In today’s marketplace, businesses are becoming more dependent on technology to power its operations. With so many companies offering the latest in solutions which promise to improve efficiencies, streamline and automate processes and ultimately drive revenue for businesses, selecting the right solution for particular business needs can be very daunting if businesses are uninformed with the right information.
This issue has left many start-ups and small businesses heading straight to ready built, off-the-shelf apps to work from. While these apps may get the job done, they are typically more general in their features and application to appeal to a larger customer base.
This often means there are many features included which businesses will never use, but still end up paying for, as well as some features which are simply missing. Custom apps on the other hand, are built to the exact specifications of businesses, and as the business grows and changes, organisations can update the app to fit the developing needs and processes of the company.
So what is stopping businesses from creating their own custom apps? Below are some of the most common misconceptions about custom app development and why businesses should dismiss them.
- There are already off-the-shelf apps which can help run a business
Off-the-shelf apps are also not as flexible and adaptable to business changes and growth. Businesses will be most successful when products and services can be differentiated. Having a custom app means companies can customise their processes, which adds a competitive advantage.
- Small businesses can’t afford to develop custom apps
The hardware required to deploy an app, paying for features not being used or additional features not included as part of the app, and the deployment costs of testing, training and maintenance, are examples of hidden costs which businesses may be unaware of with off-the-shelf apps. Ironically, the cost of customisations needed for off-the-shelf products to fit businesses can be more expensive than a custom app.
As well as this, while developing custom apps, businesses have the flexibility to start small with exact specifications which fit existing processes, a definite budget and specified timeframe.
Businesses also have greater control over costs by breaking the integration into phases which suit budgets. In addition, businesses can update and install new features when it suits the company, not the software provider.
- Creating a custom app is time-consuming
Starting small with custom app development means it can be delivered faster and businesses can realise the return on investment (ROI) earlier. The advantage is that businesses are only waiting for and paying for development of the features it really needs.
- You need to know a programming language to build a custom app
- You need technical knowledge of databases and user interface design
Custom app development is now an affordable choice for start-ups and small businesses, which not only ensures businesses have an app which fits the businesses unique needs, but also gives organisations a competitive edge.
The availability of platforms which allow anyone to get started creating their own app without any coding or programming skills means it’s easier and more cost effective than ever to build a custom app centred on the business.
By David Head, Consulting Engineer, APAC at FileMaker