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Software Feasibility Study: Questions To Ask When Deciding Between Custom And PrePackaged Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

 

When it comes time to invest in a new application, the software feasibility study is crucial in understanding what you really need. Before making a decision, it is essential to understand the current situation, pinpoint the pain-points, and determine the various technologies that should be considered. It is also imperative that if you are going to spend the time and resources on a project, whether custom or off-the-shelf, you resolve your problem and improve your entire system, whether it’s the efficiency of a process or collection of meaningful data.

Rule #1: If there is a prepackaged option that does everything you need, initially it will be less expensive. However, there are many more things to consider before you sign the contract. Answer the software feasibility study questions below to discover the best solution.

Executive Brief: Avoiding Common Errors In Software Development Cost Estimation

Software Feasibility Study: Discover the Five Critical Factors technical leaders consider when estimating the cost of any development project while recommending proven strategies for dealing with the challenges of software development cost estimation.

Avoiding Common Errors In Software Development Cost Estimation Screen Image
Hidden project infrastructure costs
Costs related to staff turnover and the need for new skills
Expenses due to project dependencies and communication
…and much more!

Begin Your Software Feasibility Study By Answering These Questions…

Let’s outline a few questions to consider before deciding on Custom Development or PrePackaged Software.

Business Questions That Need An Answer

        • Effect On Business – This area will relate to revenue, efficiencies, including time savings and ROI, product offerings to customers, how these offerings compare with competitors’ offerings, and the satisfaction of employees.

           

        • Who Will Use – Internal, external, decision-makers, other.

           

        • Interoperability (Now & Future) – Which other systems, and how many, within the company should this new application interact seamlessly? Can and should it integrate with the current system? Will it run on infrastructure, in the cloud, or have to work as a hybrid or multi-system application?

           

        • End-User Sophistication Level – Can this be a complex system, or should the user experience be in single steps? Is the audience expecting high-design, or can it be more “database” driven (i.e Turbo Tax vs. H&R Block Software)?

           

        • How Much Data Will Be Delivered And Produced – This is a very important question. You should make sure the expectations align with your network and infrastructure. In addition, make sure that you plan to collect your data in a format that can be used for future predictive modeling and any automation that may be in your future if AI becomes part of your plan.

           

        • How Much Data Will Be Delivered And Produced – This is a fundamental question. You should make sure the expectations align with your network and infrastructure. Besides, make sure that you plan to collect your data in a format that can be used for future predictive modeling and any automation that may be in your future if AI becomes part of your plan.

           

        • What Is The Potential Value Of The Data – If it is proprietary to you and can be used to help in decisions, identifying trends, and assist in other areas of the company, the value increases exponentially.

Technical Questions That Need An Answer

        • Process – Is there a specific process you need to follow for (a) creating custom software, or (b) purchasing and implementing a pre-packaged software solution?

           

        • Business Rules & Business Logic – What e the business rules and what is the business logic for the specific application you would like to implement? The rules represent the portion of the software that is specific to your application’s core behavior and will remain fairly constant, while the logic is often subject to change as customer needs dictate. Define the core requirements and the adjustable requirements.

           

        • Support (Now & Future) – Do you have people to support the application? In situations where there is no internal support, Intertech is often tasked with upkeep and adjustments to keep the logic client based and in keeping with company directives. Pre-packaged software will typically have a support team that keeps the application updated but rarely offers the ability for meaningful customizations to fit changing requirements.

           

        • System Integration – Do you have other applications you need to integrate with? Are there existing integrations that need to be considered? If so, will you be using the same approach or with the integrations be part of the new system? Do you control the integration points for the application or is it a packaged solution? If so, do you have all the licenses you need to operate and modify?

           

        • Custom Reporting – Do you need custom reporting?

           

        • Accessibility – With the many law suits creeping up on companies due to lack of accessibility, it is important to understand your requirements as a company and weigh the options. Accessibility can take additional time in application development, while many off-the-shelf solutions may not have every aspect of accessibility addressed and cannot be modified or require a work-order and fee to resolve.

           

Software Feasibility Study CONSIDERATION: With the ever-changing speed of technology, it is essential to get an outside view on the technical side. Intertech works in a complete range of languages. This is important because it will ensure that you are not led down a narrow path that primarily suits the firm you are hiring. Make sure you look at all the language and tool package options as you consider your new application. It will have lasting effects, from how quickly your company can adjust to future technology, to the cost and availability of support.

After answering these questions ask yourself what the implications of this specific project will be on the company and whether it makes sense? If the answer is “YES”, it is time to consider which option is best for you and the company.

Once you have your answers, there is one of three ways to move forward.

Do Nothing

If the reasons for the project do not add up, there is no reason to continue. Remaining with the status quo is always an alternative. You have made it this far with your current system, and that may be the best solution. It is important to remember that not everything needs to be automated or set up to collect data for future use.

Build Your Vision

Creating Exactly What You Need, utilizing some of or none of your current system allows you to get exactly what you have determined to be the best solution for your department, the company, and the customer. However, it is a big step and the potential costs should align with the potential benefits.

PrePackaged Product

There are many SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and prepackaged applications on the market. This is an option that helps middle-players afford conventional systems without the up-front expense of custom software. The cons are that you often outgrow the software quickly but not the contract. (SaaS Conversions)

Software Feasibility Study: Conduct a cost/benefit and technical analysis!

Cost/Benefit Analysis

Identify the costs of development and convert these to potential savings that will be realized in the future. One way of doing this is by creating a chart similar to the one below. Make sure to consider multiple perspectives on the situation.

Costs vs. Benefits Should Be Considered:

Software Feasibility Study

Technical Feasibility Study

Next, review the technologies that will be required and compare them with new technologies that may be better. Make sure your IT department is with you every step of the way. And make sure not to latch onto fad-tech toted as the most significant thing in years. Take your time and consider if the technology is proven and sound. Ask yourself, is it supported, or is it so specialized that future assistance may be tough to find and very expensive.

Evaluate the technologies you are using and research the innovations these companies offer that may expand your current system while considering new ones that have proven support and integrate well with your company’s existing business IT requirements.

Even if everything aligns logically, telling you to move forward, make sure the political will is there to succeed. Without backing from above, it can be a steep slog. Use your findings during your software feasibility study stage, bring in a project manager and your lead IT expert to help you answer and explain technical questions, and keep it simple.

Before You Select a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Solution, There Are Certain Things To Consider.

How Does Intertech Help You Move Forward?

With our Software Feasibility Study we work through all phases to make sure you don’t miss a thing. In the feasibility discovery phase, findings allow us to map out your requirements for development, maintenance, DevOps skillsets, schedules, and deployment. We will add a Full Technical Skill and Competency Review, Time to Market Requirement Analysis, and Regulatory and Internationalization Assessment.

Next, we outline a strategy that will define recommendations for the technology stack, provide a project management game plan and propose necessary team resources. This will include Software Development Lifecycle Planning, Documentation Needs, Rollout Options, Proposed Resource Model, Suggested Technology Stack, and more.

You’ll also receive a project launch map and follow-on support plan. In short: everything you need to plan the actual rollout, as well as manage your documentation needs and the full software development lifecycle.

Let’s Outline A Complete Solution Together!
How Can We Help You?

We’ve been in business since 1991 because we listen to find out exactly what you need and then help take your project to the finish line the first time. Let us know what we can do for you!

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