Do you need custom software? Really?
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Do you really need custom software? Business Problem Decision Matrix
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The Ultimate Guide to Overseeing Software Projects
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SolutionHuman/low-tech hacksCommercial off-the-shelf softwareCustom-built software
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Tool ExamplesCall center, email, basic cloud tools, generic database, spreadsheets, IFTTT, AutomatorSoftware that already solves your particular business problem. Might be able to be white-labeled (put your branding on it).Software engineers write a custom software solution
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Application ExamplesA realtor takes notes on their phone, synced with assistant.Scheduling, accounting, discussion board, knowledgebase, e-commerce platformBrokerage site, ride-hailing app, member services app, fitness tracker, Software as a Service product
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CapabilitiesBest customer service
Better decision makers
Differs according to the software.Real-time interaction, instant access to data, wearable sensor data, camera, GPS, secret sauce, unlimited integration potential—you name it.
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Network EffectsFew, if anyFew, unless it’s a platform with users (e.g. eBay, Etsy)App stores, web directories
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User experienceHigh touch, often subject to wait timeGeneric, may be industry-specific, but not specific to your audienceTailored to your customers. Most efficient and refined user interface.
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Upfront costTrainingLicense, setup and customization costsCost of development
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Recurring costWagesRecurring fees, maintenance and upgradesHosting and any third party integration fees.
Upgrade app for new platform (e.g. phone) versions.
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