6 questions to ask yourself before having a web app developed
How to properly evaluate your next digital investment
By Niccolò Maria Menozzi
Many businesses need new digital tools to be a 4.0 company, but before throwing yourself into a demanding project you should make sure you’re on the right path. Should you have a web app developed or not? If the answer is yes, what should the conditions be? We have put together a list of considerations that can help you make the best investment for your company app.
1. What company problem do I want to solve?
Identify the issues you want to eliminate from the production or managerial processes and ask yourself if a web app is the solution you are looking for. In many cases it is, but companies may first need to deal with other internal challenges that may cause issues with the implementation of the web app. Separate the problems that come from technological faults from those regarding the staff or company organisation.
Let’s look at an example. Say that the testing department of a company that assembles industrial machinery wants to reduce errors committed by workers supported by a guiding software. These errors can be caused by various factors.
For example the worker may be distracted by issues that need to be dealt with (noises, interruptions, little time…) or the software interface could be badly designed, confusing the user or requiring an overhaul, or both. Clearly identifying the problems allows you to evaluate your priorities, find solutions and decide which to apply.
You should also ask yourself what impact the problem you wish to resolve has on the company. Once you have solved that problem, what other company aspects will you be able to concentrate more on? What other opportunities for growth will come up in the future?
2. How long will it take me to make up the investment?
Managers and administrators often have to carefully evaluate the budget required for the development of a web app and the time it will take to make up the investment. Project costs can actually be absorbed in a short time, especially in medium and large-sized companies with considerable turnover.
Always look at costs in a long-term perspective: software is an investment you can always count on because, with the proper maintenance, it can continue to contribute to the wellbeing of your company for years to come. The more you invest in quality and professionalism at the start of a project, the lower the costs will be down the line to keep the web app operational and effective.
You can also look at the issue from the opposite perspective and consider how much the process you want to perfect would cost you without a web app to improve it, keeping in mind the faults and economic consequences. You can turn that “dripping tap” into an investment opportunity.
3. How much time can I save using my web app?
Sometimes we don’t realise how much time we spend every day doing small tasks that are managed with ineffective traditional methods or using out-of-date software that does not meet the modern requirements of response speed and user friendliness.
Think of web apps as tools that can optimise company performance. They are with you every day to help the work of management and employees.
You can delegate complex procedures to the software and give more value to the strategic skills of your associates. After all, a good idea can’t be implemented without the right tools, but those tools are useless without good ideas. Meanwhile, you can get the best out of your team by allowing them to work in the most effective way possible.
4.What direct and indirect company benefits can it bring?
Web apps can perform specific tasks, but that’s not all. They also offer algorithms that can manage long and repetitive processes without human intervention, less stress for associates who have to spend less time inputting data and content and easier access to information as well as easier interaction with suppliers and clients.
Sometimes a web app comes with a series of added benefits that cause a positive domino effect from the moment it is made available to the company. Every software has its own characteristics and there is no fixed rule on how it will affect the workplace. Take the time to think about the positive impact it could have on everyone’s daily work routine, perhaps asking the people in the company involved to get information on the most problematic issues.
5. What competitive advantages can it guarantee in the long term?
Well begun is half done. Instead of concentrating on the immediate benefits, strictly relating to the software functionality, think about competitive technological advantages in the medium and long term.
In these times of great digital migrations from local to network infrastructure, starting a company update process means being ready to deal with ace the challenges we could face in the next five years or more and be more competitive and, if you work in production, ready for Industry 4.0
Since some of the greatest challenges in global business are in the digital field, you need to keep up with the most forward-looking companies that update and optimise their productive and managerial processes.
For companies, digital investments lead to greater effectiveness and preventing problems that could come up in the coming years, being competitive and managing processes without waste.
6. Is my company ready to welcome innovation?
Web apps help us, but they can’t do everything on their own, they need fertile ground to give fruit. One way to use them to their greatest potential is to make sure you have suitable hardware with updated operating systems to use the right browsers. The company mindset is also important and you need to make sure that the new implementation actively involves all of the future users.
Before you start you need to plan the steps carefully so that the new technologies can be applied to new methods to obtain optimal results.
Don’t let the software be seen as an imposed innovation, for example by involving the associates in the analysis and tests of the UX/UI design. Dedicating some time to ensuring that users know and can use the software in the best way can avoid new issues arising.
We hope that this article, despite not going into full detail, has cleared some things up for you. The topic is varied, but if you would like to have a more in depth conversation contact us. We at Dreamonkey can give you the consultation and support to better define the needs for your new web app and help you give value to your investment.