If a holocaust were to ever hit your city, wipe away your every possession only to spare your phone, what is the first thing you would do? My bet is that you would scramble to access one of the many social media pages to ascertain whether you were the only one affected by the unfortunate event. Right?
Fortunately or unfortunately, that’s the world we are living in — controlled by technology and it’s more interconnected than ever. And this deep-rooted and mutual relationship has permeated every aspect of our existence.
In particular, the business world has been overhauled by technology to the extent that digital presence or lack of it can define the success or failure of a company.
At the forefront of this phenomena is the absorption of custom software development. However, as each year passes by, new languages, software architectures, methodologies, and containers continue to emerge. What may seem like a superlative option could be rendered obsolete in a matter of months.
Which then begs the question, is it time for every other business out there to consider having a permanent software developer?
In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at the current state of software development, why and how to partner with a software developer and the benefits of such an arrangement.
But it wouldn’t make sense if we didn’t define what custom software development is.
What is Custom Software Development?
Custom software development entails the designing and building of software applications for a specific group of users, whether within or outside an organization. Compared to an off-the-shelf software which is used to solve a widespread problem, custom software is designed to solve specific and unique organizational or personal problems.
Typically, it is created by external parties or an in-house team of developers and is almost impossible to repackage for sale to other parties.
You may ask, why find web developer partner/s when I can use one-off software?
As it turns out, businesses operate in different environments and customers have different tastes and preferences. This means that as an entrepreneur starting a business, you can’t try to fix square problems using square solutions. You will need a customized solution to meet your customers at their point of need.
With that said, whether you are looking to establish a social media page, a website, an e-commerce platform, or a combination of all three, having a conclusive strategy is paramount.
A Brief Overview of the Software Development Market
To paint a clear picture of where software development started gaining tract, we need to go back a few decades.
In 1948, Tom Kilburn who was a computer scientist at the University of Manchester in England together with Freddie Williams created the very first computer software, to perform simple mathematical calculations.
In the period preceding this pioneering technology, computer programmers and companies like Apple started creating computer programs using the punch cards concept where respective holes denoted a definite machine code command.
Today, the software industry has transformed into a refractory mammoth touching even the least expected areas such as kitchen appliances and even submarines. According to a report by Statista, it’s estimated that the software development industry will generate $427B in 2019. This number is expected to see a 12.45 per cent CAGR by the year 2022, which goes to show how receptive the market has been.
5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Developer as a Small Business Start-Up
You may be pessimistic about hiring a custom software developer, given the fact that there are multiple free website builders. But this is more of an egg and chicken scenario or synonymous to deciding whether or not to call a mechanic to fix your car headlight.
Can you repair it by yourself? Sure you can!
Let’s take it a notch higher. Assume you are shopping for a dream car.
Can you manufacture the same at home?? Exactly!
One of the vital steps to starting a business is creating an online presence. But this doesn’t mean you can operate an amateurish website or app and claim to have an online presence.
A free template-based web builder can work when you want to create a simple blog to document your personal stories. However, if you are looking to run a serious business, having custom software is probably a good idea.
5 reasons why you should partner with a custom software developer
Limitless Programming and Project Management Experience
As a non-engineer, it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to fully comprehend the scope of your development project which ultimately determines the development cost. Simple software that doesn’t use external sources may take only a few days to engineer and deploy. However, larger and complex software can take several months to complete.
Whether you are looking to build software for your successful home business or a large multinational company, it’s important to note that larger development projects entail a lot of back-and-forth and multiple rounds of testing.
As a person with zero knowledge regarding software engineering, it is super-difficult to follow up on this and at the same time develop a clear strategy for your project. However, when working with a development team, they will help you draft a plan, give the estimated time it would take to complete, and do the actual heavy lifting work of building the software.
Better yet, working with a developer/ development team gives you deeper insights into your industry and even that of your product. Moreover, you get to benefit from superior development tools and recent trends in the technological marketplace, which means you get a coherent product.
Help Create Platforms where Customers Can Easily Find You
Any successful business knows that modern customers mostly shop online. In this case, if they want more information about your company, products, or services, the first place they will do their research is online.
Gone are the days when businesses would assume monopolistic tendencies or assume that customers have no substitute due to limited info.
A simple Google search will give them multiple options if you don’t have an online presence. As such, developers help you gain that competitive edge over your competitors by helping you establish platforms where your customers can easily reach you.
In today’s business world, online marketing is a must-have because it largely influences purchasing decisions. Apps are superior marketing tools compared to print media. They are cost-effective methods in the sense that a business can use their app to relay information to thousands of people concurrently without spending a fortune.
By helping businesses build apps, software developers essentially eliminate distance barriers allowing you to reach customers who are thousands of miles away. Additionally, ‘shareability’ of the apps and other platforms allows your already existing customers to seamlessly spread the word about your business to an even larger audience. Ultimately, this helps in brand exposure and other creative and exciting methods to market your business.
As a business owner, you may have the urge to wear multiple hats to either reduce costs or protect your investment from sinking — which is understandably okay. Unfortunately, if software development is not your forte, chances are very minimal that you can personally build an app or a website.
Hiring a professional who specializes in software engineering allows you to work within your strengths and focus on your core business. After all, your single-most emphatic obsession should be looking for effective ways of how to run a business and this can only be achieved if you focus on what you are good at.
They Can Bridge Internal HR Glitches
We are living in a highly competitive global economy whereby businesses are required to establish a sustainable talent pipeline if they are to succeed. However, this is not the case with the tech industry as it’s one of the areas that has continued to face a perpetual shortage of skills.
According to research conducted by Robert Walters, more than 70 per cent of employers in the tech industry admit they are already facing skills shortage due to the emergence of new technologies.
As a business owner, partnering with a software developer can benefit you in two ways. First, they can help you build software that augments your brand — which is their work anyway. Secondly, if a technical member of your in-house development team leaves, either through termination or voluntarily, you can request a developer to temporarily fill the void as a consultant before you get a permanent replacement.
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, it’s important that you give your business a competitive edge by building and maintaining an online presence. Unfortunately, most business owners tend to overlook the importance of having qualified personnel with strong core software development skills to create such platforms.
Partnering with a successful and versatile software developer/s is a great investment that pays lifetime dividends, whether you are a startup or a multinational company. For instance, you gain access to recent technological advancements in the marketplace, plus you get useful insights and suggestions to keep your software current which allows you to enact any updates long after it is deployed.
The good thing is that companies are beginning to realize that unless they have both the technical and practical skills to build a sustainable online presence, it’s always good to leave it to the experts.