5 Reasons to Avoid Software Bloat at All Costs
Software bloat. It is something we've all experienced a time or two. For some reason, so many makers of commercial software feel it necessary to fill their applications with a cornucopia of unnecessary features, creating a bloated package that doesn't do right by its users. We think that's a bad idea.
One of the reasons Modest focuses on custom software development is a desire to give clients what they need without any bloat. Software bloat is the enemy. By its very definition, it is completely unnecessary. Our clients want business management software that does what it's supposed to do – nothing more and nothing less.
Still not convinced that software bloat is a bad idea? Then check out these five reasons to avoid it at all costs:
1. Bloat Creates Steep Learning Curves
Whenever you bring on a new employee, a huge part of the onboarding process is becoming familiar with company software. Enter the learning curve. New employees need to learn how to use software proficiently. At some point, they must master it.
One of the big problems with bloat is that it creates a steep learning curve. Bloat gets in the way. It makes learning more difficult than it needs to be. To top it all off, a steeper learning curve is totally unnecessary. With custom software development, you can also build guides and tutorials that will explain the best use of your application.
2. Bloat Reduces Usability
Even after employees reach the upper end of the learning curve to finally settle in, software bloat still reduces usability. Commercial office suites and bundles, here's looking at you. Some of the most popular office suites on the market are so bloated that you may feel you need a master's degree just to navigate the menus. That doesn't make for very usable software, does it?
3. Bloat Consumes Valuable Resources
Commercial software developers tend to load their applications with tons of features just so they can differentiate themselves from the competition. But here's the thing about bloat: it consumes valuable resources. Every feature adds to an application's size. It adds to the volume of computing resources necessary to run it. Bloated software is too big, too slow, and too resource hungry.
4. Bloat Creates Security Issues
A well-known rule within the software development environment is that complexity creates security issues. The more complex a piece of software is, the easier that software is to breach. It is an inverse relationship that is easily charted by anyone who understands software security.
The most bloated applications are the easiest targets for hackers. Every feature represents a potential way in. On the other hand, eliminating bloat makes developing secure applications much easier. Bloat-free apps tend to be safer and more secure all the way around. Custom software solutions often have security needs built into them.
5. Bloat Adds to Development and Maintenance Costs
If bloat increases software complexity, it stands to reason that it also adds to development and maintenance costs. Complex applications are harder to develop. They take more time to build, test, and maintain. That's why so many commercial applications cost a lot more than they should.
Approaching custom software development with the mindset of minimizing bloat helps keep costs under control. Fewer financial resources are needed to get a package from conception to deployment. And once up and running, less money is spent on maintenance and upgrades.
Custom Software Development is the Gold Standard
You have probably guessed by now that Modest has very little good to say about software bloat. From our point of view, bloat is both unnecessary and detrimental. We would far rather design custom business software that offers only the features clients need.
We have a thing for bloat – and it's not a good thing. We strive to develop bloat-free software that just works.