A custom enterprise application can improve your business operations, increase productivity, and provide a competitive edge that directly impacts revenue.
The benefits are many, but the path from ideation to launch can be challenging, especially if your team is new to software development. Challenging shouldn’t be confused with impossible, however.
Fortunately, you can take several steps to ensure the final product addresses your organizational needs and yields a strong ROI. One way to find the results you want is by avoiding these eight common mistakes in custom enterprise application development.
A high-functioning and reliable enterprise application is not created overnight, or even over a few weeks, for that matter. But it’s more than time.
Software development takes planning, and along the way, you or your team will need to make several decisions about how you move forward, and it can be easy to cut corners.
- How will you ensure the security of your application and protect your intellectual property?
- How long will you test?
- Will your application have static or dynamic data from an API?
- Do you want to add in functionality for the future, or do you simply want to focus on the here and now and get the application out faster?
- Will you create technical documentation every step of the way?
All of these questions will force you to make decisions about how much time, effort, and money you put into your project. And as you answer them, you’ll inevitably be forced to decide whether or not to take the longer route, spend the additional money, or incorporate the more complex features.
In some cases, you will be able to cut corners without significant losses. However, before you do, make it a point to evaluate those decisions’ immediate and long-term effects. Cutting corners may save you time, money, and effort upfront, but it can have detrimental long-term consequences.
Not taking the time to plan.
Software development is more than just coding and back-end development. It requires a full review of your customer needs, organizational strategies, competitive landscape, deadlines, and immediate and long-term goals, to name a few.
From there, you can plan how to incorporate those factors in a way that produces a purpose-driven software solution—for both back-end and front-end users.
Planning should be a significant part of your efforts and incorporate all departments and decision-makers directly involved or impacted by the new application.
Failure to make time for meaningful planning and wireframing activities can leave you with an application that fails to solve the problem(s) you set out to solve.
Not considering all the costs.
Custom software development is often more affordable than you think, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the cost analysis and budgeting altogether. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to account for all the potential expenses associated with development.
If you’re partnering with a software development firm, many of the primary costs concerns will be addressed during your initial engagements and bundled into your total bill.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on developing software in-house, there are several factors your team should consider before moving forward.
That includes the costs associated with the type of software project, tech stack needs, your development team, as well as any other department or team (including whether or not you’ll need to hire or contract out additional support).
Not factoring technology into your efforts.
Every company operates off a different set of technology components. Although that tech stack may be sufficient for daily operations, the same may not be true when it comes to developing software that can confidently move you into the next phase of business.
Before you commit to any internal development plans, take the time to thoroughly review your tech stack and determine what, if any, gaps exist and how you can bridge them.
Although this evaluation certainly considers the needs and requirements of current operational standards, it’s worth considering how that same stack will serve your business in the future and what, if any, impact that will have on the viability of your final application.
Working with a partner doesn’t leave you confident about the project.
If you plan to work with a software development team instead of building software entirely in-house, strong relationships will be critical.
When you begin to evaluate potential firms, do so with honesty and transparency. Doing so can help you determine what firms may mesh well with your team and what ones may not be the right fit for the job.
When you meet with developers, it should be clear that they are invested in your success and have the tools, resources, and skills to get you there.
- Do they take the time to understand your vision?
- Are they willing and available to answer questions or address concerns?
- What kind of long-term support will they offer, if any?
Many of these questions can be answered during the first few engagements, so make it a point to make the most of those initial interactions.
Giving up application ownership rights.
Failing to address security concerns.
Not considering how your new application will integrate with existing applications.
Custom enterprise software should be an accelerator to your business, not a financial drain or a wasted effort.
At DADEN, we recognize the importance of each aspect covered above. We would be happy to discuss our process and how we manage software development in a way that breeds client satisfaction, security, and long-term success.
Schedule your Innovation Session today, and we’ll help you determine the best path to a custom enterprise application that will produce the results your organization deserves.