Unless you are buying a piece of software off-the-shelf, or subscribing to a existing application service provider, you are into the realm of custom software! From both a cost and effectiveness perspective, the degree of customization is very important. Engaging the help of a talented analyst, designer, and programmer is key to getting the most bang for your buck.
There will be a lot more information coming in the Blog here, but for now, the big question you need to ask yourself is “do I need to consider custom software?”
The simplest answer is that if you have an information management need that is not handled well by commercially available application software, either purchased or hosted, then yes you should at least look into it. The good news is that while totally custom software can be very expensive, most needs can be met with “semi” custom software, meaning an existing package can be modified to meet your needs. The cost savings can be huge and those that price semi-custom application software solutions are frequently very pleasantly surprised to learn what can be done within their budget.
For websites, nearly all require some degree of customization in order to look and function well, and to avoid looking like a “canned” product. However the more important distinction is the degree to which the user can maintain and update the site themselves. Being able to do the bulk of the work yourself is extremely beneficial. It is important, though, to have a trusted resource for the initial setup and for those times when you get real ambitious or real adventuresome and wish to seriously alter your site’s look or function.
Take a look around here and when you are ready to talk, contact me.