Custom Software Development Vs. Free Consumer Apps in the Workplace

By On3 Marketing In Empowered Workforce, Mobile Development, Software Development January 22, 2016

Businesses should always be looking to cut costs, but avoiding custom software development in leu of free consumer apps is not the best route.  Some organizations may think that allowing their workers to bring their own applications into the office is an easy way to save on software procurement costs. According to TMCnet contributor Rory Thompson, however, you’re generally at risk of getting exactly what you pay for – nothing. Free, consumer apps often come from questionable sources and are not as powerful as enterprise-geared apps.

This is why it’s important for businesses to invest in custom software development. Companies can’t get the most out of employee devices if the programs that inhabit them are of an inferior quality. The best way to avoid this is to be involved in the design process of a new application that is built specifically for the organization that plans on using it.

A hands-on approach is the best way to go
According to TechRepublic contributor Will Kelly, mobile app usage in the workplace can be “risky.” But this is only true when best practices are not applied. Flexera Software VP Maureen Polte told Kelly in an interview that companies must “take a comprehensive approach” when managing an app’s lifecycle in order to succeed.

“Start with a consistent Application Readiness process that enables a standard procedure for getting all applications, regardless of format, tested, authorized and ready for deployment,” Polte stated. “Additionally, enterprises can control distribution and provide governance of applications by directing employees to an enterprise app store where they can download corporate approved mobile apps to their devices.”

This is critical to keep in mind when planning change around the company. Failing to understand what solutions are being put into place – approved or otherwise – will negate any of the benefits that are supposed to be unlocked.

Meaningful strategy is key
There has been a lot of talk about “the workplace of tomorrow.” More people are finding that it is possible to meet goals in new, streamlined and simplified ways thanks to mobile technology. But for businesses to harness this power, it means there will need to be a clear idea put into place of where new assets will be able to take professionals.

“Without strategy, organizations may develop workspaces with what may be excellent technology, hoping it will fix all their problems, but which will result in spectacular failures,” wrote Network​ World contributor David Danto. “These failures are usually not because the technology was ‘bad,’ but rather because it did not fit in with their actual needs (which they never took the time to properly discover).”

This means that companies have to not only provide a single tool for everyone’s use, but they also have to keep the needs of employees in mind when they do so. Nothing can stall a deployment faster than a program that doesn’t meet the needs of the workers.

The only way to accomplish this is to invest in custom software development for the organization. Having customized tools in place will allow workers to get the most out of their devices.

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