Control Your Technology Destiny

by Mark Benvegnu
Control Your Technology Destiny

Declare Your Independence From the Tyranny of Proprietary Software

Your technology is the key to your business destiny.  Shouldn’t you control it?

In today’s business world, packaged software sold by proprietary software vendors is often the default for most companies – yours included, most likely. Packaged applications of all kinds from accounting software to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) have become the norm and companies large and small would grind to a halt without them.

Within specific application types, particular vendors have built dominant market shares that enable them to control design trends, command high fees, and dictate deployment schedules – thereby exerting enduring and undue influence on the fortunes of companies like yours. In some ways, the goals (or whims!) of dominant software vendors can hold as much sway over your company’s strategies as your key stakeholders – your customers, your employees, and your shareholders/owners. 

Doesn’t seem right, does it?

Sure Proprietary Software Can be useful – but is it worth the price?

To be fair, the development and widespread adoption of proprietary software applications has had a profound effect on the way business runs – much of it positive.  Many of the workflows and processes that power modern companies would be impossible without complex and reliable software applications.

But on the flip-side, companies like yours have in some ways ceded an unwarranted and perhaps unsustainable degree of control (and share of their budgets!) to proprietary software vendors. 

In what way? Well glad you asked.

Maintenance and Licensing fees are the gifts that keep on giving – to Vendors

Once a company has adopted a software application, it can be very expensive and difficult to switch.  Of course, that doesn’t make it impossible for a company to toss an application that does not meet its business requirements, but there is often a steep price to be paid.

This gives proprietary software vendors a huge amount of leverage and they price maintenance, support, and updates accordingly. Some prominent companies have precisely calculated the maximum amount of money they can extract from customers before it becomes so painful that those customers look for alternatives – and set their prices just below that point. They don’t want to run you off, but they do want to maximize their profits, even if it’s at your company’s expense and even if you really don’t like them very much.

Software Vendors don’t really care what customers think.

Software Vendors develop to maximize profits, not your satisfaction

Software vendors don’t develop software with your particular needs in mind–they write software designed to meet an acceptable level of need for the highest possible number of customers.  In some instances, most requirements can be accommodated, sometimes not.  And oftentimes companies find that they must adapt their processes, workflows, or even business strategies to fit a software application, rather than the other way around.

Clearly, the goals of the typical software vendor do not align with your goal of making your business as successful as possible.  If you controlled your technology destiny, the only goals that would matter would be yours–just as they should be.

Your business goals should come first.

Need a new feature? Take a number, have a seat…

Should your business needs change or you identify a new opportunity that requires an update to your proprietary software, getting a positive response or even the attention of your vendor can be next to impossible. Getting your vendor to add a new API or function can be like trying to get your driver’s license renewed at the local DMV.  

It shouldn’t be that tough and it shouldn’t take that long, right!? But unfortunately, your goals and timeframes do not always align with those of your vendor. As discussed before, vendors look to maximize profits, and their roadmap is designed to reasonably satisfy the most customers at the least cost. New features will be developed and implemented on their timeframe and not yours.

Software development should occur on your schedule, not your vendors.

Software vendors don’t work and play well with others

The widespread adoption of proprietary applications has resulted in the amassing of untold amounts of data, but it’s often inaccessible to the customers who own it (you). Your data can be trapped in proprietary formats, in locked-down databases and/or applications when it could be used to your benefit in other applications, departments, or locations.

Proprietary applications may offer APIs (some rather begrudgingly) but even then, vendors control the functionality of those APIs, what data and data types they pass, and even access to the APIs themselves.  They may charge additional fees to use the APIs or require the purchase of vendor-provided services to initiate or maintain access.

So if you ask your ERP vendor to sync data with your CRM in real-time. you may get answers like “no”, or maybe or “I can get you a quote for that”.

Your own the data in your proprietary apps, but it may not be easy or cheap to access

But What Choice do you have?  Well, a lot actually….

Custom software applications can provide much of the value of proprietary applications without the many downsides.  Modern development tools and languages, agile programming techniques, open-source code, and even the widespread availability of functionality that was once expensive and proprietary like SQL databases, have helped to level the playing field. 

And even if you must continue to use your proprietary apps, an expert custom software development team can help you leverage those apps and the data they contain in a multitude of ways that can advance your business goals and make your life easier. 

Custom software developers can create software that is just as functional and reliable as giant proprietary vendors.  In many cases, they can do it more affordably and on your time. Perhaps most importantly, working with custom software developers puts you in charge.  You own the relationship, the development schedule, and the IP.

With custom software development, you control your technology destiny

Pell Software can give you Control of your Technology Destiny 

Pell Software is the leading expert when it comes to designing, developing, and supporting custom business management solutions, systems integrations, data automation routines, and more. Our experts have decades of experience in system analysis and design and we specialize in working with clients like you to understand your business and design custom-tailored solutions to help you run more efficiently and improve your day!

We would love to learn more about your business! We’re confident we can help you improve your daily operations and increase your margin by automating and integrating your systems!

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