Businesses increasingly use custom software applications to manage their businesses, to communicate with customers, to provide services to customers, to train employees and more. Many software solutions out-of-the box are inadequate to fulfill a business’s needs. This causes businesses to seek other solutions: create their own custom software or do large scale customizing and development of open source and out-of-the box solutions.
The reasons for moving to custom software solutions are varied, but the desired results are always the same: a quality software solution at an affordable price. Many businesses do not think quality and affordable custom software can be found, but with modern development processes, great custom software is available within the budget of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as larger businesses.
An important part of modern software development, agile development gives your software development team the ability to create software swiftly and dynamically. Agile development approaches the software development process holistically, focusing on specific parts of the software and using everyone on the software team to create, test and deliver each aspect of your custom software.
Agile development bypasses many roadblocks caused by waiting upon one or two specialists to write a section of code and then pass your software on to other specialists. With agile, the entire team will tackle enough of the code to make sure a portion of the software works, so they are constantly able to check and improve each other’s coding.
Agile development (as opposed to Waterfall Development) takes something that used to require large amounts of time and specialized labor and turns it into a fast paced production by a team of programmers: this saves money on labor costs as well as decreases the overall time necessary to get your custom software up and running.
Open Source Movement
As anyone who watched AntiTrust in 2001 knows, the idea of an open source code used to be radical. The idea that any programmer would have access to the base code that makes an operating system or other program work was radical and revolutionary according to the movie.
Enter: Wikipedia, Google, Mozilla Firefox, Open Office, Linux. The list goes on, but suffice it to say, what used to be the dream of libertarian-minded computer programmers is now a necessary reality for competitive computer programs. From Salesforce to Drupal, IOS to Android, cutting edge software systems all have either Open Source platforms or API interfaces allowing any developer to create modules, plugins and other custom apps and software for your business on these platforms.
Because of the commercialization of open source software, custom software has become more affordable and easier to create because often times businesses do not need something created from the ground up, but can legally and affordably customize other software systems to meet the business’s unique needs.
Technology is increasingly becoming more mobile. For businesses needing custom software, this is both a challenge and a benefit. From a developer’s point of view, the diversity of devices is a challenge created by the mobile movement. The ability to code, test, and launch software using diverse platforms with multiple options for A/B testing, for bug testing, etc. are the benefit developers take from mobile tech.
For users, custom software and mobile technology is benefited by the nearly universal access to good software systems. The challenge mobile technology presents for custom software creation is the fact that users expect incredibly diverse options from the start. If you have an Android user wanting to download your app that is currently only available on Apple devices, you face potentially negative reviews and disgruntled customers.
For creating custom software, mobile technology increases your business’s options for meeting customer, employee and shareholder needs. It also gives you access to your software from anywhere, at anytime.
Mobile technology, open source software, and agile development are three very important developments in the last 10 years that enable businesses to create custom software and apps who could not afford them even 20 years ago. Please contact us to discover the realm of possible software applications we can create with and for your business using these three and other developing trends in technology.