Looking beyond ROI: How your custom software project can deliver additional value

Few, if any, companies enter into a large expense lightly these days. We expect results, and every dollar spent on an initiative is invariably tied to these results and, of course, to ROI.

Naturally this same mentality applies to your proposed custom software solution acquisition. Such a purchase has associated expenses and you want to know that your spend will be rewarded in additional revenue. You want to see the results. But how do you get them and are you getting the right ones?

You can guesstimate the ROI, but this calculation won’t tell you the whole story or all of the benefits your custom software solution could be providing.

Your Custom ROI

The potential benefits of your custom software solution extend far beyond the conventional ROI financial rewards it can recoup for you. Today we’re providing a list of four other potential perks you should consider as part of your overall ROI calculation. Some may not apply to your company or project, but we hope that the majority do and that you find a few additional benefits you may not have otherwise considered.

Factor 1: Streamlined Approach

Your software solution should solve problems, not add to them, a truth that’s sometimes easier said than done with off-the-shelf solutions. Why? Because off-the-shelf solutions are made to work with everyone, not specifically you, and when a solution isn’t tailored exactly to your needs, there’s a chance you’ll have to “meet in the middle,” employing a few workarounds to marry your new solution with your old system.

How does this impact your ROI? It’s simple. By employing workarounds, your team is immediately working less optimally than they would if the solution perfectly meshed with your existing systems. Investing in a custom software solution, however, eliminates this concern and allows you to drill down, with your team of software developers, to determine exactly what you need the solution to do and how that objective can be accomplished while working with your existing systems.

A custom solution will allow you to:

  • Reduce clerical work, because it takes care of those details for you.
  • Optimize processes so that you’re working smarter, not harder.
  • Gain added intelligence to do the job, kicking your performance up a notch.
  • Gain access to custom reporting on demand, which is vital to your metrics of whatever job you’re doing.

Don’t work around, work through to find the most efficient results.

Factor 2: Customer Retention

In some cases, your custom software solution may sell a product, deliver a service or perform some other function that makes it incredibly easy to attribute a standard financial ROI to the software. In other instances, that may not be the case, and yet your custom software solution may be filling a role that is absolutely vital to your company’s well-being — like retaining your customers.

Markets are always shifting, and as new technology solutions are introduced, customers’ expectations adjust. All of this means that a software solution that was once good for your customers may no longer be, and if you’re not improving the solution to meet their needs, you run the risk of losing them.

In trying to accomplish this goal, you could purchase an off-the-shelf solution hoping it does the trick, or you could dig into your customer response data and the calls your service team fields using that information as a basis for creating your new custom software solution.

Your ROI and your company will benefit from the latter.

Making the right choice for a more well-rounded ROI

Is your new piece of custom software worth the investment? There are several variables that play into this decision, many of them specific to your company, but you would do yourself a disservice to not also factor in one or all of the points above. Just remember that your custom software solution is not a short-term fix but a long-term answer. Because of that, your solution’s ability to support your ROI can shift several times throughout the course of its life and your company’s.

About Saturn Systems

Saturn SystemsSaturn Systems is an entirely U.S. based software engineering firm that provides a broad range of services, from project-based development and quality assurance testing to fully integrated staff augmentation teams. Saturn's Rural Outsourcing model couples the lower cost of doing business in Duluth, MN, with an experienced engineering team - making Saturn an attractive alternative to high-priced metro firms and the inherent difficulties of offshore services.

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