This is a common scenario faced by all businesses owners. In your journey to digitally transform, should you develop your technology solution from scratch? or adopt existing technology that are already in the market? This article is not meant to make the decision for you, but it will help to lay out the factors that we have observed from our clients over the years.
As a Systems Integrator, we have the capability to help you out with both.
(a) develop your whole technology from scratch, customized to your needs.
(b) you can adopt various existing technology in the market, and we can integrate them for you into a single continuous flow.
The first approach would be to adopt existing products that are already available in the market, then, integrate them together. For example, you can get an Ecommerce Store using Kentico, and purchase the Quickbooks Online accounting system. You can then get us to integrate them both together, so that purchases that occur on your online store will easily be reflected in your Accounting system automatically. However, it does come with its disadvantages.
(1) You may not be able to fully appreciate all the features of the full product. We notice that most customers only utilise <50% of the products that they purchase. What this means is that you may end up having a very cluttered product with confusing features when you only need to use a few features. If you multiply this concept with many IT systems that you wish to purchase, then you will end up with a lot of wasted features that only serve to complicate your user experience.
(2) Using many products that are integrated together does not feel unified. This is because each of the products are developed by different companies and have their own look and feel. So even if you you integrated them together, they would still retain their own individual looks. If you had 5 - 6 different systems, the user experience would tend to feel messy.
(3) Products can be integrated, but its difficult to integrate them fully. For example, the online store and accounting system again. We may be able to integrate them so that confirmed payments via the online store can be reflected in the accounting system. However, if you wanted to do more like creating a staff user for the online store, and automatically creating the same user in the accounting system, this would be difficult. Most likely, products will not let us integrate to that level, and you would still need to create your users manually in both systems.
(4) Some companies end up choosing products that cannot be integrated to each other, leaving them at a dead end.
On the other hand are custom developed products, those that you developed solely for your own use. In a way, these can bring a lot of benefits such as:
(1) It will only contain the features that you require with no excess feature clutter because it is built specially for your needs.
(2) The whole system will look unified, every module looking streamlined under one unified platform.
(3) Every module can be fully integrated. So, creating 1 staff user account will benefit all the sub systems.
However, customized development also has its own headaches. Imagine going into a store to buy a computer, and instead of being able to browse the catalogue of computers available, you are instead asked to specify what computer you want and it will be built for you. This will require you to have knowledge and know very well what you need to be built, and be able to spell it out clearly and concisely for it to be developed. This can take a lot of time and effort as well, accompanied with the danger of you missing out on critical features if you did not think to add them in.
But fret not, because at NCODE, we will be able to handhold you through this journey either way.
If you wish to adopt existing solutions and integrate them together, you can speak with us to share your needs, and we will do our best to recommend to you the right mix. If you wish to develop your own customized software, simply share with us your needs and leave it to our IT Consultants do all the thinking for you.
We hope to hear from you soon.