CTO to Go: When Custom Software is Needed

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When do you need Custom Software?

So I think of a business person, somebody who’s not in software development an is not a technical person.

These are generally smart people, they’re using other types of software, they see what’s possible.

Maybe they’re trying to use vendor tools already, but the tool just doesn’t fit and they realize they really want it to be tailored to the way their business works.

So what the business person realizes is that they have some type of process, system, or need that can benefit from heavy automation, the types of things that can computers can do well – number crunching, data visualization, processing large amounts of data.

Manufacturing App Example

We’ve had a number of prospects and customers say something like, “I’ve got four shifts with multiple managers each shift, and each manager starts the first two and a half hours of their day by processing data from various places – getting it all in this spreadsheet, and then submitting those reports, which ultimately give them the process numbers and the projections for the day and help them understand how to run their run their team run their machines.”

Well, by that time you’ve got two and a half hours gone out of four relatively high paid individuals time, and they’re essentially doing what computers can do well.

In the specific manufacturing environment I’m thinking of they’ve got multiple systems to pull data from.

Some of those are industry standard, but the other ones are Access databases and such that have been built up over time.

That’s not industry standard. That’s just the spreadsheet that the plant has decided that they’re going to used to manage the company wide KPIs.

So there’s just a sense that “I’ve got people doing things that computers can do.

For this company they knew they needed somebody to custom build an application to manage their data instead of spending two and a half hours at the beginning of every shift, four shifts a week.

They needed to be able to let those managers come in, hit a button, export the Excel report, and then get on with actually managing their people and managing their production.

So that’s just one example of when custom software might be needed.

A really good indicator is you’ve got a solution in Excel or Access and it’s “kind of” working, but you need it to be more reliable, more robust. If you need your solution to perform better and to scale to more people that’s usually a good indication that custom software is a solution at that point.

If you think you need custom software development, please contact us. We are happy to consult with you and help you find a solution to your business needs. Also take a look at our blog Custom Software Development verses Commercial off the Shelf (COTS).

Originally published on 2020-07-06 by Royce Hall

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