If your company can do all its business just using off-the-shelf software, you are part of a rare minority. Most organizations find themselves in need of custom applications tailored to their business processes, daily operations and industry focus. Typically two approaches are considered to solve this problem — build the custom application in-house or outsource it.
When resources are scarce, many people look to outsourcing as a logical alternative to in-house development, pointing to the theoretical benefits like speed, flexibility and cost.
But for a lot of projects, the ROI of outsourcing doesn’t hold true in the end. Here are a few reasons why:
- Getting started is tough.
If you are a big company with a decent budget in-hand, you could probably call Wipro or Infosys and hire them for your project. Otherwise, you have to go through the painstaking process of identifying, interviewing, and selecting a provider that may be thousands of miles away. What’s worse is you will likely find yourself going through the discovery process over and over, since outsourcing service providers often oversell and under-deliver. The time and effort that goes into this step alone may be enough to create your entire custom application using a Platform-as-a-Service (as explained later in this article).
- Communication is a huge challenge.
Overcoming barriers such as language, time zone, and cultural differences can take an enormous toll on everyone involved. No matter how detailed your specification requirements, a good deal of time and effort must be invested to align perspectives and avoid misunderstandings.
- Quality is a relative term.
Your understanding and expectation of quality may not be shared by your outsourcing service provider. This can result in poorly-executed projects, delayed deliveries, and repetitive touchups; ultimately causing inflated costs. And recognizing quality expectations is only half the challenge – the hardest part is enforcing quality through the entire development process.
- Working relationships can be tough.
If you happen to be a small fish in a big pond, you run the risk of having your project sidelined by larger customers with bigger checks. It is not uncommon for developers to be unexpectedly reassigned or you may no longer receive the same level of attention and responsiveness.
- In the end, you’re on your own.
Once the contract comes to an end, you will have to fall back on your internal resources to run and maintain your application over time. And chances are your in-house expert will have to spend untold hours learning, troubleshooting and tweaking. Continued investment in infrastructure, upkeep and application maintenance are a must. And when the time comes, you may find yourself going through the entire process again, meaning more money spent and more time wasted.
But, there is good news.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings are now changing the application development landscape. PaaS solutions allow businesses to insource their application development to solve problems that out-of-box software and outsourcing simply can’t.
A particular segment of PaaS is designed for non-developers to create and maintain applications without coding. Caspio has been a leader in this category since 2001 and we understand the challenges of custom application development.
Building online database apps with Caspio has many advantages to save you time, money and headaches in the long run.
- Users build the app – Caspio replaces coding with an intuitive point-and-click app builder that allows users the maximum level of control over the functionality, workflow and look and feel of the app.
- Progress is very fast – Apps are built in days instead of months, thanks to Caspio’s simplified but incredibly powerful application framework.
- Quality is automatically enforced– The entire app-building process takes place on the Caspio cloud platform, yet still complies with the highest levels of quality and security.
- Reliance on open standards – Caspio adheres to open standard technologies in and out of the platform, which means a high level of reliability, scalability and security for users.
- Iteration and change is easy – With Caspio, application owners are empowered to create and make changes to an app without having to worry about infrastructure or operational discrepancies.
- Maintenance and support is included – Caspio takes care of all of the infrastructure maintenance and offers world-class support through multiple channels.
- Low risk with no upfront investment – Unlike outsourcing projects fraught with uncontrollable factors, adopting PaaS ensures your business will enjoy all the benefits of custom-tailored applications without the upfront investment. The Caspio Business plan starts at $249 per month and includes unlimited applications and users.
As a pioneer in the do-it-yourself PaaS category, Caspio has played an indispensable role in many Fortune 500 enterprises and government agencies, as well as countless SMBs.