Every application your company uses takes time to learn and grow accustomed to. But when the process of developing, maintaining, learning, and using it becomes more than a small learning curve, your productivity suffers. The time and money spent on custom software and application development, let alone maintenance, is time and money NOT spent on overall productivity within your business.
If an application costs 35% of the initial investment to maintain it over the course of a year, think about how much money you spend running the application for 15 years. It’s going to be much more than the initial investment in terms of money, time, energy and skill needed.
Why Do Customized Solutions Require So Much?
Maintaining custom-built solutions costs abundant time, energy, money, and resources. These are the two common reasons:
- You Bought a Packaged Application
When you implement a mainstream, packaged application, you’re buying into the best standard processes. But, this standardized process doesn’t apply to every business. It’s highly probable that your internal processes greatly differ from your packaged solution. IT departments try to customize a solution that is not supposed to be customized, which leads to problems down the road when it’s time for an update.
- You Built a Custom Solution In-House
Not only is developing customized solutions time-consuming and expensive, but, in many situations, the person who built it is usually the sole administrator and therefore responsible for all maintenance. This leaves a lot of room for vulnerabilities. In some cases, businesses can be held hostage by their IT department.
Solving The Problem
You’ve pinpointed the root problem in your solution building process. Now take a look below for three feasible options in simplifying (and reducing the cost of) your application building process.
- Buy Or Rent: Do research on different renting options to find your best fit. Do not customize your application immediately after taking it out of the box – adapt your business processes to mimic the software. Any additional functionality is accomplished by integrating applications on top of the packaged one.
- Build “Smarter” Solutions: Build software solutions that are easy to change, maintain, expand and evolve. That way, you don’t fall hostage to an IT department when issues arise, and your business isn’t crippled when a team member leaves.
- Outsource Your Development: A majority of companies have difficulty trying to prioritize their current and future IT needs. You want to make sure there are ways to change your software as your business evolves. When you outsource your IT support needs, all staff members get the training they need, leaving less tickets in the queue for your IT team and more time to expand on business productivity.
Every application your company uses takes time to learn, but you shouldn’t let that learning curve interfere with company productivity. You need to recognize when there’s a hindrance in your solution building process, and resolve it with the appropriate course of action.
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