custom software development Tag

[caption id="attachment_15778" align="alignright" width="319"]software automation automated software won't kill business[/caption] Can software replace my job? It's a concern with roots going back centuries to the arrival of the first automated power looms in 18th-century England, continuing into more modern times with the large claw-like robots that build automobiles. Today it seems there are hundreds of websites making their living pushing clickbait headlines describing the perils of the coming Robopocalypse of software automation replacing human workers, and I often see those fears bubbling to the surface when working with clients. Fortunately, in my experience, those fears are often overblown, and I'm not alone in thinking so. Wired's James Surowieck agrees that we have nothing to fear.   The automation jitters usually start to come out during discovery. I talk with clients to clarify the business logic, workflow rules, or other automated features, and I'll use the term "robot" to describe the software we're building. After all, "if I can't tell the robot what to do, how will it know how what to do?" It's somewhere around here when we're asking somebody to explain their whole job function that somebody on the client's team will mutter, half-jokingly, "So I guess I better start looking for another job, huh?" It's not hard to understand where that thought is coming from. After all, if we can completely strip away the human layer and turn their job into a series of rote, mechanical steps, what role is left for them? I quickly try to assuage their fears.

[caption id="attachment_15770" align="alignright" width="300"]app developers Dig a little deeper to determine the customer's real need.[/caption]

Customers = Solution Architects

A few years ago, we were asked to quote a small automation for an existing, repeat client. They wanted help streamlining a spreadsheet-based process that took about 1/2 day of a high-level employee's time each week.

Customer: Can you help us save some time by writing some Excel macros?

Susco: Of course we can develop some Excel macros for you. But first, why do you need them?


Let me take you back to the year 2011.  This was a big year for us, as Susco had made a big name for itself as one of the first movers in mobile app development studios in the State of Louisiana.  We were growing revenue at 50% per year and collecting awards like they were going out of style. At the time I was a babe at 33, not a grey haired 39 year old –  so needless to say, the success started going to my head. I thought of myself as being very emotionally intelligent with how I dealt with people, but it’s very easy when growing a company to do a great job focusing on the way you treat your clients and referral sources but not apply the same effort with your staff.  This blind-spot almost cost me one of my best employees at the time.  In the interest of protecting the innocent, I’ll refer to them as “Jim”.  So, here we go…

[caption id="attachment_15555" align="alignright" width="300"]custom software upward growth graph[/caption] We get this question a lot from business owners in the middle of a growth phase. Often, they are already using systems for accounting and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and they are not sure what processes could be improved, and if there is a business case to improve them. Over the years, we've identified a number of clear indicators that it's time to invest in technology. This can be in the form of implementing a pre-existing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), implementing a platform solution, or developing a custom software solution. We'll elaborate in an upcoming post on which of the 3 solutions is the right fit for you, but for now let's focus on the "smell test" of determining if there is a need. Some are oblivious, while others are more subtle.

[caption id="attachment_15573" align="alignleft" width="300"]updating an app 1 before and after screen shot[/caption] How do you take your app to the next level? The French Quarter Task Force app was created so that the same people living in and visiting the French Quarter could report a crime in progress. The first version of the app was a success and the new version named App Task Force tries to be more user friendly and expand its user base.  

When your business requires a software solution, you have several directions which you can go. A credible custom programming firm can help you device by completing a detailed needs analysis so that they can provide you with the information needed for you to make the best business decision for your company. It's not always easy to device which application is right for your business. Below are a few pros and cons that may help you device.