Software development is one of the many aspects of developing a business with a robust digital presence but is oftentimes overlooked, as business owners may not fully understand the advantages and benefits that software development brings.
Before we get down to the features and benefits, let’s just nail down exactly what software development is:
Software development is the process programmers use to build computer programs. The process, also known as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), includes several phases that provide a method for building products that meet technical specifications and user requirements. (Indeed.com)
Key steps in the software development process, which aims to deliver effective solutions within a defined budget and timeline, include:
- Identification of the project to determine the need for it, its viability, functions and services it needs to offer, and challenges it needs to solve
- Scoping the requirements – all involved parties create and agree the technical and user requirements, and the specifications including description of each component, assignment of tasks and what testing parameters are to ensure a quality product is delivered.
- The next stage is design, in which the developers and project managers create a highly-detailed technical Design Specification Document (DSD) which includes architectural design, components, communication flow, front end interfaces and user flows.
- Development and implementation is the next step, and involves the longest part of the project, usually, as the development team create the code based on the DSD. Once the coding is complete, developers deploy the code to a staging environment to allow the client to test the functions, brief in any changes and refine functionality ahead of deploying the product to a live site.
- Testing is a crucial part of software development – ahead of deployment, a range of functional, design and other tests are performed using the DSD as the guideline. Any bugs are corrected, ready for final review and sign-off.
- The final stage is full deployment to the live site – once this has happened, there is constant monitoring to ensure the product is working as it should, and to see if any enhancements are necessary.
Why does Software Development matter?
Primarily, Software Development helps companies develop and implement tools that enhance their ability to deliver better service to their customers – whether that’s by digital marketing, customer service functions, communication, customer support or accessibility.
Businesses that really understand their customers, and are able to implement software that helps them achieve their goals quickly and easily, are able to differentiate themselves from the competition, and drive increases in sales and brand awareness.
If you’re considering how a custom piece of software may be able to add value to your business, see whether the following benefits are applicable, and how your product or service would be enhanced:
- Seamless integration– how would allowing your company to be accessible from almost anywhere via smartphone or computer help grow your brand?
- Sales and service. What tools does your website offer that makes your services and products accessible to your customers quickly and easily
- On-the-go marketing – would software that helps you promote your products at any place and any time without additional expenses help build sales?
- Customer engagement. How do you plan to increase the number of customers? What tool could you develop to bring customers back to you rather than your competitor?
- Direct communication. Direct communication with your customers is the fastest way to build your brand and generate new and returning customers – what tools would you want to be able to achieve this?
If you want to understand more about software development and how it can benefit your business, speak to one of our team today on 01223 550800 or email@example.com. We can help you identify opportunities, develop innovative software solutions and integrate these into a comprehensive digital strategy.