Ask most people what software development begins with and they’re likely to say “programming.” It’s a natural enough response. Everyone has heard of computer programming and know that software applications are the result.
Software, however, begins with a process. You can never develop useful software without first knowing what processes it will perform and improve. What data will be input into the software? What processes will the software run on those data? What valuable output will those processes result in? These are the fundamental elements of any software.
The First Benefit of Software Development
When you begin to plan the development of a new application you start with the existing process or processes it is meant to improve. The more thoroughly you can document the processes and related procedures the more effective the software will be.
When many companies begin to search for new software, they seek to find software for their industry. Software that supports what they do. Those who ultimately purchase such software often find out that the way the software works is not necessarily the way they work. They must find ways to modify their existing processes to conform to the way the software proscribes. Often, the result is a web of workarounds.
This is where the preference for software designed specifically for you begins. One of the side-effects often found in this first step of defining and documenting all processes is the surfacing of weaknesses in the processes. The team acknowledges many of the workarounds they’ve developed in their manual process. Flaws that have reduced efficiency for a long time. Before a stitch of software has been developed your company has already benefitted by finding ways to improve existing processes. This leads to an important understanding.
What Do You Get?
Software automates processes. What do you get when you automate a bad manual process?
A bad automated process, or an automated bad process. An unproductive process. A less efficient solution.
So, before you can have software developed you must work first to improve those processes. First, make the processes better. Then automate them to make them even better, faster, with fewer inherent delays, and far less error-prone.
There’s also a bonus waiting for you that is often hidden during the development process but is often emphasized by quality developers.
It is likely you’ve heard the word used but may not have known what it was referring to. Most simply, metadata is data about data. With transactions, for example, metadata might include what time of day an order was entered, how long it took from placement of order to delivery, and all steps along the way. Category of products purchased. Price points. Sizes, colors, and other personal specifications.
While some companies never go near this metadata, leaders perform all manner of analytics to expose amazing insights into who buys what, when, where, why, how, and more. Which are their most productive and/or efficient employees? What time of year is best for marketing specific products and services?
Companies that are not leveraging their metadata, not learning from every transaction, won’t stand a chance in a competitive environment where more and more competitors are looking at their biggest digital transformations in the rear-view mirror.
It’s Becoming a No-Brainer
When you compare the cost of having software developed to automate and improve your company processes with the return on investment you enjoy from the acceleration of time-to-market, the reduction of errors, the deeper insight into who to sell what to and when, and all the other advantages we’ve discussed briefly here, it becomes somewhat of a no-brainer. Why have you not yet commenced a software development initiative? Enable yourself to constantly increase your profitability. Talk to a quality developer today. Talk to Saritasa.
Nik is the CEO and Founder of Saritasa. His passion for technology and the incredible enhancements it brings to our everyday lives is what inspired him to start Saritasa back in 2005. He recognized that many businesses are often afraid to adopt new technologies and sought a way to bridge the gap between innovation and business.