Tracking developments in the software industry can be a little overwhelming. Trends are constantly coming and going and sometimes it’s hard to know which trends are the important changes that you should pay attention to and which ones are just hype. Obviously trends like mobile, social networking and Software as a Service (SaaS) are important, but there is one change you should care about and probably don’t know is happening: the transformation from pre-set custom registration software and workflows to processes and workflows that you create.
So how did this development come about and what does it mean for you?
First, many software companies began to understand that not all businesses are created equal and therefore cannot productively use a generic software that is built for everyone. Second, the tools the software industry has now allows them to make custom registration software available to everyone for a price that won’t break the bank!
Big businesses can afford to buy a generic software and then tailor it to their needs. That’s how General Electric uses Salesforce and that’s why Oracle is one of the biggest software companies in the world. This standard is also how Active networks makes most of its money – through customization costs. But not all businesses have a $100,000+ budget to meet their software needs.
To solve this issue companies like Asana and Regpack have popped up. These companies have invested extensive research and development into this issue in order to create software that works according to your process and with a price tag that makes sense for small or medium sized (or any size!) businesses. Even big businesses are seeing the change and choosing to work with these softwares.
Below we delve deeper into the issue of generic software and how the new trend in customized online registration software could be right for your business.
The flaws of one-size-fits-all software options…
Normally a one-size-fits-all online registration software is the cheapest solution but, there’s just one problem: while there is no argument that using software to automate your processes is better than doing things manually, having a pre-set software that offers no flexibility will most likely have you running back to a manual process or worse – having you doing both.
If you’re going to spend money on custom registration software to make your life easier, it shouldn’t create work for you and it shouldn’t demand you change your proven processes and methods. It should just make them easier, faster, and automated. Most one-size-fits-all software have a “right” way of doing things. So if you are a camp needing to register participants for your summer session or a school, there is a specific flow that a pre-set software gives you without much room for change. The problem with this is that you are competing in a marketplace that demands you to be different and innovative. When using a one-size-fits-all software you take away your biggest advantage as a small or medium business: your ability to adapt quickly according to changes that happen in the fast paced market.
So hire a developer and build your own custom registration software!
Ok you say, I’ll build a custom registration software that is built to match my business exactly! Que the software developer you just hired. He or she builds you a great system from scratch (read: more money!) tailored to your needs and requirements. While this can be a great option for some businesses (and is an easy option for businesses with that huge budget!), the flaw with this option is that as your business grows and evolves, your software will need to change and adapt right along with you, meaning more money down the drain. Worst yet, if you suddenly need to make a major change to your process due to changes in the marketplace you will most likely need to redo your software since it was not build with that specific ability or concept in mind. More time, more money and ultimately less clients is the result. 🙁
The new trend in software: Processes that adapt to YOUR needs.
This new trend means that small and medium sized businesses can now work with and productively use a data management software that enables them to set what type of processes are included in their customized setup. These software offerings don’t tell you what and HOW to do things, and in what order, but instead are FLEXIBLE and dynamic. They allow YOU to dictate how the software should function, what flow is best for YOUR clients, and how YOU process the onboarding of your clients internally.
For example, you might want people first to give basic information before selecting the services and products they want since this allows you to present the correct offerings for them. Another organization might want a user to first select a service and then based on that choice, the software knows what path to send them on. Another company might want users to go through an extensive process before registering them while yet another has specific workflows that are different based on where the client is coming from. As you can see, with so many variables and different needs, a generic software couldn’t possibly address these needs without expensive customization costs.
However, all of that customization is now possible with this new trend. You will not hear software companies telling you that “this is the right way to do things” anymore. Hallelujah!
The fact that dynamic software like this is cropping up and becoming more popular speaks to the idea that switching from a manual process is finally worth the initial time and money, especially for businesses with limited budgets. At last there is a way to take the manual process that has proven itself and put that logic into a software that will automate it, thereby saving that you time and money in the long run.
So what are you waiting for?!
Are you still using a paper system, doing things manually, using a software that limits you, or using a ton of tools in order to accomplish tasks that could be done with one software (saving you tons of time!)? It’s time to spend your money intelligently by investing in a software that was designed to be what YOU need! Without the headache and cost of a custom built system!