Global enterprise software spending will reach $400 billion by the end of this year. If you are considering investing in enterprise software, lets find out if it makes sense for you.
In today's world, successful companies are constantly monitoring their business and looking for ways to improve it to maintain (or even increase) revenue, retain employees, and deliver the ultimate customer experience - and that's where software helps.
Global enterprise software spending will reach $400 billion by the end of this year. If you are considering investing in enterprise software, the only question you need to answer is: "Should I create custom software or choose an out-of-the-box solution?".
Why go for custom?
When Apple introduced the famous slogan "There's an app for that" seven years ago, we were not taken into account. How could there be an app to monitor a crowded parking lot before it reaches its destination?
This year, our wildest dreams have finally come true, because now there are an impressive number of apps for everything.
It's the same with enterprise software. Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Microsoft still dominate the global CRM market, and you can hardly find better applications for customer management. It will cost you an arm and a leg to create a decent SAP clone. Why go crazy over a custom application when you can organize your daily goals into concrete actions with Evernote? If you want to start an e-commerce business, you can create a small Shopify online store for just a few hundred dollars a year or opt for a hosted Magento website that can hold up to 50,000 items for a few thousand dollars a year.
Why should you invest in custom software development?
Customization. It's as simple as that. It takes between 300 and 400 hours to create a full-fledged corporate website with WordPress or Drupal, respectively. The estimate covers website design efforts (including single themes and mobile optimization), actual development (landing pages, navigation menus, web forms, content management tools) and SEO optimization. Multiply the efforts by the median hourly rate of the web developer (a few hundred euros) and you will get the price of a corporate website that is tailored to meet your needs. Of course, there is the hosted version of the WordPress CMS - and its 40,000 paid and free plugins and templates to extend its functionality. But who are your customers (especially Millennials and Centennials who love speed, ease of use and authenticity) thinking about the impersonal "face" of your brand?
Security. Despite ongoing efforts by SaaS, PaaS and IaaS vendors to secure their software, packaged offerings-especially community-oriented CMS solutions-present unpatched vulnerabilities. According to Veracode's recent State of Security Survey, 57% of third-party applications do not meet security requirements. Not surprisingly, 43% of cyber attacks now target small and medium enterprises (the main followers of standard software solutions);
Innovation. Apparently, there's an application for everything - but not all applications created are created equal. The r-stylelab.com team, for example, recently built Addzer - a customer reference application targeted at independent restaurants and small coffee chains that don't want to invest in custom mobile application development. The application allows businesses to create corporate accounts, add detailed descriptions of their locations, organize advertising campaigns and reward loyal customers with bonus points. Why are mastodons like Starbucks and Domino creating mobile customer loyalty applications from scratch? Commercially available applications such as Addzer, Belly and Perka have their limits. Today, you may be completely satisfied with a third-party mobile application; tomorrow, you will want to change the direction of your business and engage customers through specific notifications. Most standard software solutions are designed for companies that use traditional business models and leave little room for innovation.
Advantages and drawbacks of custom-built software
We have already cited several reasons to hire an experienced software developer and create applications from scratch. Other benefits of custom software include :
Scalability and flexibility. With custom software, you can start small and add additional functionality as your business grows (which is extremely important for trend-sensitive industries such as customer service, retail, education, tourism and hospitality);
Intellectual Property. Once you have created a custom application, it belongs to your company and could give you a competitive advantage in the future. The growing demand for enterprise mobile applications (which is expected to exceed the available development capacity by 500% this year) has led to low-cost mobile application development solutions such as Mo-Apps and Appery. And if you choose the low-code approach, launch the application and wake up famous? You don't own the intellectual property and will lose a substantial part of the revenues it will generate.
Not all custom software can be "magic"; its advantages (listed above) and disadvantages include relatively high initial development costs, maintenance and upgrade costs, and employee training costs.
Custom software is unlikely to be the right choice for start-ups and small businesses that lack funding, are focused on short-term initiatives, or are currently taking their first steps towards digital transformation. As the business grows, the lack of customization options can lead to inefficiencies - and it's time to invest in proprietary software. As a business owner, you should be able to identify your pain points and choose a solution that best meets your needs.