Through our work over many years in software development, we have often been asked why would a company choose to develop software rather than license or buy software already built. The one thing that stands out is the use of technology to power your competitive edge.  

To be competitive, you either have to innovate how you serve your clients or focus on how you manage your growth and being very efficient in the way you provide services. Given these two things are very tied to how a company operates this is where we have often found a company is better off building their own solution than using off-the-shelf ones.

Let’s review them in more detail as to how they relate to custom development.

Innovation

It is one thing to have new ideas, but it is entirely another thing to be able to execute them. Innovation is the ability to implement new ideas that add value from a customer’s perspective. Technology is the enabler of innovation and what sets a company apart is its ability to use technology to innovate. Technology allows you to be the first or the disruptor that provides a better, more valuable solution.  It is impossible to find what will set you apart in an off-the-shelf solution. To be “one-of-a-kind” you need custom software development.

The next step is to decide whether it is best to build internally or hire a technology partner. However, in software development, you always are developing with a third-party as the idea usually comes from the business and is then transferred to the development team’s hands. Therefore, in all cases, it is essential to have a process in place to keep the vision very close to the production team. The development team or tech partner that you choose should have experience with the industry you are serving. They need to understand the vision and have processes that allow them to develop with quality, iterate quickly, and have frequent check-ins to adapt if needed.

Technology will set you apart; there is no denying that, and you know that if it is not you, it will be your competitor. Industries do not get disrupted by manual processes; they get disrupted by the right ideas executed through technology.

Growth

Growing a company is fun but being profitable is the responsible thing to do, and for that, you need to be efficient in the way you deliver your services. Digital marketing especially when you serve the SMB market is a numbers game. The key is how efficiently you can scale to achieve profitable growth. The most expensive way to scale a business is through adding people as it adds more overhead, processes, and complexity.  The second is to scale with solutions that increase in cost as your business grows, as it inhibits your chance to improve margins with scale.

Growth enabled by technology needs a balance between existing tools and integrations that glue them together to allow the efficient flow of the information. Automate the processes that take most of the manual time and use solutions for the areas that are not tied explicitly to your competitive advantage. With a mix of solutions and custom development, you can automate your delivery process. For that is essential that every off-the-shelf solution you choose has API integrations that are flexible and allow you to design an efficient process that will integrate all the necessary pieces to achieve ultimate efficiency.

 

In conclusion, when you look into ways to drive your company forward either through innovation or growth, technology is an integral and vital piece of the puzzle with custom development at the forefront of it.

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