Several providers of no-code, low-code, or offshore software development offer the prospect of generating higher return on investment, or ROI or to achieve other benefits for business operations by rapidly developing fresh software to meet today’s business requirements. Organizations may consider a COTS Software solution, but not all software packages in the marketplace can offer a good fit to the requirements for a business — and those requirements are often changing in real time. Therefore, some companies with distinctive products and services may commission custom application development to suit their specific or unique requirements. A modern trend in software development is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) which can give a flexible and cost-effective environment for creating, screening, building, and deploying applications or systems needed to start or support a new program. Here are some guidelines, or things to consider, when selecting an approach to custom software development:
1. Are the requirements understood? When we do modernization work, typically the requirements are in the old code, which is a source of truth — even if there are defined “deltas”, or changes and enhancements, to be made. But for new custom software, the requirements need to come from somewhere. The ResQSoft Engineer approach is to define aspects of the new system using SDL, and use the non-discardable prototyping capability to create a vision of the system that users can see and relate to. Although the business rules should still be documented, it’s a lot better than a 500-page document!
2. Who’s going to do the work? (Bet you thought we were going to talk about cost now — but no, cost depends on who’s going to do the work, among other things.) Are you planning to outsource the software development, perhaps even to an offshore outfit, or do the work in-house? As an industry, we have a lot of experience with outsourced development, and the results are mixed. We are big fans of the in-house teams, but sometimes they need a bit of help. Ask us about bringing our tools in-house for your next development project, and letting us boost your team’s productivity by a factor of 4, as Booz Allen experienced on a project with us.
3. What’s it going to cost? If you work with us, “less than you think” is the answer. We can do it for you, perhaps as a sub to your favorite systems integration partner, or we can do it with you. Even if we just do it for you, the cost is predictable and a great value. And, in almost 20 years, we have never hit a customer with a change order!
Oddly… we have lost custom software development work by not being expensive enough. Truly! Even though we understood the requirement (since we wrote the documents and did the prototyping), and even though we demonstrated how we delivered code, the “experts” said “it can’t be done for that price!”