If you’re a business owner, CIO, CTO, or IT professional and you notice any of the following 9 issues facing your company, it’s time to seriously consider the need to invest in a custom backend web application to help resolve them. In fact, it’s really not a matter of whether or not you should do so, it’s a matter of when – how long can you afford to continue running your business inefficiently?
What is a custom backend web application?
To clarify, before jumping into the nine warning signs, let’s define what a custom backend web application is:
Custom: This software solution is designed and developed specifically for you and your business, fully optimized for your business processes and all other unique circumstances.
Backend: This is not referring to a customer-facing website development project. You can have the most beautiful and functional website imaginable and still need help on the backend. Backend applications work behind the scenes to integrate business systems, collect and analyze data, support automation, and a thousand other functions that your customers may not even need to interact with, but that can boost productivity and profits dramatically.
Web: Although not all custom backend software applications are web-based, that’s the kind we’re talking about here – applications that utilize Internet and/or private network capabilities to allow data transfer and interaction across multiple devices and locations.
So, to sum it up, a custom backend web application is a unique web-based software program designed for business process optimization behind the scenes where your employees and systems are doing the hard work that results in revenue.
9 Signs Your Company Needs a Custom Backend Web Application
- You have data coming in from multiple sources and systems – Most data-heavy companies are collecting information from all manner of sources: online, offline, automated, data entry, etc. from all over the globe in various formats and levels of completeness. This huge flood of incoming data is more often than not wasted without a system in place to quickly and efficiently assimilate all of it into a central location which can be easily accessed for purposes of analysis.
- You have different users/departments with very different needs based on the same data – As a simple example, Sales and Customer Service may both need access to certain data or notes regarding the company’s customers, but obviously they’re going to be using that information for different purposes and will likely benefit from seeing it displayed in different ways or through different filters. It is rare indeed to find a prepackaged software solution that has perfectly anticipated exactly what every one of YOUR users wants and needs out the data you collect.
- You often find employees doing repetitive, unnecessary work that could easily be handled through automation – This is a necessary cost- and time-saving measure in today’s busy business environment. Whether it involves responding to common customer concerns, updating contact information, or handling low-level quality assurance checks on products or information, if an automated process can do as good of a job as – or better than – a human being, you owe it to yourself to set that up and get it rolling.
- You rely heavily on a legacy system but want to benefit from a new package (like Salesforce, for instance) and need them to be integrated seamlessly – This often comes up for companies that have been using a legacy software system (whether prepackaged or custom) for a number of years. They’re so heavily invested in it, they can’t imagine going through the hassle and expense of replacing it with something newer, but it simply doesn’t have all the functionality they’d like to see. One option is to purchase a prepackaged add-on or replacement and then build a custom application to bridge the two seamlessly.
- You want custom levels of security on data that cannot be perfectly controlled using prepackaged solutions – Data security if a hot topic these days, understandably. No company wants to earn a reputation for not taking data security seriously. While most prepackaged software solutions that are built to work with sensitive data will include some level of user-based security, they may not have exactly the segmentation you require, or they may overly restrict various levels that will create barriers to work processes for you. A custom backend web application can create those custom security levels for you.
- You see the need to create efficiencies in various roles (like customer service, sales, purchasing, inventory, etc.) – No matter which department needs the improvement, there is almost always some sort of custom application that can be designed to help make teams faster, more efficient, more accurate, or at least improve your ability to monitor and manage their activity.
- You use several different packaged solutions that don’t already integrate – Imagine a small business set up of Quickbooks for accounting, Salesforce for CRM, HubSpot for digital marketing, a WordPress website, Slack for internal messaging, as well as email, Google Docs, and a dozen other lesser-used apps for various business functions across the organization. While some of these services include available integrations for one or more other apps in the list, you’re not going to be able to seamlessly link all of them without a custom backend web application.
- Your legacy system is outdated and in need of a complete revamp – Similar to the legacy system issue described above, but this one goes further: your system is simply too old to do the job any more. A custom backend web application can completely replace your legacy system while adding numerous updated benefits and features your old system never could.
- You want to tap into machinery and equipment for analysis purposes, but all the different systems can’t talk to each other – For businesses with a lot of electronic equipment spread over various locations and made by different manufacturers (such as factories, machine shops, etc.), there may be no software solutions available that can make these competing products talk to each other. But with a custom application designed specifically for your needs, you can change that and start benefiting from the data collection and analyzing strength of a unified system that incorporates all of your machines.
If any of these signs seems a little too familiar to you, contact us to discuss what options are available to you.