Today, achieving digital transformation involves spending on software solutions that help explore new revenue streams. When referring to digital products and services, we see that it raises certain points. Generally speaking, what happens when a business announces its decision to take the digital route? Sales teams contact them with offers of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), ready-to-deploy software that guarantees a great ROI.
Here is the million-dollar question. Will readily available technologies be worthwhile in the long run? As a startup, you would probably think about how much time, money, and effort you could save by opting for this. Your business consultant may claim that custom software development is an expensive and unnecessary investment at such an early stage. The idea seems reasonable from a financial perspective, and you disregard other possibilities.
You may bring up the misconception that custom software development is high-priced and accessible to only growing companies or large enterprises. On the contrary, vendors recognize that startups need to gain a foothold in the market, and they are tailoring quality, low-cost, custom solutions just for this group.
Also, what if we tell you that there is a generous pay-off for bespoke software in the long run, although you may not realize its benefits immediately?
Let’s look at things another way. Realistically, ready-made software can meet a 3-5-7 year business plan. We do not agree with this. All the purchasing would be for nothing if you receive incomplete components and features to drive your unique business functions. Always be careful never to make a tech decision with little to zero business sense in a moment of pressure or rash thinking.
Now, let’s discuss how bespoke software prepares your startup for success.
1. Fewer Complexities
As a startup company, there is a lot to do. You have to put together a high-performance team, work with a marketing agency, ensure efficiency and productivity, and above all, make a name for yourself. The last thing you would want to do is make a poor software choice and deal with technical difficulties when you should be focusing on your business.
Information technology can be tricky, but a little research goes a long way. You may not know all the features you will require as part of your software until you start scaling up. This shows that a one-size-fits-all approach is not viable. Whether it is a strategy, a system, or a software installation, you cannot expect your requirements to remain the same as your business grows. When choosing COTS solutions, startups often pay for features they do not need as they have little to no choice in the matter. With customization, you need not modify your internal processes to adapt to the software because the vendor will design it according to your company’s structure and flow.
Also, fewer features mean quicker development and timely solution delivery, allowing you to get to market faster and improve profitability. Adding new features after you have released your product, service or solution is your vendor’s responsibility, and it helps when you have a dedicated team working on your project.
2. Easy Systems Integration
When you perform an initial evaluation of your infrastructure, you may believe that tools from different vendors complement different operations. In reality, working with a single service provider is the answer to success. Imagine a scenario where you enter into a contract with multiple vendors. Later, you find out that each product they offer has its architecture differences, unique development techniques, and varying degrees of implementation support. By doing this, you probably risk losing thousands of dollars.
Your technology ecosystem must function as a single, streamlined unit capable of delivering value to your clients all the same. Bespoke software solutions are designed to accommodate every facet of your business. Adjusting and integrating them with your existing apps and systems takes minimal effort. Let’s not forget how doing so eliminates the need for data duplication. Also, bespoke software follows common standards in both development and implementation, allowing companies to build interoperable and flexible tech stacks.
3. Future-Proof Innovation
Innovation, problem-solving, and continuous improvement are the building blocks of business. When you start a new company, you want to position yourself as a brand that can do all three. This conveys the message that you can cater to diverse client requirements and interests. So, what happens if you purchase ready-to-deploy software, even if it’s from a well-known vendor? You limit your ability to think outside the box by reducing your innovation capabilities and risk losing your clients to the competition. You ask your software vendor to retool or suggest alternatives, but it’s probably too late by then.
You cannot bring your innovation efforts to fruition without your employees. This is another reason why custom software development is practical for startups looking to automate operations and enhance both efficiency and productivity. Let’s say you pay for a prebuilt solution and train your staff to use it. It works in the short term, but when you evolve into an SMB or enterprise, problems surface. You will still be retraining an experienced staff and teaching new hires how to use the same solution. This shows a lack of growth, and a mass-market software package can become redundant anytime.
Non-customized software can hinder employee progress if the features they need to work on a task or project are unavailable. Building and retaining skilled and high-performing teams means equipping them with tools to do their job well. If you choose a solution that is not designed specifically for your company, your staff will struggle with pre-made solutions sooner or later. Ultimately, they become less creative, your innovation reduces, and you may lose your resources.
Spending on tailored software solutions means you can innovate at a convenient and comfortable pace. This is possible even if your clients’ needs evolve and change along the way, and it keeps employees proactive. What’s more, you can avoid making unnecessary software purchases if your existing vendor cannot add or roll out a new feature anytime soon. You can save your business from delivery delays, potential client dissatisfaction, and low ratings in the online space.
4. Personalized Experiences
At the end of the day, the customer experience (CX) is what truly matters. As a startup, you want to build trust, and you can only do this by offering quality products, services, or solutions. Investing in custom software development gives you the ability to meet different client preferences and not limit yourself to only a certain niche or target audience. Let’s look at an example.
Let’s assume you have started a mobile hardware company, and now you wish to improve your digital presence. The telecom industry sets a high standard of onboarding corporate clients, and you want to be able to meet this. Your B2C experience is evolving, but your B2B efforts are not quite paying off. This is where you need to ensure that customers can easily browse, research, and make purchase decisions with minimal effort. The benefits for your business are clear:
Once completed, your clients can easily browse, research, and make purchases with minimal assistance. The benefits for you are clear:
- Reduced service calls from clients mean fewer IT support tickets, freeing up your staff to focus on other tasks.
- Encourages your sales team to manage customer accounts effectively and gain more business. It also motivates them to serve your clientele proactively instead of implementing a reactive approach where they handle procurement-related questions or complaints.
- Improved B2B account management and customer service levels. It makes sound business sense to give your clientele the freedom to handle memberships, pricing plans, recurring purchases, and shipping details on their own. Thankfully, with custom software, your clients can manage their accounts to save you time and money.
For more information on the above, read more on the top software development challenges that businesses face and what you can do about it.
In addition to eCommerce, here is a list of popular custom software in the market:
- Custom Relationship Management (CRM)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Web portals
- Remote dashboards
- BPO automation systems
Startup Use Case Examples By Industry
Healthcare services are high in demand, especially in a post-COVID-19 world. You want to be able to provide the best possible care to your patients both virtually and on-premises. To survive and stay relevant, select a bespoke software provider to create an online portal. Patients can then effortlessly interact with your team, schedule appointments, update their medical records, and seek immediate medical attention when necessary.
The same goes for Medicare/Medicaid services companies that require web portals to effectively manage the fees, deposits, and payments they process every week. Undoubtedly, COTS accounting software will be overwhelmed by the number of transactions that take place each day. For this group, you design custom web portals that condense several hours of work into minutes, saving them valuable time and effort. They also get to automate key processes and receive alerts in which case they can ask you to fix any issues they may be facing.
When it comes to money matters, clients demand the safest and best possible experience. This is one of the reasons why they take time choosing the financial institution they would like to do business with. The option to pay bills, transfer money, and withdraw funds without having to visit physical premises is convenient these days. What can you do if you are in the banking sector?
Go for custom web design and development services where you retain control over your project and explain how exactly you would like the UI/UX to be. Customers are more likely to choose you if you include website functionalities like secure login, real-time alerts, safe transfers, and the option to view or download e-statements.
Let’s say your client runs an online platform on which they provide access to educational lessons and lectures from around the world. They are a startup company with a new but clunky website and cross-platform mobile app. The answer is to rebuild both from scratch, and they approach you for web and mobile development services. This is a crucial task considering how much content they upload on their platform, whether it is daily or weekly. Let’s not forget how the need for smart features such as secure payment processing makes it difficult to work with a COTS solution.
With bespoke software, the client benefits from a completely revamped platform with an integrated content delivery network for video streaming. The outcomes include more students and professionals signing up for courses, choosing bundle plans, and being able to checkout with no problems.
HR professionals in new companies usually have their work cut out for them because of their role in hiring resources with the right skill sets, ethics, and attitude in an organization. Bespoke software can help them with management and workforce scheduling solutions to simplify their daily duties. Recruitment executives can leverage bespoke software to schedule interviews, onboard hires, manage turnover, organize training sessions, and handle employee documentation.
Making A Decision
You have decided to opt for bespoke software, and now you have to choose a company to work with. How do you decide which to go for, apart from the usual factors including budget and engagement model?
According to Forbes, some of the software development trends to watch out for in 2021 are native app development, IoT, Big Data, AI, and CI/CD, among others. Work with a company that specializes in all these fields. Ideally, their client portfolio should not only include startups, but also SMBs and enterprises.
It does not matter whether you own a startup, SMB, or enterprise. Fully functional, custom software development services are the need of the hour, considering how they contribute to productivity and ROI. Although you need to set a reasonable budget aside for it, it is an investment that will never disappoint.
Choose a trusted vendor who asks detailed questions about your requirements, understands your business vision, and does the math before entering into a contract. The perfect technology provider will give you a choice between a fixed price and dedicated team engagement, and exercise caution to prevent scope creep.
A good profile and the expertise of your technology partner are necessities. This shows them as the leading custom software development service companies in the world. It also indicates that their team makes an effort to fully understand your demands, budget, and what you hope to accomplish with custom software before beginning any project. Get in touch with Tkxel for custom software solutions fulfilling your business needs. Drop us a line today!