Your Custom Software Development Firm Is Not an Expert on Your Business
Potential customers often want to know if our custom software development firm possesses specific, relevant experience in their business domain. This is a great question — if a vendor has experience with similar projects to yours, that’s a good sign they’re a good fit. But the answer to this question isn’t the end-all, be-all, either. Of course, having relevant experience with similar applications in the same industry is a sign of an organization’s maturity. But the success of any given project — no matter what domain it’s in — depends less on expertise in that industry or business and more on the developer’s software development skill.
Consider a commercial builder that designs and builds facilities for a variety of businesses. Their clients include a car manufacturer, a grain processor, and a paper mill, among others. Does the builder need to be an expert in each client’s industry? Does the builder need to know how to build a car or turn wheat into flour? No. The builder needs to understand each clients’ unique requirements and specifications, but he isn’t expected to be an expert. His real expertise is in building the buildings to meet the clients’ needs.
And the same goes for software development. Our society places a lot of value on specialization, and specialization is great for the global economy. But that doesn’t mean that, in order to be effective, a custom software development company needs to be specialized in a particular business vertical, such as healthcare, finance, or real estate. Instead, a good software development company is specialized in, well, developing software. The developer’s deep expertise in that field means that, as long as the project can be described in the form of logical requirements and the vision can be documented in a detailed roadmap, then the developer is fully capable of guiding it through every step of design, build, quality assurance, and launch, turning the client’s vision into a reality. That is the expertise of a custom software development service: to be able to invest fully in the development processes. That includes hiring the right people and maintaining or improving their qualifications; listening carefully to the client — the industry expert — to understand the vision and translate that vision into a project plan; creating balanced teams matching the profile of each project; and following the right steps to achieve the client’s desired results.
Some researchers believe that it takes ten thousand hours to become an expert in any given field. What if the custom software development company you hired to build an ERP for your health clinic had invested those ten thousand hours in becoming experts in the healthcare domain, learning all the nuts and bolts of the industry, but had failed to invest as fully in software development? That would be like a swimmer learning everything about building and maintaining a pool, but neglecting to learn the breaststroke. How many races would he win? But if he spent those ten thousand hours perfecting his strokes, he could be successful in any pool — no matter what size and shape.
In short, while a custom software development company should be able to learn abhout a client’s business and its needs in great detail, the only expertise they should bring to the table is software development. At Syberry, we create the tools and projects that never existed before, and each is highly individualized to a specific business process or goal. Our ability to create widely varied projects in a range of domains is our specialty, and we take great pride in our ability to analyze the needs of a specific business and create something that will make their business more effective.
So, when you’re looking for a custom software development firm, don’t expect them to be experts in your field, but do be sure they’re experts in their own.