Custom Web Development

At Point Alliance, we have a very highly skilled and experienced development team, fully certified and up to date on the latest frameworks and methodologies.

Our engagement module is extremely flexible to meet the needs of our clients and may fall into one or multiple of the following buckets:

  1. Complete a detailed project plan with level effort and budget to deliver the defined project.
  2. Augment your team to assist in delivering a defined project on time with the necessary skills required.
  3. Work with your organization or line of business to define the requirements and recommend the best solution.
  4. Step in to support or enhance an existing application that may have been developed internally or by another third party vendor.

 When to do custom development vs. purchase Off-the-shelf software?

We will always recommend to clients to evaluate existing off-the-shelf software to solve a business requirement before embarking on a custom software development project. This is a prudent exercise that will allow you to determine if an existing solution already exists that will typically come with a lower initial investment cost and quicker time to implementation. Why reinvent the wheel if you do not need to?

If you determine that existing products and solutions do not solve your business requirement a custom developed solution may be exactly what you need. Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are great to get up and running quickly, but you need to evaluate the costs as you could run your own custom software in the Cloud as an alternative.

Let’s look at the following simple example. Assume that you have 100 employees that will need to access the new software platform. Option 1 is to pay $100 per user per month to subscribe to a platform that you believe will meet your needs. This will cost 100 x $100 x 12 months or $120,000 per year. Over 3 years that is $360,000. Option 2 is that I am sure that you could develop some pretty great custom software for that investment that would be tailored to your exact needs.

Now there are other costs to consider, including hosting fees, maintenance fees and the support that is required to have custom software run smoothly. And certainly, the math is very different if you have 10 employees as opposed to 100 (or just think if you had 1,000 employees that needed the access the software).

 Benefits of custom development

Beyond the cost comparison described above let us look at some of the other benefits of custom development or scenarios where a custom developed solution may make sense for you and your organization?

  1. Nothing exists that meets your unique business needs – whether your business is in an industry that is under served with current technology solutions or you have unique needs and requirements that are different from other like organizations.
  2. Nothing exists to integrate or extend some of your existing backend systems – you may have made investments over the years in a variety of systems and platforms and you are not prepared to throw it all away and replace everything at once for an enterprise-wide solution with its associated costs.
  3. Nothing exists that will give you a business advantage over your competitors – based on your business model or the innovative way that you are looking to run your organization a new custom solution will provide you with something that no one else has to offer.

 Onshore vs. Off-shore

It seems easy to save money (in most cases) on routine development and generic features by outsourcing off-shore, but when projects require a higher level understanding of actual product, market, or customer knowledge on the part of the development team and solution architects, a local team is what you will be looking for.

Global logistics are also an important benefit to choosing a local custom software development company. You could be facing a four, six or even ten-hour time zone difference. Is your in-house team equipped to handle that time differential or is someone accessible during your “off” hours when your outsourced company is working and has potential questions or issues?

Time and again, we have seen client examples of choosing the lower cost option of off-shoring a development project where the hourly rate of the resources may be one third the cost, but what is not usually factored into the equation is time. The time that it will take to explain the business requirements. The time that it will take to go through extra iterations of development  and testing because of misunderstandings. The additional time that it will take for your internal resources to be involved in the project from start to end. What is the value of your time?

There is no substitute for an experienced local development team that can work closely with you, your IT team and your business leads to deliver the project as you had envisioned it.

How can Point Alliance help?

Point Alliance is here to be your trusted advisor. We will not sell you on the idea of custom development unless we feel that it is in the best interest or your organization.

We bring a wealth of experience in software development, systems integration and business process improvement. These are our core competencies, and we would be grateful to have the opportunity to participate in your next project as part of your extended team.

Call me, Jonathan Hamilton at 416-943-1556 to schedule a 10-minute virtual coffee. I look forward to meeting you.

We hope you have found this edition of “To The Point” by Jonathan Hamilton to be helpful and informative. Look out for our next installment as we continue to explore unique topics from business to the latest technology.

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Warm regards,

Point Alliance Team