Building software is a headache. The process can be very time consuming, expensive, and unforgiving.
Most businesses that weren’t already working towards digital transformation are now actively considering developing software to:
- facilitate e-commerce for customers
- allow employees to work remotely
Before you build an application for your business, here are 5 things to consider:
1. Who Will Design the Software?
You could get an individual developer to do it, but that is risky. Modern software development requires:
- Intuitive UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) design for the program to be appealing to users (customers & employees)
- Efficient database design for scalability
- Cutting edge cyber-security to protect user data etc.
Hiring a team of developers/an established software development company with individuals dedicated to all facets of the design cycle will give you a better chance of success.
2. Where Will User Data Be Stored? Is it Secure? Who Can Access It?
Cloud-based software is very popular nowadays because it allows users to access programs anywhere at any time. But remember, user data must be stored somewhere. If you fail to secure user data, you may:
- Violate GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) generating a large fine for your business
- Create distrust among key consumer groups, which ultimately will affect the bottom line
- Expose your business to cyber-criminals that will hold your data hostage for huge payments etc.
User data must be secured at all costs! Consider working with an established cyber-security/software development company to help mitigate security risks.
3. What happens if something breaks/isn’t working? Who is maintaining the software?
Technology is constantly changing, and many programs depend on others to function. It is not unusual for software that hasn’t been updated for a while, to break. Furthermore, you may realize post-launch that a software feature does not follow business logic, is creating issues for customers and therefore needs to be changed.
The maintenance/upgrade responsibilities of the software developer need to be outlined and agreed upon clearly prior to the start of any development, to ensure your program remains up to date. This agreement should be documented in the SLA (Service License Agreement) including details like:
- The channels of communication between you and your developer
- Query response time
- Any additional application support cost
4. Is there sufficient documentation?
The more complex the program, the greater amount of documentation that is needed to guide users. Software documentation should be comprehensive, easy to search and written in common language easily understood by the end user.
Good documentation will help internal users (employees) embrace the software and it will increase external customer usage/satisfaction with the application; good for bottom-line.
5. Does it exist already? Do I NEED to build it, or can I simply buy it?
Building software from scratch can be a headache. It is a time-consuming, expensive and unforgiving process. You must consider UX/UI design, cyber security, software maintenance/support and documentation among several other factors. It may be easier to:
- search online for a vendor currently offering a solution that meets your needs.
- pay them a subscription fee to use their program and avoid all the other added responsibilities of building/maintaining a program.
Epic Technologies is a Software Development, IT Outsourcing and Application Support company. We offer comprehensive software solutions to meet the needs of the regional insurance, HR and finance industries. View our various software offerings here. Request a free demo today!