11 Jul Business Applications: How To Choose The Best Development Platform
If you’re remotely serious about your business, chances are you’ve got a certain plan in place. The next step is finding the right development platform for your business application; something inexpensive, easy to use, effective.
That all sounds good, but it might not be that easy. There are vastly different app development options out there, and you want to make sure you are getting the right one for your business.
Unless you have an unlimited amount of capital, you will probably have to make some compromises when it comes to software. A detailed plan will ensure you get the features that are pivotal to your company’s success.
So, how do you decide?
One of the easiest ways to differentiate between apps lies in their cost. A variety of different aspects go into it: it’s not just the cost of the software out of the box, it’s the total cost of ownership that ends up being more important in the long run.
One of the best ways to get this cost down is by using cloud based storage. Most app development platforms will offer some form of cloud based storage; in fact, you can even store files on websites like Amazon.
Switching to a cloud based solution also reduces the physical costs of keeping data on-site, so it’s a win-win situation.
No matter how technically savvy you are, you want to be able to configure your software on your own, when you like, and without having to rely on someone else to do it for you. For this reason, when you are looking at business software, make sure you will be able to adjust it yourself.
If you are going the custom route, the developer should be able to do this for you. Ideally, they can hammer out the source code and get the whole platform up and running, but if you need to make small changes along the way, it’s good to know you can.
You don’t want to be calling the developers every five minutes just to figure out how to access your data.
Should you need help (which is bound to happen to us all at some point), you’ll want a good support team to get the system back on its feet. When you’re choosing your platform, look at the community that uses it. It might not be something you would normally think about, but if you assume something can go wrong, you will be better prepared in case an issue does arise.
If the software foundation you are trying to use has no support community whatsoever, solving an issue suddenly becomes much more difficult as well as expensive.
Is a free trial something that is essential to you when picking the right app? Custom solutions normally lack the ability to incorporate free trials, so you cannot really take the tool for a test drive.
Alternatively, you could try and use a more popular, off-the-shelf version of software that offers a free trial, and get a rough figure of how it works for your company.
Does the platform work regardless of where you are? With the advent of app development and responsive design, this has become an absolute must. If your company’s employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work, the software has to be able to run on all of them.
This includes phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops; you should also take into account all operating systems.
Big data handling
How does the platform handle big data? If you are looking at incorporating an all-inclusive business software solution, there will be a constant stream of information input by all of your employees coming your way.
This information could just sit in cloud and be accessed when your company needs it; however, keep in mind many programs are able to take all of this data, and use it to gain more information about your own company, your employees, and your customers.
With the right software, you’ll be able view the trends and maximize profits much more successfully.
How long will it take to train your employees? If your staff are already familiar with using Microsoft Office, you cannot go wrong with a platform that integrates well the suite (like SharePoint, for example). In any case, you want your employees up to speed as quickly as possible.