If you had to make a list of all the major pain points that organizational leaders deal with on a daily basis, managing volumes of data would undoubtedly be right at the top.
According to one recent study, roughly 95% of all businesses say that the need to manage unstructured data is a significant problem for their organization. Not only that, but the same study revealed that poor data quality costs the United States economy a collective $3.1 trillion on an annual basis.
When you’re in charge of operations and all the data collection, management and reporting that goes with it for an enterprise of 50 or more people, this is obviously a major issue and source of frustration. When you’re in charge of a company that has 200+ employees, your problems compound exponentially.
Equally complicating things is the process that you must go through when you lose a highly skilled employee, such as an ASP.NET developer, who is supposed to be assisting you with these goals. These are the types of people who are tasked with creating and maintaining company business systems built with ASP.NET to help extract insight and value from the massive amount of information your business generates each day. Losing even a single person from your IT team can be a major blow to productivity.
Unfortunately, most people only have one option at that point: they grin and bear it.
They put together Band-Aid fixes on their existing applications and find workarounds, simply because they cannot find someone capable of handling the laundry list of issues that begin to develop. They may spend years putting off maintenance on a critical application for as long as possible, only to be forced to find a IT development partner for assistance when that app finally became unusable.
At that point, their “solution” isn’t a solution at all. Those external processes, spreadsheets and similar methods that began as a workaround soon begin to legitimately hold their company back. These things don’t just make innovation difficult - in a lot of situations, they make it impossible.
Soon, they realize they cannot tend to their client’s needs. Their employees are spending so much time every day dealing with these time-consuming workarounds that they can’t actually focus on the important tasks at hand. The data - and their company’s processes - need to change, but the software they depend on simply isn’t evolving with the company.
It’s equally important to understand that this is a problem that is only going to get worse as time goes on. Ongoing employee productivity loss is something that compounds literally every day when software is not updated to keep up with the ever-changing demands of the collective. Unsupported systems quickly become significant security risks, exposing the entire company to harm. Lost information translates to loss of business - or at the very least, a lack of adequate response to customer needs. As the data needs of a corporation change over time, the software that used to be such a critical asset now becomes a liability - it can no longer be updated and is unfortunately trapped in an era that has long since ended.
At this point, one of the biggest mistakes that a lot of executives face involves trying to solve the problem themselves. They attempt to hire a replacement employee to support their existing application, which itself brings with it a number of distinct challenges that only get worse over time. With employees there are always HR issues, payroll, taxes, benefits, etc. that add to the overall expense.
Sometimes, companies try to find an independent contractor with the right development experience who can help support their application. Other times, they try to hire an intern out of college to help them fix their solution as inexpensively as humanly possible.
Regardless, don’t forget that employment can be transitory and if said independent contractor or college intern may not have the right skill set or chooses to leave the company, your organization will quickly end up right back where it started. When you also consider that the overhead of adding even a single employee can quickly become expensive, it’s easy to see why this is a situation you would want to avoid.
The major issue with individual independent contractors is that they generally have a narrow area of experience, meaning portions of your software simply won’t be as optimized as they could be. For example, you may find the best software contractor in the world at writing code, but that person may have zero user interface design skills leading to an undesirable outcome. All this, and you’re still paying roughly about the same amount as you would if you just brought an employee in-house.
Interns are great for many use cases within a company but are less than ideal for situations where you have an ongoing need and the continuity of the resource in question is of critical importance. Interns also usually lack complete software development experience for many tasks, as they simply haven’t been in the field long enough to truly “get their hands dirty.”
Another mistake some companies make at this juncture involves choosing to invest in off-the-shelf software. They see the issues with the two approaches outlined above and think to themselves “Well, how could buying off-the-shelf software being any worse than what I have now?” The problem is that the custom software you had was custom for a reason - it was literally built from the ground up to support your unique business processes. If you choose to go off-the-shelf, you lose that uniqueness because now you’re forced to contend with something that was written for the masses and does not fit your business use case.
Off-the-shelf software also has a notoriously long startup time and will always require customizations to get all of the functionality that you need. These applications tend to have steep learning curves and many offer “features” that you’ll never actually use. This is often referred to as “bloatware” and it only makes things more difficult, not better. When users are given too many options to choose from in an application, many people become overwhelmed and frustrated by all of the clutter. The best software is written specifically for each different role in a company. Each employee is given just what functionality that they need to do their job and nothing more.
Finally, organizations may choose to bring in an outside software consulting firm in the hopes that they’ll be able to meet their needs. But far, too many fail to realize that not all software consulting firms are alike. Many have very, very high overhead and software development teams with little in the way of actionable experience. They do this to maximize the profits of their leadership partners - not to actually help your business succeed.
All of this is why hiring a dedicated ASP.NET development company is of paramount importance. They can come in and help address all of the issues outlined above, essentially all at the exact same time.
At its core, an ASP.NET development company is one who will have the ability to design screens that are user-friendly and that allow people to interact with the data in a database in a much more intuitive way. They’ll have the skills necessary to not only communicate what needs to be done, but to truly understand the client’s needs and translate that into a software solution optimized to meet them.
Overall, it’s always better to partner with an ASP.NET development company because they’ll bring with them a diversity of skill sets that you’d be hard pressed to find through other means. An individual developer may be great at writing code, but may also terrible at creating a good user experience because they lack user interface design skills. An ASP.NET development company can offer better coverage to meet these needs, and can even keep right on going when an individual developer gets sick, goes on vacation or leaves altogether.
To make the most out of your experience when working with an ASP.NET development company, it’s always best to first think about the problem you are trying to solve. Start to define the problem in a general way and work towards something more specific. Identify those people within your business who need to use the data, identify the actual data they need to do their jobs, and work to understand how that data needs to flow throughout your organization.
If you can document this, it will be much easier (not to mention faster) for the development team to solve your problem.
A dedicated ASP.NET development company will also be better suited to not only make sure your project gets off on the right foot, but to continue to meet your needs as time goes on.
By breaking projects up into smaller, bite-sized two-week chunks called “sprints,” for example, even the largest IT projects are better managed and have a much better chance of coming in on-time and on budget. This is called Agile development, and it also means that you and your new partners will be better positioned to deal with change in the middle of a project, too.
ASP.NET development companies are also more likely to be able to leverage toolkits like Telerik, for just one example. These add a great deal of capabilities to ASP.NET that the programmer no longer needs to write from scratch thus saving time and money. If you wanted to have spreadsheet-like functionality on your web page, for example, Telerik offers a control for that which a developer can plug in and start using right away. It’s also guaranteed to be cross-browser compliant, saving you from a lot of potential headaches later on. Likewise, the toolkit also comes with many examples designed to get programmers up to speed as quickly as possible. Telerik competitors like GrapeCity and DevExpress also have extensive toolkits that ASP.NET development firms tend to leverage.
Another one of the ways that an ASP.NET development company can solve a lot of your ongoing challenges has to do with a situation like the one you’d be in when a valued software developer leaves your organization. When someone with specialized capabilities leaves, this can cause a significant amount of disruption in terms of the development and support of your application. The best way to manage this risk is to work with a team instead of a lone person. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon for a contract developer to hold a company hostage to get the original source code after they leave a project if they didn’t leave on good terms. An outsourced web development team can be cost effectively created by partnering with a development company of your choosing that will handle all of the day-to-day minutia detail of software development so you can focus on more important things.
Overall, you need to look at your entire body of work and choose a small project for the new team to get started on. This accomplishes two important things in tandem with one another. First, it allows the team to get the development environment set up. Think of this as a rock-solid foundation upon which future successes will be built. Secondly, it lets that team get familiar with the existing code set. By taking this approach, the team can get up-to-speed on the code set as fast as possible - also that you immediately get something of value and a small problem is solved straight away. This is a great way to build confidence in the short-term and allow the team to tackle more advanced problems in the long-term.
From the moment we opened our doors over three decades ago until now, the team at Keene Systems have worked hard to bring a “best of both worlds” approach to software development for clients everywhere. Not only do you get access to an efficient company with low overhead, but you get a chance to pair that with the performance and rich capabilities of an agile development team as well. We offer you full stack developers that have the required skills that can deliver complete web & database solutions, from conception to implementation to maintenance and beyond.
So, if you still have any additional questions about why ASP.NET development is so important for a business like yours, or if you’d just like to speak to us in a bit more detail about your own situation, please know that Keene Systems is always happy to help you explore solution possibilities. In all the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve come to realize one simple truth: most software projects that fail have nothing to do with a lack of technical knowledge. Software projects fail due to poor project management and poor understanding of the needs of the client. In essence, they fail due to poor communication - which is exactly what we address at Keene Systems.
We’ve succeeded for more than 3 decades in large part because we work tirelessly to understand the client’s needs and consistently deliver solutions that just work. To put that into perspective, 20% of all businesses fail within the first year and 50% of those that remain will close their doors just five years later. By the end of the decade, only 30% of businesses will remain — a 70 percent failure rate. Despite that, we’re still going strong and growing - and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
At Keene Systems, we always believe that it’s important to take a systematic approach to documenting a client’s existing solution and needs. Based on that, we design a series of screens that can fully implement all the functionality they need to work smarter, not harder on a daily basis. We do this because no two businesses are created equally. Your organization is unique unto itself - nobody does what you do quite like how you do it. We want to play to those strengths that make you unique, not try to force you into a “one size fits all” box that doesn’t really work for you.
Once we have screens that support and empower your unique approach to productivity, they dictate the structure of the database and what type of data you want to capture. This is done with both new projects and with maintenance projects because in most cases, the application will require a some degree of enhancements over time.
The process we use is called Agile development and as stated, this is when we take a very large problem and break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable chunks to allow changes to happen naturally over the lifecycle of the project. But what we really offer is a process that ensures the predictability of outcomes you need to do better and more informed work moving forward. We always work hard to meet with all stakeholders to make sure that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. This, coupled with our inherent sense of business flexibility, helps create a perfect storm in the best possible way.
Do you think that a large project for a large client should be handled the same way you would a small project for a small client? The answer is clear: you wouldn’t. We treat small projects for small clients differently.
We have the ability to speak to small businesses from an entrepreneurial point of view and know they do not have the same financial resources to address their IT needs as large companies do. Sometimes we use hybrid off-the-shelf / custom software solutions to meet the needs of the smaller-company’s smaller budget. We always look for a creative solution to solve small business problems.
Overall, the skills of every member of our team - from planning to strategy to execution and implementation - are at the top of their field. This always results in a better application development process, which itself brings with it better reliability. It also creates a much happier customer experience, which may very well be the most important benefit of all.
So if you’d like to find out more information about our ASP.NET software development outsourcing capabilities, or if you’d like to discuss your ASP.NET needs with Keene Systems CEO, Lance Keene click here to book a call with him. You can also download our great new eBook - the Keene Systems Guide to High Performing Business Applications - to learn more about this essential topic.