It is tempting to go for a packaged software as a quick fix for your current needs. However off-the-shelf applications do have limits that could hinder an evolving and growing business. And for that reason is why you need a do-it-yourself platform, to utilise custom application development for a solution that grows along with you.
What is Application Development?
How many times have you heard the phrase “there’s an app for that.”? The helpful suggestion offered by a friend or colleague who has just heard you complain about some mundane task you would rather not have to spend your precious time on in order to get it off your to-do list. Application development describes the process of creating a computer programme or a set of programs to perform the various tasks that a business requires. We use application software everyday, from scheduling sales reports to stock management and inventory. Application software can be built into any sector of a business, including sales, marketing, accounts, production and human resources. They help businesses automate processes and increase efficiency. Every app-building process follows the same life cycle:
- Gathering Requirements
- Designing Prototypes
So, web application development and mobile application development, what’s the difference? They may have different names but they both have similar aims.
Web Application Development
A Web Application is software developed for a specific purpose that uses client-side and server-side programming to develop an application accessible over a web browser. They can be accessed using any internet-enabled device such as phones, laptops, tablets and desktops. Examples of these include online banking sites, e-commerce websites and social networking platforms. Web app development is platform agnostic so businesses don’t need to develop a separate app for iOS and android – something that directly doubles up the costs. Web application technologies have advanced tremendously over the last few years, making web apps just as immersive and personalised as native apps.
Mobile Application Development
In today’s world, it doesn’t matter where you turn you will more than likely see someone using a smartphone. Now that the internet is available on a mobile device they are being utilised for work, to keep in touch with family, and of course to shop. Mobile application development is the process of creating apps that run on any mobile platform: Android and IOS. With all that you need at your fingertips, you can track inventory or make instant updates all from your phone. A typical mobile application utilises a network connection to work with remote computing resources. Hence, the mobile development process involves creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, assets, etc.), implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on target devices.
Ready to discuss a project?
Find out how we can help you grow your business.
Benefits of Application Development
Custom software development helps businesses gain a competitive edge whilst increasing productivity & efficiency. Some of the biggest benefits of having bespoke software development include the following:
1. Bespoke Software is Innovative & Exclusive
No two businesses are exactly the same so it makes sense for businesses to go in search of custom software that meets their specific needs. Having a personalised software product that is made purposefully and solely for that business helps ensure that the software contains all of the features and functionalities that the company needs to streamline the business. Custom software is able to complement a working model better than any off-the-shelf software ever could since it is designed to support a particular business’s identity.
2. Software Development can Improve Productivity
Organisations that rely on COTS software that does not offer all the features and capabilities that the organisation needs for its daily operation often experience more interruptions than those businesses that choose to use custom software. Having a custom application that caters to the unique requirements of a business help employees work more efficiently, it allows them to perform their duties with greater confidence. Furthermore, having software that supports employees in their job roles will lead to more work being done in a shorter amount of time which is beneficial to the company’s bottom line.
3. Increased ROI
Some businesses are reluctant to invest in custom applications due to cost. Although application development typically costs more than an off-the-shelf alternative, businesses receive more in return for their investment. Custom applications save a company money in the long run, there is no need to purchase additional hardware, licenses or features that may never get used. In return for an initial investment, businesses that choose custom application development have the opportunity to create personalised software from scratch.
4. Scale Your Organisation Better
Every business aims to grow the scale of its operations over time. As your business grows, so do your needs. Purchasing off-the-shelf solutions will become problematic once it is unable to support your business or it becomes too expensive to license. Modifying off-the-shelf software to accommodate growth can often cause bugs, bugs in software mean increased disruptions to business. Developing a solution that is able to grow and scale your business process is a savvy choice. You don’t want your capacity for growth to be limited by mere software.
5. Integrate Software With Other Programs
Developing a solution that meets your specific business model allows a business to make all the necessary integrations from the outset. Whether using new or already installed hardware or linking to an existing system there are no limitations. It can be implemented with a structured rollout. Custom software mitigates the chance of integration issues. It can easily fit within any business’s software ecosystem. Custom software development also enables businesses with outdated systems to easily update their business processes and make the essential shift to mobile and the cloud. Making these important updates can help a growing business gain a competitive edge in the market.
6. Security & Ongoing Technical Support
Security is a major concern for many B2B and B2C companies. Data access and security concerns affect many end-users in the market today. With custom application development, you have the power to decide which data-security technology or protocol is ideally suited for your business and integrate that within your software. No matter how good a piece of software is there will come a time when a business encounters a bug or requires an update. Off-the-shelf applications usually come with minimal or no support which can make troubleshooting difficult when issues arise. Custom application development means you have access to continued support from a dedicated team of specialists.
If you’re looking to grow and expand your business the team at Reach can develop innovative solutions – be that a web or mobile application. From design through to development, our team of experts can offer a full-service solution to solve your business challenges. Please get in touch and let us help you kick start your next project.