Custom software development
When a software services company like HighPots writes about custom software development, their objectivity might be compromised. But don’t forget that despite the company’s purpose “development of custom software” we are not just consisting of a production department only. In addition to production, which operates the individual software development, we also have numerous back-office departments such as purchasing, sales, accounting, marketing, etc. and these departments are working partly with standard or mass software. So we have a lot of experience in both worlds.
Custom software development – Is a standard software that I can strongly customize or adapt, also an individual software?
The boundary between custom software development and highly adaptable standard software is often blurred. Sometimes the standard software seems to be more a framework than an application. But what should the decision be like? Pro custom software development or pro standard or mass software? Here are a few criteria to help you make the right decision:
- Can the customizing of the standard software take place without costly training measures? And in a programming language that your developers are familiar with? In the same development environment in which your developers actually work?
- What happens to the customizations when the vendor of the standard software launches a new release or update?
- How many adjustments must be made? Please compare the adjustment effort (and license costs) with the effort for an individual software development.
- What interfaces are available in the standard software? Are the interfaces and protocols state of the art? Are they compatible with your internal systems or with the systems of your most important customers, suppliers or partners?
- What areas or functions in the standard software cannot be adapted? Are these process critical for your company?
- How much influence do you have on the manufacturer of the standard software regarding the prioritization of new features within the scope of release management?
Where should customized software development be used
Where does your company earn the most money? In which areas does your company’s know-how lie? Where does the added value lie? After answering these questions, please answer the next question: How strongly does the software influence the value creation of your company? The greater the dependency of the company’s success on software, the more intensive and sensitive you should discuss the following questions:
Can my company still set itself apart from the competition if my company works with the same standard software as my competitors?
Would my company want to be heavily dependent on a standard software manufacturer in this sensitive area?
Of course, you could now argue that the competition that works with this software has expanded, that the software must work, and that the risk of failure in introducing this standard software is low.
In addition, the next thing you could point out is that in the case of custom software development, there is also a dependency on the software service company that develops the custom software. However, this argument can be invalidated with good project resource planning by integrating your own developers into the custom software development project. You can use standard components so that custom software development does not become too expensive. For example, there are widely used programming languages, common software architectures and IT infrastructure components that not only facilitate the procurement of technical personnel, but also their possible later incorporation into the code.
Choosing the right Custom Software Development company
The service provider you choose for custom software development should definitely meet some essential criteria.
The Culture of the Service Provider for Custom Software Development
There’s no doubt that the software development service provider should fit in with your company’s culture. If you have a startup culture in your company, a custom software development company that is exclusively active in banking and insurance might not fit your company very well.
Knowhow in the field of Requirements Engineering for the documentation of the customer’s Individual Software Requirements
Much more important, however, is that the service provider who implements the custom software development is both authentic and experienced. He or she must be able to estimate the costs accurately in order to be able to make you an offer. For this, the software development service provider should be able to listen to you very carefully. They must understand exactly what you are looking for. This requires a lot of expertise and know-how in Requirements Engineering (Requirements Management). It is important to document and sketch your requirements precisely. These would be, for example, your internal process environment, the processes that are to map the future individual software, as well as communication with other systems and reporting. But also things like non-functional requirements, performance, security, etc. should ultimately be covered by this service provider.
Providing support for potential improvements in Custom Software Requirements
If your requirements have been fully understood by the custom software development company, this should help you to improve the requirements. Unnecessarily complicated requirements and processes should be simplified. For this the service provider for custom software should have experience from similar projects.
Technical realization of the Custom Software Development
The service company that develops the custom software should work with proven technologies and technology architectures. The custom software development should work in the end, and not only be innovative. If, for example, you want to have serious support software developed, don’t let them make you buy a bot labelled “artificial intelligence”. As of today (2019) there is no software and no artificial intelligence that passes the Turing test (KI Turing test). You are also welcome to read about our experience with IBM Watson. In the end you would only lose customers and be dissatisfied. Therefore it is important that the individual software development company should be both realistic and trustworthy.
The service provider who develops the custom software should also agree that developers of your company participate in the project. The service provider should understand that you do not want to become completely dependent.
If possible, widely used standardized and well documented technologies and programming languages should also be used. So that you can, if necessary, replace the developers with as little additional financial expenditure as possible or work against possible personnel fluctuations.
Data analytics experience of the service provider should be a prerequisite for custom software development
Today, software can no longer be developed independently of databases and data analysis requirements only. Software developers need experience on what they can decide which data analyses will be possible and which will not even if the customer requirements might contain a few complex reports only. The data area is developing so rapidly that today’s requirements will no longer apply tomorrow. That’s why the software architecture, the database structure, must be already aligned to the future during the implementation of the individual software. Knowledge and experience in the area of data, data rooms, data analyses or Data Analytics should be provided by the service provider for custom software development, as well.
We are stretching out our sensors in the area of custom software development to you
Come within our reach, we would very much like to realize your custom software development together with you. We look forward to receiving your message via chat, e-mail web form, or LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or call us (Tel.-No. for customers from Germany 06102 / 7485-600; for customers from Switzerland: 041 / 5520-189). We would very much like to win your trust. Learn more about our company and read how HighPots was founded. You can find a small excerpt of our reference customer list under references HighPots. What else can we do to gain your confidence? Contact us – we are looking forward to hearing from you.