Why do companies invest in custom software development?

All too often, they don’t, and for several very good reasons:

  • Software development is not their core competency, so execution can be challenging and expensive
  • Software needs continuous support and maintenance
  • Good software development requires a specialized skill set that often isn't present within a company

Given these factors, it often makes sense for businesses to buy vendor-supported, mass produced software whenever possible—let the software vendor deal with the issues and spread the cost among its many customers.

However, there IS a place for custom software in many businesses, and this place is created by the desire for competitive advantage. A successful business has its "special sauce" that differentiates what it does from what its competitors offer. But software companies, since they serve a mass market, tend to be most concerned with capturing the commonalities between companies, not their uniqueness.

As a company, then, you are left with a choice: change how you do things in order to "standardize" according to how a given software product works or maintain your uniqueness and enter into the world of custom development. In many cases, adapting to a software standard is desirable and just a part of modernizing. In other cases, though, it would mean loss of capability or loss of differentiation and could be a real killer.

Workflow Studios can significantly impact your business in this area. Our very experienced business developers have worked with a multitude of enterprise software systems and department requirements to engineer custom solutions and extensions to the core systems already in place within a company.

We help bring your custom business processes and special uniqueness to life and plug them in to what's already in place. This delivers exactly what's needed, reduces discontinuity, helps maintain data integrity, and makes people feel like it's a natural and welcome implementation of what they were already trying to accomplish.

Of course it’s not always all or nothing. We have encountered many cases in which standardized 3rd party software provides 90% of the core requirement but incorporates the capacity for customization or extension to meet a company's unique requirements. MRP/ERP systems, for example, have processes and databases built in but also offer custom APIs that allow you to add processes or work with the data contained in the database in specialized ways. Most vendor products and web-based cloud systems are designed this way these days, but companies often need help in implementing the customization. We can help you there, too.

Outcomes of our projects are often astonishing because they usually address a key pain point in how a company executes its uniqueness. Here are some typical outcomes:

  • Drastically reduced cycle times - often 30-75%
  • Dramatically increased visibility into a process
  • Knowledge of how a process is (or is not) REALLY working
  • For each instance of a process (say a Request for Quotation): who has it, how long have they had it, what's the next step for it
  • Analytics and accountability
  • The ability to measure expected time versus actual time for each step in a process
  • The ability to identify specific people or departments for cause of roadblocks or cause of effectiveness

It's in the name, so you expect "workflow" to be a key focus right? It's what we do. But there are many ways to go about capturing business processes and automating them

Take a look at our workflow systems page to understand the various ways we can approach it with you

In executing these projects, the most common interface now is a browser, making web development for desktop and mobile an essential part of our portfolio

See how we approach mobile development and web development

Other questions? Contact us here.

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