Digital Transformation: Questions to Ask Yourself Before Developing a Custom Software Solution for your Business

There are many factors that come into play when deciding for your business to undergo a digital transformation. One of the immediate factors is to decide why are you doing the digital transformation? Are you looking to develop new software solutions or looking to automate and optimize your current workflows? According to a report from Mckinsey & Company, the objective for digital transformations is digitizing the organization’s operating model, cited by 68 percent of respondents. Less than half say their objective was either launching new products or services or interacting with external partners through digital channels.

If you are one of the 68% of businesses looking to digitize their operating model, I recommend you read our article on Technical Debt and Contact Us to get started on your digital transformation. If you are looking to develop a custom solution for your business, lets look at some major factors to consider before we start developing.

How big of an issue is it:

  1. How big of a problem is this in my business? Read as how much potential profit am I missing out on due to this problem 
  2. Is there a solution that currently exists that can fix my problem?
    a. If there is a solution, why is it not good enough for your needs?

What are your future plans:

  1. Is the system for your business only?
    a. If yes, why? If you developed a custom solution to solve a big issue, do you think other businesses
    and individuals would benefit from your app? You might want to consider future growth for the app.
  2. What technologies is the software dependent upon?
    a. You don’t need to know this inside and out specifically. The reason why you should know this is
    how it can come into effect as time goes on. If you build an application that is heavily reliant upon
    3rd party applications and open source software, you might not be able to improve your application
    in the future, or a change that happens in their systems can break yours! for more info on Open
    Source Software Pitfalls please read this blog.
  3. Did you build a monolithic or Micro-serviced system? We recommend always building production in microservices because it allows for scalability and future growth.
  4. Is the system developed to be multi-tenant or for a single company’s use?

What does the system need to do? How does it solve the problem you stated at the top of this list?

  1. How does a user interact with the system?
    a. What platforms should the application be accessible from?
    b. What software is in heavy usage at your office?
    c. What apps and user experience is most enjoyed by those in your office?
  2. What does the user experience of your app feel like? A helpful blog on this topic can be found here
  3. How many different types of users are in the system and how do the roles differ?
    a. Admin, regional managers, managers, office employees etc

What adds value vs what is nice to have:

This is when things begin to get tricky. As you are creating the idea and writing out your application’s functionality, it is easy to get carried away building features that are cool and nice to have rather than features that actually add value to your application. A good way to think about it is to imagine yourself on HGTV looking for a new home. You already told the realtor your budget, now you’re telling them what your requirements are vs what would be cool to have. As much as we wish all can’t have the mega-mansion off the bat, but by building an app that can continue to grow, you can get there in no time.

These are some major factors to consider as well there are quite a few more. There are many questions that you can answer off the top of your head about the application, however, as it gets detailed and technical decisions are to be made, we highly recommend not working with a Technology Consultancy and Application Development firm.  As scary as it is to say in the world of technology, an incorrect decision from not planning the new product properly could cost you a ton in the future to fix. Making sure you account for these items will help make sure you move forward properly and build a custom software, web application, or mobile application that is built with the current needs and the future in mind. 

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Jason Senter
Jason Senter
Executive Director of Sales & Product Management

After finding my footing in the world of technology, I joined Grata Software. I focus on identifying opportunities within your business where technology or processes are lacking, and how we can improve them. When I'm not playing sports or in the kitchen cooking, you can find me here at Grata Software, as the Head of Sales and Product Manager.