We live in an age of flim-flam. Sometimes there are so many myths, half-truths or even out-and-out lies flying around that it’s hard to know who or what to trust – did fake news on Facebook really win Donald Trump the US election? Is the Loch Ness monster really teaming up with the ghosts of Elvis and Michael Jackson to create a new boy band? – there’s so much dubious information out there that, if you’re anything like us, your head is probably spinning on a daily basis. So today we thought we’d debunk a myth that’s very close to our hearts, and the myth is this one: that bespoke software doesn’t give you value for money and won’t produce the results you’re looking for.
Let’s start with a question: if you could work more efficiently, improve productivity and quality, and save yourself valuable time in the process – wouldn’t that be the smartest way to do business?
Well, that’s exactly why bespoke software is so important, because it is usually developed for the sole purpose of addressing a problem that’s unique to your business, not only solving that problem but also streamlining your processes and significantly improving the way that you work.
True, bespoke software may be a little more expensive than a less effective off-the-shelf compromise, but when you consider all the advantages it could give you you’ll quickly see it offers a massive return on investment. In terms of man hours saved and extra productivity gained, the average bespoke software product will usually pay for itself within a matter of weeks.
But let’s examine two of the biggest myths surrounding bespoke software development.
Myth 1: You won’t get what you asked for and it will always cost you more than you expected.
No, that should never be the case and here’s the simplest way to make sure it doesn’t happen:
When you initially sit down with your developer to discuss your project, be absolutely clear about a) your key requirements, and b) your budget. Before you even go into the meeting, know exactly what you want from your new software and also know what you’re willing to compromise on if you don’t have the budget to make it all happen. So long as everybody understands those parameters, and you’ve all agreed the best way forwards, there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises.
Naturally, we can’t speak for any of our competitors but here at Syrinx we always make certain that there’s an open channel of communication between ourselves and our clients. That means everything we do is absolutely transparent. The developer you choose should be equally as accessible.
Myth 2: The developer will mysteriously disappear as soon as they finish the job, leaving you left without support if things go wrong.
This is where it’s crucial to select your software developer carefully and ask them a single important question at your very first meeting, or even upon first contact: if bugs appear, or if there’s ever any problem with your software, what support will you give me? Find out as much as you can about their after-sales service, ask them if they will roll out updates or fixes across the life-span of the product, and do your research. No developer can ever guarantee their software is bug-free – if a developer tries to tell you otherwise just say goodbye and walk away quickly – so be as certain as possible that you won’t be left high-and-dry if the unexpected ever happens.
And here’s one last thing to think about…
How comfortable do you feel with your developer and how open do you think they’ll be to your feedback?
Many developers are so precious about their code that they’ll quickly attempt to shift blame onto the end user – they call it ‘user error’ and, more often than not, it’s just a techy excuse to try and sidestep the real issue.
The solution? Find a developer you can trust, who will welcome your feedback and use it to improve what they do and make your product (and any future products) better. Don’t waste your time or money working with a developer who will sit in his or her ivory tower and pretend it’s everybody else’s fault when things go wrong. Again, do your research.
At Syrinx, we listen to our clients, deliver what they’ve asked for, fix bugs free-of-charge and welcome any feedback they give us. It’s all about communication. If you and your current software developer have a failure to communicate, give us a call.