To stay competitive in today's heavily digitized marketplace, small businesses need to automate as much of their internal and external processes as possible. Companies that have not invested in branded apps, logistics software, automated payroll and cloud-based collaborations tools are simply not long for the world. However, to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the market, owners will have to make a pivotal decision about whether they want to outsource or keep their software development in-house. Here are three reasons why you should go with the latter option.
A greater level of customization
When seeking a holistic solution for your business's software needs, you'll likely be met with a number of generic commercial software packages. These packages will feature a great deal of functionality and guarantees of ongoing support, but the one-size-fits-all nature of commercial software can make it difficult to find a package that is easy to use and meets all your specific needs. However, as this Business Bee article notes, a boutique software option can be designed for maximum specificity and efficiency. For capital-light burgeoning entrepreneurs, having internal processes that are as expedient and accurate as possible is essential to profitability.
Communication lag can be devastating
Imagine your company is getting ready to launch a game-changing new product. You've put lots of time and money into developing the product, and its attendant marketing campaign. Then, on the day of launch, your website experiences a catastrophic crash. In that scenario, you'll want to interface immediately with an IT professional who can take action to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Someone in your company's in-house team could address the urgent issue immediately. However, if your company's software is handled by an outside firm, fixing the problem could take much longer, and the consequences of a delay can be devastating.
Cost overruns are a serious problem
If your company employs an in-house developer or a team of developers, you can get a pretty good idea of your software development costs, and factor it into your overall labor costs. You can get even more accurate forecasting if your developers are salaried, but as this Entrepreneur piece details, working with an independent contractor means costs will be unpredictable. It's possible your outsourced developers will deliver on time and on budget, but it's equally likely that a number of unforeseen problems will occur and result in major cost overruns. Additionally, ongoing IT support will probably be charged at an hourly rate, which means that if a handful of complicated software problems happen in the same period, a month in the black can turn into a month in the red.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for CBS Small Business Pulse.
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