Nov 25, 2020 Written by David Barlev
A team working on a project together

When growing your business, you’ll inevitably hit a point where out-of-the-box software isn’t cutting it, and that’s when you’ll find custom software.

But how do you know when it’s time to make the switch?

Here’s the honest answer:

When your system is slowing you down more than helping you.

Whether your business is large or small, growth causes growing pains. And more often than not, you’ll experience those pains through your internal systems and software. 

Unfortunately, the reality is that prosumer-grade software like Microsoft Access or SaaS platforms like Salesforce has their limits. Due to the fact that these systems were built with the masses in mind, they aren’t equipped to bring you the high-level of specificity you need for your growth.

And that’s where they fall short.

So, are you at the point of no return or still on the fence?

Worry not, here are 5 signs your business needs custom software…

1. Your Current System Isn’t User-Friendly

A man plugging cables into a modemHow do you know? Because with every new hire, you’re putting them through a week’s worth of hands-on training to get used to a system filled with bugs and workarounds.

We’ve been there and it’s pretty frustrating for all parties involved.

And when you build up from a shaky foundation, you’re effectively putting your business’ success and efficiency on a house of cards. One major glitch in the system and you’ve lost a day’s worth of work—or worse.

Add in the manhours wasted training new employees to use a faulty system and the time suck only grows wider.

Instead, you need a system you can rely on—one built for scalability and your needs in mind. And that’s the benefit of custom software, but more on this later.

2. You’ve Got Too Much Data

This is a big one when it comes to database management or client management systems (CMS).

Take, for example, Microsoft Access

Microsoft Acces or MA is known for it’s relatively easy-to-use, yet complex database management capabilities. With helpful software like Microsoft SQL server, fans of the program can draw out the software’s maximum potential.

However, there’s one tiny problem.

MA is terrible at handling large amounts of data—seriously terrible, anything over 2 gigabytes and they’re limiting file sizes.

And 2GBs isn’t a lot.

So, if you’re handling large amounts of data files (photos, videos, extensive records, etc.) then commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems like MA won’t be very helpful for you as you grow.

On the other hand, with a custom client management system built for scale, you don’t need to worry about your data busting out the seams. All you need to do is increase your server size since you’re doing your own hosting.

That’s it.

No-fuss, no middlemen, just you and the power to shape your growth.

3. It Slows Down the Entire System

A block of multicolored codeIn reference to the bloat we mentioned earlier in the excess data, it’s important to note that glitchy or overworked systems aren’t just annoying—they’re inefficient.

Yup, when using old systems that you’re business or organization has grown out of, in many cases, this software ends up slowing down your entire system.

In effect, this means that even maintaining old and outgrown systems can have a seriously negative influence on your internal operations and workflow.

Again—and we can’t reiterate this enough—custom software shines in this regard. When your business is growing you don’t need any inefficiency holding you back—least of all your own system.

4. You Have Security Risks in Your System

We’re going to lay off MA for this entry and focus on SaaS platforms; they’re ripe for hacking. Do a quick google search of “Salesforce hacked” and you’ll find stories like this.

That story is in reference to a data breach at Salesforce where thousands of customer profiles and data were exposed to potential bad actors.

Don’t get us wrong, these incidents are nonetheless pretty rare, and SaaS platforms like Salesforce can be very helpful for the typical business. However, these systems aren’t without their risks.

Thankfully, with custom software, your security risk is significantly less than that of a high-profile target like Salesforce.

So, if you’d like to live rest-assured that your business’ sensitive data and files are under the best-kept protection, it may be time to consider custom software.

And finally…

5. You’ve Outgrown Its Capabilities

A woman frustrated at her laptopHave we beaten this one to death yet? The outgrowth of COTS systems and SaaS platforms is inevitable. These systems just aren’t made for the highly-specific use-case scenarios in SMB to enterprise business.

As a result, any business or organization with an eye for growth will eventually need their own custom software to meet their needs.

The question is: 

Do you want to wait until it’s costing you money or take care of it early?

In this sense, think of the acquisition of custom software akin to getting your wisdom teeth removed. You know you have to do it before it causes real damage, and if you do it right, it’s quick and painless.

The Final Word on Custom Software

When it comes to the growth of your business or organization, there’s no denying that eventually, you will hit a capabilities ceiling that only custom software can address.

Today may not be the time to make the switch—we get it—however if you are a growth-focused business, bookmark this page for later.

We’ll be here waiting for you when you need us.

Want to have a quick chat about building custom software for your business?
Click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.