Along with technological development, entrepreneurs increasingly automate certain processes taking place in their companies. Less and less often we can meet sellers who have their "magic" notebooks in which they write down their notes and customer data, and it is just one example.
In order to meet market requirements, more and more often as entrepreneurs, we will look for software that can help us improve certain processes and even bring profits from the purchased software. To make you aware of what I am writing about, I will use an example of an application for booking a visit to a doctor, in which the patient can choose a free date and make a prepayment. Therefore, thanks to such an application, a given clinic earns real money.
What is dedicated software?
IT systems created specifically for the needs of a given project, undertaking or company. It can be a desktop application (installed on a computer), a mobile application (installed on a phone), a web application (accessible from the browser) or any other type of software.
Dedicated software can be both a simple tool and an extensive application. Most often it is software ordered by the company in order to adjust its functionality to one's own needs.
Why may I need dedicated software?
I think that it is worth starting with this question because it will help you and your company save a lot of time and money. There are many ready-made solutions on the market supporting the business activities of companies. To begin with, I would try to find a few of them to solve your problem. Then I would try to use these applications, buy monthly access (often companies offer a free trial period or demo version). If you found a solution among them, the answer is quite simple. You don't need dedicated software and you can start using the selected application right away.
Let's assume that after a few months the functionality of the selected application starts to be missing or, for some individual reasons, it starts to irritate you or work inefficiently. This is the time when you will feel that you need to change something, you can look for something ready on the market again or consider an option tailored to your company. In the following, we will describe what you can gain thanks to dedicated solutions.
Dedicated applications and ready-made systems
Getting straight to the point. It should be realized that ready-made systems do not focus so much on performance, but rather on maximizing functionality so as to provide a very wide range of possibilities for potential customers. And so, for example, you would like to have a neat application that serves to better organize your contacts or products in your warehouse, and in return you get a huge "combine" that has a lot of options that obscure the whole picture for no reason. Oftentimes, off-the-shelf systems have almost everything you want, but 1 or 2 options are missing and it can be very frustrating if you don't have one in the future.
So what will we gain by creating software written according to our requirements? A lot depends here, starting with very prosaic ones, such as: interface colors, menu item, individual functionalities, individual access levels for employees at various levels, and ending with very advanced integrations with other applications (desktop, mobile) and external devices.
Advantages of creating software that works in the browser
Regardless of what solution you choose, a ready-made application or a dedicated solution, you will always face this problem. In what environment should your application work? At the time of writing this article, you have three main strands.
The first and the oldest when it comes to the history of the application development, is a desktop solution, i.e. one in which software is installed as an application on your computers. As for the advantages of such a solution, it is considered the safest and most effective because it uses the resources of our computer to a very large extent. As for the disadvantages, if you do not take your laptop with you, you cut yourself off from accessing your data.
The second is a server solution, i.e. one in which the software is installed in the form of an application on a server that you can access via a browser interface. The advantage of this solution is the ease of access. You just need to use any computer with a browser, log in and you can use your application. The disadvantages are lower efficiency and dependence on internet access.
The third solution is a mobile application installed on your end devices (phone, tablet, TV, game console, etc.) or your employees and customers.
When it comes to extensive ERP or CRM systems, I strongly recommend my clients any web solutions, i.e. 2nd or 3rd solution. Nowadays, when life is rushing and we are more and more mobile, getting attached to desktop applications and taking your laptop everywhere can be inconvenient for some people.
However, I do not want to cross out the first solution because with very restrictive security requirements or very specialized requirements, a desktop application may be the only reasonable solution.
Why should the software have a good interface?
In the previous paragraph, we just used this word - interface. Why is the interface so important that we devote a whole paragraph to it? I think that this is one of the important things that distinguishes a ready-made software from a dedicated solution. I do not want to underestimate the importance of individual functionalities, but the interface is something that can save us a lot of time at the stage of using the application.
Let's imagine a very extensive application in which the key functionalities do exist, but to get to them we have to click through 5 screens. When we multiply this by dozens of such operations a day and thousands a year, we will start to wonder whether it is better to build your own individual application that will save us a lot of time.
I hope that after reading the entire article you have formed your opinion about dedicated software and whether you really need it. To make it easier for you to make a decision, I have prepared pros and cons for you.
What can you gain by choosing dedicated software:
- an individual interface that will save you a lot of time during everyday use,
- unconventional approach and precise adaptation to the processes taking place in your companies,
- functionalities that you will not find in any existing IT solution so far,
- much more individual integration with existing processes in the company,
- better ability to analyze data and generate reports,
- integration with the external system of your contractor or supplier,
- the possibility of implementing an innovative idea that has not yet been implemented by anyone.
What do you have to be aware of:
- significantly longer developing time compared to ready solutions,
- high costs at start.