal use is gaining favor in the corporate world, as evidenced by recent surveys and comments from CIOs at top companies like Facebook. Here are four reasons custom software might benefit your business, whether through increased productivity, improved customer service, or happier employees.
- Custom software allows your company to express itself in a genuine way. Implementing general purpose software to provide custom services forces you to contort your systems to fit a generic product instead of using technology to improve your own business specialty. In the words of Facebook CIO Timothy Campos, "We found that tweaking off-the-shelf software would force us to adapt our process to the tools. We want to do the opposite: make our process better, more efficient, faster. Our tools are very purpose-built."
- As anyone that has ever installed Windows knows, the sheer volume of “extra features” provided with off-the-shelf software can be a burden unto itself. Investing in custom software ensures that you’ll get what you pay for and pay for what you get. Custom solutions can be upgraded with features as new requirements present themselves, rather than purchasing a “catch all” formula based on predictions of what you might need in the future.
- Custom software can evolve with the needs of your business. Like a great employee that will learn and grow with your company, custom software has the capacity to meet an expanded set of business priorities. You can avoid being bogged down by out-of-date systems by working with developers to implement targeted, appropriate updates for custom solutions.
- Finally, implementing custom software gives you greater flexibility in choosing your data and/or application partner. You’re no longer locked-in to vendors that don’t meet your needs, instead you choose the right development shop to build and maintain your product. A good shop will not only support you as long as you need them, they will document and deliver everything you need to manage that software yourself if you desire to take over development. The code is yours.