The Problem with Software and The Append Media Difference
Imagine for a second that you went out to buy yourself a pair of socks. All you need and all you want to get is one pair of socks, but when you went to the store you found out that all the stores were also bundling them with suit jackets. A new blazer might be nice, and at some point, you might need it, but for now, all you wanted was socks. Now imagine that the only real way to get the socks you need is to buy the bundle that comes with the suit jacket at the cost of a suit jacket and the pair of socks. If any physical product was sold this way, who would ever actually buy it? Probably no one, and yet that’s exactly how business software is made and sold.
The Problem with Software
Modern companies have to be able to react quickly to ever-changing markets, and to do this, they often rely on software to keep them aware of changes and to help with forecasting. This leads many companies to purchase off-the-shelf software, that is sometimes helpful, sometimes not, and almost always comes with a bundle of features they don’t need and more often than not, will never use. It’s a lot like not being able to buy a pair of socks without buying the unnecessary suit jacket that comes with them. Most off-the-shelf spreadsheet software, for example, is quite powerful, but that power means it will have plenty of extra features that your business will never actually use. This also creates the problem of it not being particularly user-friendly. If there are features that aren’t getting used because they could actually mess up a necessary business process, then a few wrong clicks could end up with some disastrous consequences.
Unfortunately, this is the industry standard when it comes to off-the-shelf software, but that is because they are made to be general tools—software swiss army knives when all you really need is a dedicated screwdriver—not anything particularized to solving an individual company’s problems. The problem this creates is that businesses are getting one-size-fits-all solutions and just suffering through the inefficiency and difficulties because that’s the way it’s always been done, and things are working just well enough that the problem can be swept under the rug year after year. So new hires get trained on software that isn’t helpful, and then they go on to train the next group, and overall the software that doesn’t work all that effectively gets ingrained into the culture of a company as something that annoys everyone but they just deal with it—until something really bad happens and change gets forced either due to some kind of system crash or because someone finally decided to consider other options.
The Problem with Custom Software Companies
The first step to actually solving a problem is to get some kind of software created, and there are two routes businesses can take for this. One is to hire people from a staffing company, and another is to work with a research and development company. On the surface, a staffing company sounds like it would be appealing. You can get a team of contract software developers into your company and have that team around to consult with and help out as needed. This route often has hidden costs as well since this essentially means hiring a whole new team in order to solve the problem. Also, a staffing company is going to give you new employees, which might be more than a company will want to take on if all that’s needed is a solution to a problem.
The other route is to work with a software development company. Unfortunately, there are more ugly industry standards here too. Since larger software companies often set the tone for the industry, that same problem with bundling and giving customers unnecessary features is standard practice in the software development industry. This costs businesses time and money. In terms of time, when a company has been sold on the idea that they are getting a whole host of features, the solution actually takes longer to make and it’s harder to implement. This is just from the practical fact that even with a team of software developers, these companies are still making features that look good on paper, but don’t help solve any problems. Also, just like off-the-shelf software, some research and development companies won’t sell a solution without all the extra unnecessary features.
This adds up to the whole project taking more time to complete, and as more time is spent, the projects get monetarily costlier as well. Research and development companies are still going to need to be reimbursed for their time, so as a project drags on toward completion, it will continue to get more and more expensive while taking months to come to a solution. Many R&D companies also hide this from their customers, and this is one of the biggest disadvantages of outsourcing software development. Either through dishonesty or not really communicating the process thoroughly, the customer is often left in the dark about what they are getting, what it is going to cost, and how long it is going to take. Overall, this leads to a myth that getting custom software created for your business processes is costly, time-consuming, and overall not worth the effort.
The Append Media Difference
Here at Append Media these problems with our industry bother us as much as they bother our customers, so we do everything we can to bust the myths about custom software and change what we see as unhelpful practices. We do this through fully analyzing a problem so that we and our customers are aware of the scope of the project. Our careful gap analysis lets us deliver software at a reasonable price and at a speed that no one else can deliver.
In order to accomplish work for our customers, we offer what we call the minimum viable product, or MVP. All that means is that we offer our customers everything they need and nothing they don’t. If you’re looking for a pair of socks, we make sure you get a pair of socks, and we don’t force you to buy the suit jacket too. Extra features are nice, of course, and we can provide them if a customer wants them, but overall, we let the MVP direct our work. For our customers, what this means is that they are getting a custom business software solution that is more affordable and takes less time than the competition.
The end result of our work is that we are able to deliver custom software without a massive expense in either time or money. We don’t waste time developing features that no one wants, needs, or is going to use, and overall, that leaves us with a better, simpler product that saves our customers money, and delivers the best software for large or small businesses. We’ve found that this is also a more honest approach to software development because we aren’t trying to hide our process from anyone. We’re a bespoke software development company that tries for a quality that’s all too rare in our industry: clarity. When our customers are clear on what they are getting, and we are clear on what we are doing, we are able to be the best and the fastest custom software development company around.
If you feel like other research and development companies are trying to force you into buying that suit jacket and socks combo when all you really need is the socks, get in touch with us. We’ll make sure that the software you are getting from us gives you everything you need, and we won’t try to sell you a bunch of features that will never be useful for you or your company. That’s the Append Media difference, and that’s what allows us to offer the best in custom software development.