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Buying Custom Software? Don’t Make These Mistakes

May 12, 2016
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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

From time to time, you might realize that your generic software isn’t producing the results you had hoped. Maybe your company goals don’t quite fit within the results this software can offer, or maybe your company has grown, and “on the shelf” software no longer supports the data you wish to process. Whatever the reason your old software is failing you, it might be time to consider buying custom software. Before you purchase custom software, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes.

Expectations are impossible to meet

The idea of custom software can often send expectations soaring. When you have the option to design something specifically for your company, you might  believe that the sky is the limit. Custom software does offer great customization, but there are limits to what can be produced.

The first limitation of custom software is related to cost. More complex software takes longer to create and costs more than a basic software design. Businesses run on a budget, and the custom software you choose must fit within your budget.

Another custom software limitation is technology. New technology is being developed every day, but some expectations can exceed present capabilities. When you are buying custom software, be sure and discuss your expectations with your developer in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, so everyone will leave the experience on a good note.

Software is too complex

Another major mistake you can make when buying custom software is choosing a software that is too complex. When you work with a custom software developer, you have to keep in mind that your employees will have to be trained to use the software that is created. Sure, there are some amazing features that can be developed, but if they are too complex to teach to your employees, then your employees will not use the software.

The more training required, the more time will be taken away from production and/or services. The same can be said for features created for your company’s website. If the software is too difficult for the customer to use or understand, they won’t use it, or worse, they will choose another competitor to work with. It is understandable that flashy, new technology is eye catching, however, if it is too complex, it will not work for your company. Talk with your custom software developer about your company’s needs, and try to find the simplest way to solve your problem.

Deadlines are too rigid

In the business world, everyone lives and dies by the deadline. That’s not so with custom software. Your software delivery timeline often depends on which features you decide to use. New features bring more code, and because the features are customized to your business, the code is often new as well. Once the code is developed, there will have to be a testing period where all of the bugs will need to be worked out. There is no real way to estimate the exact timeframe for this. Several simulations must be run of all possible scenarios in order to make sure the software is running smoothly and correctly. If there are any glitches, the code must be corrected and tested again. It’s definitely good to set a date to shoot for completion, but it would be wise to understand that there has to be flexibility to receive quality custom software that can give your business the competitive edge.

These three common mistakes when buying custom software are easy to avoid, if you know they exist. Now that you do, hopefully, your custom software buying experience will be much more enjoyable and successful.