Making the Business Case for a
Custom Software Solution
Making the Business Case for a Custom Software Solution
Businesses of every size and in every industry are going through their annual budgeting process now and, based on conversations we have had with many of them, the struggle to get more value from their data is an ongoing frustration.
Given the power of data to generate cost savings and new revenue opportunities, budgeting season is an excellent time to make the business case for a custom software solution. Custom software can be anything from a point solution to a full system replacement. Consider the size of your project, then imagine the business impact of software that:
- Integrates data from different sources and automatically generates reports that reflect your specific priorities;
- Automates the cataloging and auditing of the massive quantity of data your ERP or CRM collects;
- Gets the right data to the right people at the right time.
While it may seem that an off-the-shelf solution is a safer investment because there is a community of users you can tap for ideas, or because the large company behind it releases regular updates, a custom solution developed with open source components can be just as cost-effective if it:
- Can be adapted to changing business needs over time without a massive overhaul of the underlying data;
- Allows you to realize the full value of your current ERP or CRM software;
- Includes only the features you need for your business, making it easier to learn and manage.
A Strategic Approach to Making the Case
If you ask your managers about what software solutions they need to help their areas run better, you may get a daunting wish list of features that is hard to match up to off-the-shelf options or would require the costly replacement of a legacy system.
Instead of the wish list method of planning, consider making a small investment with an outside expert to identify opportunities hidden in your business data. Having worked with many businesses facing the problem of matching unique business needs with packaged solutions, Triple Helix developed the “Phase 0” process to identify a business’s data and reporting needs.
In Phase 0, we work with you to examine the functionality and architecture of existing software in use in your business and the processes it supports. We ask questions like:
- What do you need your data be telling you to help the business run more efficiently?
- What data is available that could be presented in real-time to help your employees recognize new opportunities?
- Which business processes take the most time to complete and which are most prone to errors?
With answer to those questions combined with our experience crafting cost-effective custom solutions, we produce a summary report that presents the mutually defined needs, description of the recommended solution, the process for developing and implementing the solution, and a detailed cost estimate. With this information you have what you need to make important budget decisions for the coming year.
Since 2004, Triple Helix has provided data and information systems for the aerospace and manufacturing industries, as well as businesses in the service, healthcare, and non-profit sectors. Our solutions complement existing technology investments to avoid costly replacements. Contact us if you would like to schedule a risk-free consultation to see if a Phase 0 review could help your company identify ways to better organize, access, and analyze its data.
About The Author: Jason Bittner
Solve Your Business Data and Process Problems