Developing and maintaining custom software solutions that enable companies to better support essential business processes can be challenging – but well worth it. Finding a shop that can bring your vision to life can be one of the most overwhelming parts of the process. When companies look for a custom development service, it is encouraged to find one you can trust with the obvious tasks of designing, developing, and delivering the product in question.
Interested in taking it a step further? Here are just a few considerations we recommend businesses take into account when finding a provider to develop your next application.
Related: Explore the advantages and disadvantages of custom software development here.
1. Ensure the new application minimizes disruption during implementation.
An important challenge in any company – big or small – is bringing new software or IT infrastructure onboard while minimizing downtime and service interruptions. Reducing these disruptions not only helps to keep the business day running smoothly, but it also helps your team and the eventual end-users of this new software gain confidence in what they will be using. An experienced software development company will design the application’s architecture around the operational needs of your staff to ensure user-friendliness and ultimately lessen the learning curve inherent with adopting a new system.
2. Embrace your brand identity during development.
Maintaining your company’s brand across your new software applications is a feat that can be accomplished when working with custom development, as opposed to off-the-shelf solutions. The company designing your application should know the value in bringing your brand identity into this new space, providing you ways within the final solution to promote these elements for the benefit of your end-users. This could include anything as simple as incorporating your company logo and color scheme or as complex as custom forms, automated reports, and more.
Why is this important? One reason is that it gives end-users added confidence in the software, ensuring them that they are using a trusted application.
Another is that customizing an application to fit a company’s brand and/or incorporate common styling choices found in other software solutions utilized across the company helps new-users become pros in record time. If your team is already familiar with operating a system that has a similar look and feel, then the on-boarding process becomes much easier.
3. Make note of the company’s support system and their response time.
In an ideal world for anyone using software, end-users will never need support. The application will run smoothly on their network from the start, and they will know exactly how to use every tool and setting included. Realistically, this is not always the case. Differences in settings, system architecture, plug-ins, integrated software versions, and more can lead to a hiccup in the application despite the development team trying their best to mimic the client’s environment during development. Likewise, as software replaces more complex workflows, you may find that users need more assistance during the implementation process to get used to this new way of doing things.
Be on the lookout for how the custom development service with which you are working handles these requests....
Do they have a specific email for support requests? Did they assign you someone to handle all of your questions and concerns? Have you gotten a prompt response from the team members you have spoken to so far?
These are important considerations. For instance, our team has multiple avenues for support. When clients are working with software like the Integrated Marco Studio applications, they are provided an email address that goes directly to that application’s support line – and thus our development team. They also have contact information for multiple Integrated staff should they need to follow-up. When we work with clients who are seeking custom solutions, we typically assign one or two team members as the main points of contact. These employees assist clients in whatever they need and act as a go-between for the development team in an effort to keep the conversation streamlined and productive.
4. Discuss the hand-off process.
Remember when we said that maintaining custom software solutions can be challenging? One of the greatest benefits of employing custom development services is that they are often responsible for keeping the final product in good health by addressing any issues and ensuring it is compatible as updates are made to the system. Some companies may choose to maintain this new software themselves, tasking internal teams to tackle any issues as they arise. Either way, this should be a priority for discussion in the hunt for custom solutions as it sets you up for success – and guarantees you both have sufficient time to prepare for the handing off of resources.