Raise your hand if you’ve had a great app idea that no one’s thought of yet. Is there anyone among us who hasn’t hit our head on a wall trying to find ways to make technology work the way we want it to? If you’re like most, you’ve reached that point and said “fine… I’ll just have to build this from scratch…” only to find yourself with another headache when you realize the investment of time and money it will take to “invent the wheel” of your technology solution.
Recently, we’ve investigated three ways to make technology systems our own – customization, integration, and now, custom development. Customization and integration involve taking pre-built systems such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, and web-based tools and tweaking them to your specific needs toward a wholistic, functional solution. Custom development is where you remove the “box” third party tools force you to live within and create your own solution from scratch, just the way you like it.
Custom software and mobile app development is EXCITING. The sky’s the limit when it comes to features, expandability, and a unique look and feel that if only yours. Custom development is ENGAGING. It can get your entire team involved in the dreaming process as you build a solution to meet your unique needs. Custom development is also ENGROSSING. It will consume your time. You’ll think about what else you could do with this or that while you drive, while you sip coffee, and even while you sleep. And finally… custom development ie EXPENSIVE. Just because your solution may seem simple and straightforward doesn’t mean it’s easy to build. Large amounts of both time, money, and expertise will be required to bring your idea fully to life.
In my line of work, custom software and mobile app projects are some of our favorite endeavors to take on with a client – not just because they bring in significant cash flow, but because they allow us to partner with businesses to bring an idea to life in a way no one has done before. We’re brought behind the curtain into the way a business ticks, we become part of a competitive advantage, and we build a relationship that can far outlast the project and become a significant part of our own future while those we serve continue to flourish.
If inventing the wheel of your own technology solution is on your radar, you already know you should tread carefully. A customized or integration solution that is DONE is far better than a custom developed solution that never gets off the ground or drains your bank account. On the other hand, the solution you build may be the tipping point for the next stage of growth for your business and one you couldn’t achieve any other way.
Thanks for wading through these ways to tailor fit software and technology solutions to your business. Should you ever have an idea and like to bounce it off someone to consider the paths forward, please give me a call. I love hearing ideas and sharing feedback with those who are ready to think outside the box.
For publication in the Business Leader
By Chet Cromer