The modern enterprise is extremely dependent on technology. However, every business is also unique and has requirements that it will not be able to adjust to fit what an off-the-shelf software system can provide. The need for robust, sophisticated software systems in contemporary organizations is clear. An iGate Research study explained that the global market for enterprise software will achieve values exceeding $500 billion by 2022. However, as businesses become more reliant on technology, they are not necessarily getting better at creating solutions.

The ongoing IT project delivery challenge
IT projects are notorious for their complexity and costs. For a long time, businesses treated technology departments as cost sinks where investments were made out of necessity to support the company. As IT emerges as a strategic enabler, organizations face mounting pressure to improve their internal development and project management capabilities, but they aren't always up to the task.

"Taking a strategic approach to custom development can simplify the process of putting new solutions into place."

The 2016 Pulse of the Profession study from the Project Management Institute found that, in 2016, just 62 percent of business projects met their original goals. Sixty-four percent of projects did so in 2012. Similarly, 55 percent of projects were completed within their original budget in 2012 compared to 53 percent in 2016. All of this boils down to a situation where, in 2016, 16 percent of business projects were considered complete failures.

While these figures point to projects in general, not just software development, the study emphasized that digitization, increased technical complexity and emerging technologies are among the key issues making project success such a complex issue for organizations.

These complications all come to a head when organizations are working toward a custom development project. While the uniqueness of every business makes custom solutions attractive, complexity and costs have made many organizations extremely conservative about customization. However, high costs and high risks aren't necessary. Instead, taking a strategic approach to custom development with the help of technology consulting can simplify the process of putting new solutions into place.

Finding success with custom development
Stalled projects, high internal costs, solutions that get delivered so late that business needs have changed and similar problems aren't inherently part of custom development. Instead, those issues result from development strategies that fail to properly account for the details of the project in advance.

Leading custom development firms will take the time to get to know your business before they begin creating code. This process can involve everything from gaining an understanding of the human factors impacting the software, such as how your employees prefer to work, to the technical demands of your configuration. From there, data-driven decisions are made to define project specifications.

"A thorough analysis process is instrumental in achieving success with custom development."

As you navigate this initial custom development project phase, it is vital to ensure solution providers actually consider all of their available options. Creating a completely new solution is a waste if you just need a custom module to be built on to a common third-party software system. Similarly, upgrading or modifying existing systems may solve your problem and provide an easier fix. Ensure that your custom development partner isn't so focused on the idea of creating a new solution that it isn't understanding what your business really needs.

Going through a thorough analysis process is instrumental in achieving success with custom development. Businesses that neglect this analysis can find themselves with projects that spiral out of control over time as new requirements come up. Working closely with our customers to fully understand their needs is one thing we pride ourselves on at MC Services. Our custom development solutions for software, apps and database systems come with a strong partnership that ensures we collaborate with you to understand your needs from the project's outset to ensure smooth, effective delivery.