There are numerous small businesses that use out of the box software applications. But, there are times when a more tailored solution is needed either as a modification of existing software application, such as managed testing services or maybe even something completely brand-new, something that hasn’t been seen before. That raises the question, what are the requirements that identify when a tailored solution versus out of a package is the best option for you? When is that you need to make a build versus buy software application decision? An answer is suggested by Jim Hutchings who’s a business analyst with Trifecta Technologies. He came up with the following 5 ideas:
- Manual Workarounds: Your company may be using manual workarounds to follow routine maintenance tasks since the software application isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to be. “When a job takes far longer to achieve than it should, that’s the first indication the company is using manual workarounds, such as utilizing Post-it notes to set reminders,” Hutchings says. “A tailored option can assist in that case.”
- Poor take Up Rate: A poor take up or adoption rate of existing software applications is another big indicator that a modification may be in order. “If workers are going out of their method not to use the software application, that’s an indication they do not like it,” he says. “Forced adoption won’t result in performance either but will result in workers griping and complaining.”
- Problem Training: When the task is difficult to train your staff members from out of the box software, your business might need a very tailored option and agile automated testing. “It could be that the topic professional is not available to train or that the software application is dated and hard to use,” he says. “Also, the subject matter professional might take an ‘It’s much easier to do it myself than train another persons mindset, due to the difficulty. In this case, a customized option would be tailored to the business’s needs”.
- The Unsupported Sales Process: There might be those times when the your consumer relationship management (CRM) software that you are using doesn’t support the sales procedure completely. Hutchings to illustrate recalled a circumstance when a customer’s CRM software application couldn’t fill the need for agreements with their unique rates model. He said “we added a component that used a custom-made workflow to go through a specific rules-based process to accommodate the client. It streamlined the sales process in such a way that the out of package software application was unable to”.
- Several Pieces of Software for a Single Task: Another scenario where personalization becomes an problem is when different pieces of software applications are needed to achieve a single task. This is exactly what Hutchings referred to as the “Frankensteining” of a software application. “This technique isn’t incorrect by definition, but it produces ineffectiveness,” he said. “If you can’t utilize simply one piece of software, there’s an issue.” He also noted two examples to make his point, “using Word instead of Excel to make a table is one example,” he said, “CRM is another. Utilizing a CRM program for most of the sales funnel however including Excel spreadsheets for reporting, you’re not getting real effectiveness.”