There are off-the-shelf software solutions and custom solutions. What I have found is that a majority of businesses require some level of customization, even with a off-the-shelf solution, when it comes to accomplishing:
1. automating specific work flows in your business model
2. make data accessible 24/7 from any device, form any location
3. keeping current with technology
Those are the three foundations of every solid business application.
Automating Work Flows
Business owners are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that packaged software is not always a complete solution for every business. Since every business has different requirements, it is very difficult for one product to accommodate multiple needs simultaneously. Custom business applications are designed to cater to your business’ needs, and to function exactly how you want them to, which can in turn simplify your business processes. Custom business applications offer a range of advantages that can ultimately help your business grow and function more efficiently.
Making Data Accessible, Use Current Technology
Your business operates in the digital economy where success is predicated on your ability to compete in a high-velocity environment. Selecting, deploying and maintaining the right technology platforms will determine whether your business will thrive. I think these are the three most important areas for any custom business application:
You want your business data to remain protected from hackers and thieves while at the same time making it available to employees, clients, and potential clients - on any device. Choose a platform that is proven and being used by larger corporations. After all, if a Fortune 1,000 company is using the platform you are considering, then it's likely to be safe and secure.
The technology running your business application has to be reliable. You don't want a situation to take place with your business like the one with rolling out the Affordable Health Care Act (healthcare.gov).
Take the time to go through a testing phase once your application is designed and built. This will give you the confidence of a smooth application process, along with opportunity to discover any process hiccups or data configuration issues.
Roll out your application now, but keep in mind the growth plans for your business. Make sure the application infrastructure is able to easily accommodate larger data flows and more clients accessing it. As well, you want to know going in to development that, down the road, it'll be fairly simple to modify your work flow processes as your business benefits from the learning curve all business applications encounter.
In Respect, Steu
Steu Mann, Owner