Software Workarounds vs. Custom Business Software
If you have ever purchased any kind of software for small businesses, you know that off-the-shelf products don't always work the way you want them to. The same is true for SaaS solutions. Your business may have certain ways of doing things that just cannot be accomplished straight up. So what happens? You need to come up with software workarounds or you can develop and implement a custom business software.
Software workarounds aren't a good deal for any business. They represent a compromise, for all intents and purposes. You have a piece of software you want to make work despite the fact that it wasn't designed to work the way you need it to. So you find ways to work around its shortcomings. Here at Modest Dev, we believe in the power of custom business software that is suited to each business' different needs.
Here are five reasons doing so is not ideal:
1. Workarounds Reduce Efficiency
By definition, workarounds require employees to do things with software they otherwise would not. It requires them to change the way they do things. Either way, a bit of efficiency is lost. Team members cannot be as efficient if their software is holding them back. But that is exactly what happens when companies have to settle for packages that aren't quite right.
2. Workarounds Affect Workflow
Hand-in-hand with reducing efficiency is interrupting workflow. The classic spreadsheet illustrates this particular point perfectly. Remember that spreadsheets were originally designed to be accounting tools. Yet so many companies now use them to generate reports.
Spreadsheets are not built for reports. You can make them work, but you need to go in and do all sorts of custom formatting to get the kind of presentation you want. You spend more time formatting than actually inputting data. That is not good for workflow.
3. Workarounds Lead to Mistakes
A more important issue for some companies is that workarounds can lead to mistakes. This is never good. Software for small businesses should help minimize mistakes, not create them. A software package's deficiencies become unacceptable at the point at which mistakes become routine.
4. Workarounds Waste Time
Another thing about software for small businesses is that it is supposed to make a company more productive. Software is supposed to eliminate much of the manual work that is used to eat up valuable time. But when a package is incapable of meeting a company's unique needs, the time-saving benefits evaporate.
One or two workarounds might be manageable. But if a company relies primarily on workarounds to make software doable, you now have a situation where a tremendous amount of time is being wasted. That time that could be spent on serving customers or improving products and services is put into making software work.
5. Workarounds Make Everything Harder
The previous four reasons explaining why software workarounds are a bad deal can be wrapped up in this final reason: they make everything harder. By their very nature, this is what workarounds do. Just think about the term itself.
To work around something is to take a less direct path to the same destination. You're taking a less direct path because something is blocking your way. Going around makes your life harder. It takes longer and causes delays. It forces you to do more work.
So many companies accept workarounds as a necessary part of using the software. We don't. We believe software for small businesses should work exactly as companies need it to work. That's why we developed our model of building custom business software based on the modern SaaS model.
Yes, it really is possible to have customized SaaS solutions running your business. It's possible to have software that doesn't require workarounds. If you would like to know more about how we do it, feel free to contact us.