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Designing your own business system – where do I begin?

How to design business softwareFor those of you out there who have had the unenviable task of buying a ‘business system’ for your company or organisation over the last twenty years, you have generally had two choices. Go for a very heavily specialised system designed exactly for your niche requirements or one ‘off the shelf’ with generic functionality that is approximately a sixty per cent fit for your organisation.

Over the last couple of years, the major players for the ‘off the shelf’ software have utilised the varying customisation abilities in product and development staff to service the most common Vertical industry sectors with tailored functionality based on common processes.

What do you do though if the old niche systems no longer ‘cut the mustard’ or the new ‘industry Verticals’ don’t cater for your requirements..?

The simplest way to go about this is to design your own business system. How do you do that? Where do you start? Good questions. The first and most important thing to do first is to understand your business model and processes yourself. How do you bring in revenue? How do you market? What happens when an order is placed? The simplest and most effective way is to produce a flowchart which incorporates the end goals for the business as a finish point.

How can you then improve those processes? What information at the end would make your business take faster, better decisions. It all sounds very simple, but a lot of companies don’t analyse their businesses enough in this way.

Take your improved process model and the desired key reports and find yourself an IT partner who can show you industry references and will let you talk to those people.

Agree a cost for building an IT solution that fits exactly with your improved flow chart and give them a timeline for completion.

Building your own solution seems a task too far, but doing it like this might just unearth inefficiencies and problems that you can resolve before you take on the project of implementing a new solution. Being sure about how your business needs to run is critical. Make sure you know it before you take that next step.

Have you had any positive or negative experiences of working with software your company has designed internally? Please share your experiences.

Microsoft Business Software Solution Whitepaper

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About Christo van Zyl

Christo van Zyl is the Managed IT Services Business Unit Director at Advantage Business Systems. Christo has over 14 years of working within the IT industry and specialises in Outsourced IT Services including support, consultancy, security and all things Microsoft Server side.

View all posts by Christo van Zyl →

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